both sides of a breakup

Their Relationship Was ‘Too Suffocating’ for Him

Illustration: Jeni Zhen

In “Both Sides of a Breakup,” the Cut talks to exes about how they got together and why they split up. Ivy, 37, and Trevor, 42, work together at a production company, which is where everything in their relationship began and ended.

Ivy: When I interviewed in his department — we work for a company like Netflix, but not Netflix — I noticed him immediately, even before they brought me into his office to meet him directly. He’s a tall, confident man with a swagger that just sucks you right in.

Trevor: I remember thinking, “Oh my, that is a beautiful woman.” And then going back to work. I had a girlfriend at the time! And my girlfriend was no one you wanted to mess with — she worked for a politician in Washington, D.C.

Ivy: I got the job, which is as senior as his job is, and set my eyes on him. I did not care he had a girlfriend. I heard she was a lobbyist or something and I was like, “Whatever! Boring!” That man was to be mine. I had a few long-term relationships before all this with Trevor. Both guys broke my heart, but in hindsight both guys weren’t worth my value. Trevor was a higher-caliber person than my exes. No matter what happened between us, that much is true.

Trevor: I guess I thought Ivy was a little … um … annoying? She would flirt very aggressively and it made me nervous because we worked together. In the meantime, my relationship with my girlfriend was ending because she was married to her job and we never saw each other. Basically, Ivy and I started hooking up seconds after it was over.

Ivy: After work we went to a midtown steakhouse, had a few martinis and … well … we fucked, on our first date. It was an amazing night that I can still feel, head to toe.

Trevor: I wouldn’t call it a date, but the first night we hung out with me as a single man, we had a lot of fun. A lot of fun.

Ivy: I am unashamed to admit that I chased him. I worked every angle. I came to work in sexy outfits. I played games. I ignored him when I had to. I seduced him when I had to. I was totally in love with him, yet totally in control. This went on for months. I made sure he never had time to see anyone else. I persisted. I persisted like hell.

Trevor: Look. I have a very busy job. And I like women. I will be honest with anyone who asks about both things. Ivy is amazing — honestly, she is knock-out gorgeous, men fall over themselves for her on the street. And she’s smart and cool and all that. But, at the time, I was just into my work and having fun. I was always truthful about that. If you want to have fun, I’m in. But that’s all. The D.C. girl was an exception, I guess —  but she never thought I was good enough for her, I think. I think she’ll end up with someone rich or famous.

Ivy: I turned 35. I made reservations at my favorite restaurant for me and Trevor. I sent him a link to a necklace I wanted for my birthday. I invited friends to join us for drinks. And suddenly I opened my damn eyes. I was like — What the hell? Why am I planning all this for myself? I felt pathetic. Later that night at the dinner, I told Trevor that whatever we had was going to have to end.

Trevor: Oh, her birthday night. That was dramatic. All I remember is that she expressed wanting more from me, and I was like: All right, let’s try it. You want to be my girlfriend? I was half-joking, if I’m being honest.

Ivy: He seriously looked like he was going to cry when I said it was over between us. I saw a completely different side of him. He was vulnerable, and sensitive, and crazy loving. He was like, “Come on, let’s give it a real shot. Let’s go for it, babe.” You can imagine how happy it made me … We had great sex that night, and I loved waking up in his arms. It felt so right! He was my boyfriend, finally!

Trevor: The next few days were weird. Ivy was hanging around me at work even more, if you can believe it. In my office, and if not at work, every second she’d be texting or calling. It was very intense. It was a little trippy to see how one romantic conversation could turn into a full-blown relationship. I guess I didn’t realize how meaningful my words were at her birthday dinner.

Ivy: So here I am, thinking he’s my fucking boyfriend and he’s not even texting me back. I was like, Am I losing my mind here? Did that conversation really happen? Did we NOT make a commitment to each other?

Trevor: I think we were “boyfriend/girlfriend,” as Ivy would put it, for maybe two weeks. We’d been hooking up for a year, but we only dated “officially” for two weeks. In a nutshell, it was way too suffocating for me.

Ivy: Trevor was legit the worst boyfriend ever. I dumped his ass after a month because he just sucked at being in a relationship and it wasn’t going anywhere. He was not present, not anything. We had sex less when we were dating than when we were just hooking up! I walked into his office one day and said, “It’s over. You blew it. Your loss.”

Trevor: She was like, “You’re going to regret this” and all that. And I have to say, she was very sexy and adorable in that moment. I agreed to whatever she was saying and then I gave it an hour. I walked into her office and said, “Ivy, can we still please be friends?” I sincerely hoped the answer would be yes. She said she’d think about it. But I think we both knew it was a yes.

Ivy: At the end of the day, I always liked Trevor. I tried to love him and tried to get him to love me, but we — our story never went there. Still, I always really liked him as a person and I still do. One year later we are both great friends. He is single, playin’ around, and I am in a serious relationship and hope to be engaged soon.

Trevor: Everyone in my life is pairing off and starting families. I would like to get myself on that path … I just have to focus on what I really want. I’m happy for Ivy. And good luck to her new man.

Their Relationship Was ‘Too Suffocating’ for Him