Dear Wayne and Wanda,
This will be my first holiday season I’ve spent single in a few years. I’m trying not to let it get to me, but despite my best efforts, it is. I feel like everywhere I look, I see couples. I keep thinking about my ex and how things ended. After more than two years, he basically said he needed space and things weren’t working out for him — really vague, no real info to help me improve or fix things. I spend most days wondering what I did wrong and wondering if I could get him back. As Christmas nears, it all feels harder to deal with.
But there is maybe light at the end of the tunnel. When we were still together, we booked a trip to Las Vegas for the New Year, along with a bunch of friends. When we broke up, he was very clear that he planned to still go and didn’t expect me to cancel either. We will all be sharing an Airbnb.
Right now this trip is the one thing I am really looking forward to. We always had so much fun when we traveled and I feel like this could be my chance to win him back and remind him of what he is missing. He has to miss me as much as I miss him. I texted him the other day to remind him I was still going and he said, “Cool, see you there!” So he didn’t tell me not to go.
But my mom, my sister, and a couple of friends I’ve confided in are all telling me not to go. My sister in particular got really angry about it and said I’m wasting my time and should move on. They say I’m building up my hopes — and maybe I am. But isn’t it worth a shot? We were together almost three years, I feel like I need to at least try and repair things. Also it would be way worse to sit here wondering what he’s doing while he’s there partying it up. How can I explain to them that this is an important step I need to take?
Well, there aren’t many worse places to imagine an ex loafing the night away than in Sin City. No doubt, visions of booze, showgirls, strippers and gambling will flood your imagination. And I understand you’ve dreamed up an alternative outcome in which, rather than being dazzled by the bright city lights and all its charms, your ex is overwhelmed with nostalgic adoration that ushers him back into your ready arms just in time for a kiss before the majestic thrall of the Bellagio fountain.
I will be blunt: that’s not going to happen. In fact, I’d venture to say that while you’re envisioning the most proven seduction tactics to lure him back come the Vegas trek, he’s trying to think of polite evasive maneuvers so that his pining ex-girlfriend doesn’t crush his single-guy vibe. If you go to Vegas, you’re simply prolonging the agony of witnessing your ex transitioning smoothly into his new life as a single guy.
That doesn’t mean he maybe doesn’t miss you, kind of, sometimes. But he hasn’t asked for you back, he didn’t even elaborate on why he was ending the relationship, and he’s shown zero interest in expelling any information or effort that would help you substantially repair things. It is, very clearly, time to move on.
Breakups are hard, and breakups near holidays are harder, but this is the time to create new traditions for yourself and look to your support network on hand. It sounds like you have a loving squad of folks who want to see you heal and are willing to help. Rather than fly hundreds of miles to be continually disappointed by the guy who bailed on you, look close to home for love and friendship that could make this holiday season a special one yet.
Well, Vegas is all about gambling, and you’re betting on a real long shot if you take this trip with hopes of reconciliation. Sin City was built by dreamers like you who ignore the odds, red flags and concerns of loved ones in an obsessive, and often failing, pursuit of the big jackpot.
Then again, if you don’t play the game, you can’t win. So I’m telling you there’s a chance? Yes, I am. And I’m the kind of person who like a little action and often goes all in because the rare opportunity for that special winning high often outweighs the devastating low of striking out. And more than likely, you will strike out and spend this trip sad or mad or all of the above. Can you handle those odds? Can you handle betting it all and losing? If yes, then place your bets.
Now, your ex has much better odds because he’s got an ace in the hole: You! If he strikes out on the Strip, he knows he can take you to the bank … or in this case, the condo bedroom. Your text communication confirmed it – you’re obviously still into him, which he can leverage as insurance. It gives him a win-win situation, which never happens in Vegas.
And always remember that clever and classic marketing line, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” — even if you two do hook up in Vegas, the good times probably won’t continue after that always painful and long hungover flight home.