Kate (L) and Lindsay (R) met in rather unusual circumstances (Picture: Lindsay Tigar)
Lindsay Tigar had just boarded a bus around 15 years ago when the driver sped off, and she went crashing down the aisle. In a heap on the floor, she looked up and locked eyes with Matt*.
The pair struck up a conversation and exchanged numbers – a meet cute fit for any romcom.
A few days later, they went on a coffee date. But rather than chatting about jobs, hobbies and travel they went straight into the ex files.
‘When he talked about Kate, she seemed perfect. Ethereal, tall, “could be ready to go out the door in five minutes”, “didn’t have to wear makeup” and “could walk fast in heels.”‘
While not the typical first-date chat, Lindsay found getting the male perspective on her recent breakup ‘refreshing,’ and hearing Matt talk about his ex felt like ‘glimpse of true love’ – something she hoped for herself one day.
Kate (L) and Lindsay (R) bonded over 10 years ago (Picture: Lindsay Tigar)
Lindsay, who had recently moved to New York, says, ‘I’d decided that I’d made my first male friend in the city that was purely platonic.’
However, things didn’t quite go to plan, and a month later, they started sleeping together. ‘We had agreed when we started having sex that it would be casual, and then it grew from there until we were in a relationship,’ she says. ‘Though I’m still unsure if he called it that when I wasn’t around.’
Young and swept away by this handsome, successful man, Lindsay says she ‘wore rose-coloured glasses for the most part.’
‘I was too young to really see how horrible of a person he was. He was constantly comparing me to Kate since we were both writers, and apparently, similar in a lot of ways.
‘He had a way of comparing and pointing out all sorts of girls to me. We would be dining and he would point to a pretty girl and say “great talent here.”.
‘After we would have sex, he’d sometimes point out the moves that Kate also did that I seemed to enjoy, or mention that we had the same wild spirit in the sack.’
But then, after months of hearing so much about the incredible Kate, Lindsay got an email from her.
‘I was flabbergasted to receive the email!’ says Lindsay. ‘I think my jaw hit the ground. I never expected she would reach out to me – and when she did, it felt like a celebrity emailing me because he had talked about her so often.’
It turns out that Kate had found Lindsay via the blog she wrote at the time, Love Addict NYC.
Lindsay says she was flabbergasted to receive an email from Kate (Picture: Lindsay Tigar)
Kate explains: ‘Matt had been trying to convince me that we should start dating again, through a series of odd gestures, one of which was telling me (as proof of how much he missed me) that he’d started seeing a girl who was “a writer just like me, but younger.” Which I don’t recommend as a tactic, by the way.
‘He boasted that she’d been writing about him, with enough detail that about 60 seconds of Googling led me to Lindsay’s blog.
‘As I read her posts, she was clearly falling for this guy, at one point worrying that she’d never live up to this phantom ex-girlfriend. I thought about all the time I’d spent over the years worrying about the exes of various guys I’d dated, and had sort of an epiphany about what a waste that was.
‘I thought, “let me just reach out and reassure this girl that this is so not something to ever worry about, with this person or most any other”.
‘Plus, it was clear that she had no idea what kind of person Matt really was, and I got the impression that she was in over her head a bit in a relationship like this. I wanted her to have someone who could help her understand what she was experiencing’.
Lindsay (L) and Kate (R) quickly hit it off (Picture: Lindsay Tigar)
And surprisingly, over email, the new girlfriend and the ex hit it off.
Lindsay says: ‘I was genuinely thrilled to talk to her and have some clarity.
‘She went on to give me advice about comparing myself to a boyfriend’s exes, and reassured me that she wasn’t this rockstar that Matt had brainwashed me to believe.
‘I told Matt she reached out but I wouldn’t reveal what we talked about.’
Eventually, Lindsay and Kate arranged to meet up at a wine bar. ‘When she walked in, I thought she was immediately as beautiful (if not prettier!) than I imagined her, had seen on Facebook and heard about from Matt,’ says Lindsay.
‘We hit it off right from the start and talked for hours. It felt like meeting a new wonderful friend.’
Kate agrees: ‘I thought Lindsay was so sweet – very new to the city, and very optimistic, and very full of ideas about what falling in love in New York was going to be like.
‘My family is from here, I was born here, so I never really had that “brand new to the city” experience. She was putting out a lot of confidence I had a feeling she didn’t really feel, but was clearly a really genuine person for all that, and I felt protective of her.
‘We also did, in fact, have a lot in common – Matt was right about that!’
While the pair had a great time, friends of theirs couldn’t quite wrap their heads around this blossoming friendship.
‘My friends thought it was insane,’ says Lindsay. ‘Most of them were curious about why in the world she would reach out to me.
They’ve been by each other’s sides through big milestones (Picture: Lindsay Tigar)
‘I think part of me knew, deep down, he was bad news – and seeing Kate as successful and happy after ending things with him gave me hope for my own future.’
Kate adds: ‘My friends thought it was incredibly weird. But we all felt it was worth it only because he would undoubtedly be beside himself the entire time wondering what I was saying about him!’
Lindsay says that meeting Kate made her question her relationship with Matt.
‘She obviously had an opinion that I should get out as fast as I could,’ says Lindsay.
‘And as Matt became increasingly untrustworthy and overall, a bad boyfriend, I took those rose coloured glasses off.
‘Over time, Kate became someone I could trust more and more. Our friendship blossomed and I started to look forward to seeing her.’
Lindsay and Matt had been dating for nearly a year when she finally ended things.
‘I was glad she decided to prioritise and trust herself,’ says Kate of the break up.
And despite Lindsay’s romantic relationship with Matt ending, her friendship with Kate continued to flourish. Even without Matt, they had a lot in common.
Kate says: ‘Lindsay is really good at cultivating a community of people around her. She’s always getting people together for parties and dinners and I got to know her friends, and we all got along.
Kate was a bridesmaid at Lindsay’s wedding (Picture: Lindsay Tigar)
‘Over birthday parties and drinks dates and a disastrous attempt at a book club, we genuinely became friends.’
Now, over 10 years since the women connected, they’re still close friends.
Kate says: ‘We’ve been through it all at this point – bad dates, a few good ones, job changes, fights, loss, love – you name it!
‘We stayed close through an international move (only real friends can have fun eating sardines in an out-of-gas rental car by the side of the highway in Portugal!), a global pandemic, Lindsay’s relocation out of New York to North Carolina, marriage and children.
‘I was a bridesmaid in Lindsay’s wedding and she was with me when I got ready the morning of my wedding. Now we’re raising kids via text and FaceTime!
‘Watching my newborn baby take a perfectly relaxed nap on that 20-something girl I met in a wine bar downtown is an incredible gift, and I can’t really imagine a life shift we couldn’t manage at this point.’
Lindsay agrees: ‘Kate made the journey to North Carolina in the pandemic to be at my baby shower (and ended up getting snowed in for an extra day!) and changed her travel plans last-minute to be present at my pandemic wedding.
‘I became a mom in 2022, and Kate recently had her son, so we’ve connected on a whole new level.’
The women say that they wouldn’t be who they are without the other.
‘Lindsay reminds me that my best self is more like her,’ says Kate. ‘Kinder, less cynical, more open, more earnest. I think we’ve been good for each other over the years, rubbing off on each other a little.
‘I’m always so proud when I see Lindsay get tough and stand up for herself and she takes endless delight in finding opportunities to poke me in my soft underbelly and make me feel my feelings.’
Lindsay says: ‘Kate is my voice of reason, sounding board and go-to person when I need advice I value and trust.
Now they’re a big part of each other’s lives (Picture: Lindsay Tigar)
‘My husband and I recently wrote our will and I asked her if she would be second in line to pull the plug on life support if my husband was too upset to make a smart decision. She agreed with no hesitation. She’s the absolute best auntie to my daughter.
‘It’s wonderful to have a friend who feels like family, even though how we met was an interesting circumstance.’
Now, the pair see each other every few months, and check in almost every day. They’re also planning a summer holiday next year with their families.
‘I think our friendship is a reminder to tune and and listen to your gut, and to treat your friendships as equal in importance to your romantic relationships,’ says Kate. ‘By choosing each other and leaning into what felt solid and real, we each got a lifelong friend instead of six more months with a crappy boyfriend.’
Lindsay, who has recently co-founded Mila & Jo Media, a media agency focusing on motherhood content, says: ‘Choose women who will say your name in a crowded room, who aren’t afraid to speak up and say when something isn’t right, and who offer genuine advice.
‘We’ve always had one another’s backs – and continue to be there for one another.
‘And truly, if I could go back and tell my 20-something self anything, it’d be that I’d meet one of my best friends through the worst relationship I ever had, and while it’d be worth it, never-ever date some jerk who wants to tell you about his ex-girlfriend. It’s just gross.’
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‘I met my best friend through one of the worst relationships I’ve ever had.’