The sculptor from Lisbon wants to have lunch

He's my ex, and I told him I'm in a new relationship, but ...

Published February 11, 2011 1:20AM (EST)

Dear Cary,

So, I have this complex problem that I desperately need help with! Harry, my current boyfriend, and I have been together for about 10 months, now. We've been getting on really well, and just like any other couple, we've had our ups and downs. Recently, we've been talking about getting married (my first, his second), and making these types of plans has gotten me pretty excited!

However, a couple of weeks ago, I got an e-mail from an ex-boyfriend, Stefan, out of the blue. Usually, I wouldn't answer crazy ex-boyfriend messages, but Stefan was different. He's a sculptor from Lisbon -- and we met when I used to live in Portugal. We dated for about a year and half over there, and when I was offered my current position here in Boston, we both decided to move to the States. He had lived in the States before for about six years, so we thought it wouldn't be a major transition.

So, we dated for almost another two years in the States, when little by little, Stefan got extremely homesick and depressed. He also wasn't selling a lot of pieces during this time, and I think that added to the stress. Anyway, he wanted to go back home to Lisbon. He missed everything about Portugal, and I couldn't blame him. I tried to get relocated back to Portugal; however, it was during the beginning of the recession, and I couldn't get a voluntary transfer. So, over the next few months, Stefan and I got into heated arguments about my quitting my job and taking off with him to Portugal, which I just couldn't do. I love my work ... Long story short, he went back, I stayed, and we broke up.

It was a hard breakup. I mean, Stefan and I just melded together, and it was such a unique experience that I thought I would never have again.

Anyway, I later met Harry, my current mate, and like I said before, we're having a great time. It's a different relationship than with Stefan -- Harry's a corporate man -- but it's been really fun (and hard) at times.

So, I get this e-mail from Stefan saying that he is planning to move back to Boston He was offered some academic position here (I believe he sought it out), and he plans to take it. I tell him congratulations (and I also mention about Harry) and that I hope his Boston experience will be much better than the other time.

He then writes back that the only reason he's moving back is that he misses my friendship. He wants to apologize for walking out on me two years ago! He said that he shouldn't have done it, and that it has bothered him ever since. He also said that he doesn't want to steal me away from Harry or get romantically involved with me, but he feels that (his exact words) he was a much better man when we were friends. He's coming here in about a month, and he wants to have lunch.

I don't know whether to accept his invite or not. I asked Harry if he would be bothered if I had lunch with him, and he just told me to be careful and supply him with a full rundown after the meal (he's a good guy!). I'm tempted not to go because I don't know if Stefan (or even myself) can just be "friends." But, if I don't meet up with him, I feel that I might pass up this great opportunity to rediscover and connect with such a passionate old soul.

I Have to Make a Decision!

Dear Have to Make a Decision,

The sculptor from Lisbon wants you back.

Do you want him back?

I think you do.

That's the short answer.

But if you like long answers, there's more.

But you don't have to.


OK. Don't say I didn't warn you.

I know I have an unconscious and I know it is at work night and day preventing me from doing the little daily things one must do to hold one's head up high and I have tried having a life coach and therapists and using the Covey day planner, writing in my daily activities to align them with my goals and I have tried scheduling my day out and I have made collages and have repeated affirmations expressing my truest, innermost goals but still when the nurse practitioner tells me my right ear is full of wax and I need to go buy this stuff called Debrox to clear out the wax and that my hearing is perfect and that any problems I may report have nothing to do with my early years as a rock musician and rock journalist and heavy drinking hanging out near the right-stage loudspeakers and standing with my right ear to the drummer, none of this has much effect as I daily intend to but do not actually go to Walgreen's to get the stuff because deep down I'm still afraid of doctors and afraid of medicines especially where my ears are concerned.

So what I'm saying -- the preceding sentence was 199 words  and may be a record but who's counting -- what I'm saying is that we know what we want and we will do what we have to do to get what we want even if in order to get what we want we must keep our true motives hidden from ourselves and others.

I am reading between the lines. You are tired of Harry. That's what it sounds like. It is rude and often incorrect to pretend to know another's mind. But I think you know, deep in your heart, what will happen if you have lunch with your sculptor ex-boyfriend from Lisbon. You secretly want this to happen. You are secretly bored with your good-guy boyfriend Harry. So if Stefan will only arrange your meeting so it is almost believable that it was not your fault that you two ended up alone together and accidentally drank too much and one thing led to another then what you both want to happen will happen.

If you truly do not want it to happen, then don't have lunch with him.

But I think you want it to happen.

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By Cary Tennis

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