Friday, November 20, 2009

Pulling the Plug

I’ve been dumped.

After a certain age…say…14...I’m guessing we all have.

Via email, phone call, Post-It or just the failure to respond to communication. These methods are easy, distant, avoidant and thus preferred. Let’s face it, the last time you probably broke up with someone in person was in the 2nd grade cafeteria because they wouldn’t trade their Little Debbie snack cake for your carrots.

But in the end, its all the same thing - Rejection.

The statement either declared or implied is “I just doesn’t want to be with you.“ For whatever reason, in whatever context - it is always a bit of an ego blow. Because, let’s face it: more often than not, it is, in fact, you and ultimately, you’re not what they want.

And it’s fine - or at least it will be 3 glasses in.

After all, it’s the boring ones, the safe ones who never put themselves out there that never get hurt or know how to deal with the rejection, which is, admittedly, a useful life skill.

It’s a life skill and an art form that I, perhaps not so proudly, have mastered. I am the queen of the ’move on’. Being possession of such a cultivated talent you’d think I’d be able apply it more readily. Utilize my experience in a constructive manner. You would be wrong.

Sadly, and with much frustration, I seem unable to initiate a drama free break up. Then again, does such a thing even exist?

Case and point, my break up with Army in July - disaster. In fact, so disastrous that he recently de-friended me on Facebook along with an email containing the explanation that I’m a commitment phobic, heartless bitch and he never wants to hear from me again. Lovely.

On the receiving end, I was seeing LAX, off and on for a little bit…at least he had the decency to write me an email explaining why he hadn’t been in touch. That he’d met someone else and it had “progressed quickly” - my translation, she slept with him on the second date, whereas I had not so much as permitted him to steal second base after date 6ish??

So why am I so bad at the break up? Men seem to have it down to a science. I have no hesitations about not returning a phone call or even escaping out the back door if a blind date makes me wish I were back in that 2nd grade cafeteria purely for the sophisticated conversation.

Rejection after the first or even second date leaves no scars, only minor bruises. But it’s the not calling or not picking up the phone after the third date…or the fifth. When you’ve gotten to know someone just enough to care whether or not you hurt them, even if you can’t see a future with them in it.

Because at that point, the rejection isn’t ‘we have no chemistry’ or ‘I don’t like the wine you ordered’ or whatever other petty reasons we find to dismiss someone within the first 5 minutes. By this point, its more personal, it goes deeper.

So how do you do it? What is the most humane? The adult approach - be straightforward? Leave no doubt? Or are you a fan of the disappearing act? Stop picking up the phone, change your phone number, possibly your address? Hide in your apartment and pretend no one’s home until the big, bad, scary relationship seeking man goes away?

Personally I’m a fan of the fizzle, which lets the relationship die a kind, slow death. The fizzle takes the dying relationship off life support and basically lets it go peacefully, quietly without any drama, fuss or ceremony.

The problem is that this approach doesn’t work so well on the persistent types of men. And frankly sometimes, even when the relationship is diagnosed as terminal, I’m not always ready to pull the plug.
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