Enjoying a night out with friends on Sept. 22, Jennifer Aniston dined at NYC’s Monkey Bar — not far from her ex John Mayer, who ate at Gemma restaurant in the East Village. She also wasn’t far from John’s mind: Pals tell OK! he wanted to be sharing a table for two with Jen.

“He’s been trying to get back into her life,” a friend of the actress tells OK! “It started with flirty texts and e-mails, then [progressed to] calls.”

But Jen, 40, who split from John, 31, in March, is wary. “She’s keeping him at arm’s length,” her pal says, adding that John has even begged Jen to let him join her on her upcoming vacation to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. “He tried to convince Jen they’d have a blast.”

But the actress has made it clear she’s traveling solo. “She wants to get away from Hollywood culture,” says the friend.

Meanwhile, a pal of John’s tells OK! that the singer is happily single, but admits “John and Jen remain close.”

Although Jen doesn’t plan to return to work until January, she has one pressing task during her hiatus: learning to play the guitar for her next film project, The Goree Girls.

Hmm… where could she find a skilled musician to help her with that?

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