A Personal Story about a terrible breakup followed by having to see my Ex on Tinder

As I’ve shared many times before, I have quite the dating and relationship history in my own life – and it isn’t always pretty. This is one of those uglier stories (but, hey, those are always more fun, right? ?) – specifically, about finding my ex on tinder.

*Like always, names have been changed for privacy

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The Guy

I’ve mentioned Brad* a few times on here and on some of my social media posts. Never by name, though (real or otherwise) and never in depth.

Brad and I met on Tinder – like most millennials. I was fresh out of a divorce, too, so it was my first go-around in the world of online dating.

I’d matched with a ton of people, several of them serious creeps, but had only gone on an actual date with two of them (like I said, it was my first Tinder experience so I was extremely cautious.)

He was about 5 years older than me and in his mid-thirties. He was charming, intelligent, and had a good sense of humor. He’d also never had a long-term relationship before, but I didn’t find out about that until much later. ?

Related Read: Don’t Ignore These Red Flags on Tinder

On our first date, we went to see Christmas lights. It was clear that he was taken by me right away. For one thing, he seemed noticeably relieved that I looked like my profile pictures (again, I’d barely started the whole online dating thing so I wasn’t yet aware of how often this is, apparently, not the case).

Secondly, he asked to kiss me almost immediately (he said something about wanting to kiss first instead of waiting until the end of the date, which was corny, but kind of sweet ?)

I said ‘No’ actually – a combination of typical first-date jitters and being put on the spot made me nervous, but as we continued on with the date, my attraction for him only increased. Eventually, we ended up in a passionate make-out session. I’m talking laying on the couch, pawing at one another, and kissing to the point of being breathless.

By the time I got home that night, I was smitten. ?

The Relationship

Brad and I dated for about 2 years – it was a very, very serious relationship and our breakup damn near destroyed me. That’s a story for another day, though.

I’ve actually wanted to write about that for a while now, but it’s a pretty long story – in fact, I could probably write 5 different “personal story” pieces on that breakup alone ?.

For now, though, I’ll just give you the quick and dirty details.

Basically, we were planning on moving in together when he called things off out of the blue. We were literally looking at houses less than a week before the breakup. And, no, there was no cheating involved.

To say that this came as a complete and total shock is a bit of an understatement.

On top of that, the breakup was brutal.

One day, out of NOWHERE, Brad called me and said he was starting to have “doubts” about our relationship. I know people say that about breakups all the time even though, usually, there are plenty of warning signs. In this case, though, I was dumbfounded.

In retrospect, I could probably think of some of the warnings that I missed, but at the time, it hit me like a goddamn truck.

The night before this phone call, we went out with his family. We laughed, drank, and had a great time. We spent the night together. We woke up and ran errands. We kissed goodbye. We made plans for mid-week. All seemingly normal. Then, this phone call.

He didn’t actually breakup with me, yet, though. He just said that he was having doubts about our future together. He then asked for some space – never a good sign ?. Nonetheless, I agreed to this.

For the next WEEK, there was radio silence – also never a good sign.

After this, we got together, talked it over, and everything between us was “fine” (his words.) For one whole day. Then, he changed his mind ?.

He called the NEXT NIGHT to let me know that it was over.

Two years in, looking at houses, talking about marriage, planning a future together, and he ended our relationship via phone.

Further, he flat out refused to have any sort of “closure” conversation because A) there was a “chance for us to reconcile down the line” and B) it was too stressful.

The Tinder Encounter: Finding my Ex on Tinder

Fast forward several months and I’m just beginning to feel ready enough to date again. Like I did after my divorce, I set up a profile on a few popular dating sites (I know a lot of people dislike Tinder, but personally, I’ve had the best luck with that one ?‍♀️)

Brad and I had spoken a handful of times at this point – most of our conversations were somewhat contentious, but there were a few that weren’t. As naive as it was, I held on to the hope of one day having some sort of amicable friendship with him.

Still, though, he never told me exactly what went wrong between us.

Remember, earlier, though, when I mentioned that he never had a serious girlfriend before me? Several months in – when I was already catching feelings and getting all attached and shit, he told me that none of his prior “relationships” lasted longer than 4 months with the exception of a long term friends-with-benefits situation with a married woman ?.

I probably should’ve taken this as my cue to bow out, but he seemed so honest and genuine when he told me about it, saying that he just wasn’t ready for commitment until now.

Since the breakup, a mutual friend has told me multiple times that he thinks Brad just got cold feet and that he’ll probably be a lifelong bachelor. I’ve come to accept this as the most likely explanation.

Back to finding my ex on Tinder, though.

I was mindlessly swiping through one evening when I came across Brad’s profile.

My pulse started racing and I instantly had a tightening sensation in my chest. Anyone who has ever gone through a breakup knows that heart-clenching feeling that happens the first time you see your ex.

By this point, I was completely over him and yet seeing him on Tinder was painful. I couldn’t help but look at his profile. When I did, I saw he’d written that he was “looking for something serious and meaningful.” ?

God, did that sting.

And for a few days after that, I cried in the shower and ate ice cream in bed. But then, I decided that it didn’t change my story of what happened. From my perspective, he did end the relationship out of nowhere and in a careless and dismissive way. He did bolt at the first sign of real commitment.

And that wasn’t my fault.

Life Lesson

Sometimes, you won’t get closure from a breakup. When that happens, you’ll need to get it for yourself. Secondary lesson – if you see your ex on Tinder, don’t look at their profile. It’ll only cause you pain.

Have any of you ever had a similar experience seeing an ex on Tinder? Let me know in the comments below. Until next time, stay smart out there on the dating apps everyone!

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*Like always, names have been changed for privacy

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  1. avatar
    Markus says:

    Hi interesting read, but from a mans, view point this happened to me, all going well, similar last night out including family, then she pulled the plug, but was more ruthless about what she wanted empathy in a man, and someone to enhance her life!

    I never thought I would meet this girl, or the last, there will be more, you have to take the lessons and move on.

  2. avatar
    Giulia says:

    Why are men like this? Reminds me of something that happened to me years and years ago. Ugh. But yeah, never look up. your ex anywhere and if you run across their profile swipe whichever way it is to say HELL NO.

    1. avatar

      LOL – yep! Exactly. To date, no closure or apology. Doubt I’ll ever get it too. Oh well.

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About Author

30ish Lifestyle blogger, relationship "expert," and modern-day agony aunt.
Sometimes humorous, always honest.