Both Sides of a Breakup: She Knew She Hated Him for Some Reason

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In “Both Sides of a Breakup,” the Cut talks to exes about how they got together and why they split up. Ava and Adam, both 39, reconnected on a subway after knowing each other casually years ago. Things moved fast, and ended even faster. This is their story.

AVA:
I knew Adam from, like, ten years ago. He worked for a film company and we’d met at a few premieres where I styled the talent. But something had happened that left a bad impression. When I saw him on the subway, I said to my best friend, “I think I hate that guy, but I can’t remember why.”

ADAM:
When I saw Ava on the subway, I just thought, “Oh, interesting. I wonder if she’s single.” I walked over. She was giggling with her friend. We all had a nice hello. We were getting off at the same stop and ending up walking and catching up. She mentioned ex-husband, so I figured that was her way of hinting, “I’m available.”

AVA:
I got divorced a few years ago. It wasn’t a big deal. Got married too young, didn’t really know each other. No kids, we didn’t own a home. It wasn’t fun, per se, but it’s all good now. Adam asked for my number and texted before I even got upstairs to my apartment. I saved him in my phone as “Chris Cuomo” because they look alike. I still couldn’t remember why I didn’t like him from the past. He’s a fast talker and has a sharp tongue, and I assumed he had said something rude … and that maybe I had overreacted. That’s the best I could come up with. I texted a few friends, “Why don’t we like Adam [LAST NAME]?” No one really knew. One friend wrote, “I just know he’s a dick.”

ADAM:
On our first date, she kept saying, “I hate you … why do I hate you?” I found it cute.

AVA:
Our first date was really fun. One of my best first dates ever. We went to a cool restaurant and drank a ton of wine. I literally fell off my chair laughing at some point. He has a really great sense of humor. I went home thinking he could be the one. Tall, funny, successful, single, wanting kids … What’s not to get excited about? Oh, he told me he has a really big, no, “long” penis.

ADAM:
I seriously liked her. She’s so fun to be around. She checked all the boxes and then some. She was a great kisser.

AVA:
We started going out several nights a week. He was so into it. No games. Always making great reservations … really listening to my interests and hobbies and crafting dates to go with them. Like, I mentioned I loved modern dance and he found this underground, super-weird dance show in the Village and packed us each little flasks. I mean — great date, right? Not even being sarcastic there!

ADAM:
She baked for me a few times and brought stuff to work. She didn’t come up, but I’d meet her on my lunch break and she’d hand over these amazing brownies and cookies. I felt very lucky. I introduced her to various colleagues around the building. She’s great with people. It all felt really good.

AVA:
Meanwhile, I couldn’t remember why I hated him, but something was still there. Like, I liked him, but I couldn’t help feeling like he was also the biggest asshole. At this point, I had no reason to consider him an asshole. He was over-the-top good to me. The penis, by the way, was crazy long – but also a bit of a pencil dick. No matter.

ADAM:
We dated for about five months. I enjoyed it all. It was nice not being single, not online dating, having “someone” to bring to work functions, having “someone” to tell my mom about. I wanted it to stick. I really did!

AVA:
I don’t know what happened, but after a few months, I found myself making excuses not to hang out. I just wasn’t in the mood to see him. I wanted to watch TV or read books instead. The flame had died. So I basically cut it off, without warning. Not cool, I know. But it had only been a few months, so … I don’t know.

ADAM:
I wanted to keep seeing her. I didn’t understand the abruptness of it all. I wasn’t going to give up – I really liked her!

AVA:
I didn’t “ghost” him. Or maybe I did. I just didn’t feel like hanging out. I’m entitled to not want to hang out, right? I texted him back once a day or so, but I was also intentionally cold. I wanted him to get the message. I should have sat him down and explained that I wasn’t falling in love with him. I guess I was weak … I just wanted it to go away. I didn’t want to deal; I didn’t want to hurt him. What are you supposed to say? “It was fun, but I’m bored now, you aren’t my soul mate, have a good life!”

ADAM:
It was embarrassing. My colleagues wanted to know where she was at work events, and my mom kept asking to meet her. I texted her … aggressively.

AVA:
His texts got mean. I dreaded seeing Chris Cuomo pop up on my phone. He wrote things like “I knew you were a bitch, but I didn’t really know what an extreme bitch.” After two weeks of texts like that, I ended up blocking him. Suddenly, I remembered why I hated him back in the day. He has a vicious mean streak. It’s not like he’s going to beat me up, but he has a big mouth, a bad temper, and is capable of saying anything when he doesn’t get his way. I think years ago he had said some horrible stuff to friend of mine and that’s why we all cut him off. He can be really, really, really mean.  Before I blocked him, he texted me how ugly I am, and some other stuff too awful to mention.

ADAM:
I don’t have a mean streak. I wasn’t raised that way. I’m just tenacious.

AVA:
About a year after blocking him, I saw him again on the subway. “Fuck,” I thought. But he made light of everything, which I appreciated. Said something like, “Don’t you miss my psycho texts? Just a lil’ bit?  He walked me to my apartment and we hugged good-bye. He seemed to be really well-balanced. A small part of me wanted to give it another chance … but, um, no.

ADAM:
I was really nervous seeing her again. I liked her a lot and she dumped my ass. Who wouldn’t freak a little, confronted with all of that? Hopefully I handled it well. I’m dating someone now so I wasn’t going to ask her out AGAIN. She lost her chance. I still think she’s kind of cold, but I wish her well.

Want to tell us both sides of a breakup? Email sexdiaries@nymag.com