Each month, we send two exes on a date to see what happens
“I’ll always have a soft spot for him” Holly, 20, is an apprentice project manager from Aylesbury
I wasn’t looking for a relationship when I first met Ryan. But when we were introduced by mutual friends after a service at our local church, I was instantly attracted to him. He was outgoing and chatty, making friends with everyone. I’m quite shy, but his warm presence and big grin made me feel comfortable.
Later that week, he asked me out for coffee. It was May 2018 and we’d both just finished our A levels, so we spent the summer together. Ryan taught me so much about myself. I hadn’t realised before that the thing I appreciate most in a relationship is quality time. He also brought out a confident side of me that I didn’t know existed. The more time we spent together, the more I fell for him.
We were adventurous as a couple – one of my favourite memories is swimming in the lakes in Oxford after we’d finished our exams. But the little things meant just as much: singing in the car to the songs we loved or Ryan bringing me flowers when he knew I was feeling stressed.
Our relationship ended after a year when Ryan landed an acting job in Toronto. I was pursuing an apprenticeship in the UK, and after a tough conversation we agreed that long-distance wouldn’t work.
We didn’t keep in touch, so seeing Ryan after 16 months made me nervous. We reminisced and shared how upset we felt when it ended. It definitely brought back past feelings; I’ll always have a soft spot for him.
“The chemistry and energy between us is still there” Ryan, 20, is an actor from Aylesbury
I hadn’t been to church in a while when Holly and I met – so I was glad I decided to go that day! I thought she was extremely attractive, with a cute smile and bright blue eyes, and could see that a lot of other people around us thought the same, which secretly made me want to win her over even more.
We exchanged numbers and I decided to go for it and ask her to meet up. Before I knew it, we were spending almost all of our summer together. One day we spent 10 hours alone on a hill in the middle of the countryside. We had a picnic, got drunk and eventually got sunburnt and chased away by cows – but it was perfect!
After around four months, we had our first falling out – it was a drunken disagreement over nothing.
A few days later, Holly wrote me a card with a really thoughtful apology. That’s when I realised we were serious about each other.
When we broke up, I wondered if we were making the right decision. But with the time constraints of my job and us being in different parts of the world, I eventually realised it was for the best.
I was excited to see Holly again on the date, and it felt just like old times. The chemistry and energy between us is definitely still there. We went bowling and things got competitive! But I’d say the vibe was more friendly than anything else.