When he’s the one who calls it quits.

City of Toronto 2010 – 2019 Capital Budget and Plan November 3, 2009

You know what sucks? Getting dumped. Sometimes it sucks because you are deeply in love with someone and you just can’t stand the idea of spending a second without them, sometimes it is because you think you can fix your problems if only you had the chance, but mostly it sucks because he got to it first!

As much as your heart may or may not be breaking, being dumped is a rotten cherry atop a shit sundae. Why? Because somehow being dumped signals failure. You know that when people ask for an explanation you will use the its not my fault lines such as “we decided not to see eachother anymore” or “it wasn’t working out” to save face when all anyone wants to know is “who dumped whom?!”

I’m reminded of my pal George Costanza’s Preemtive Break Up: “A preemptive breakup. This is an incredible idea. I got nothing to lose. We either break up which she would do anyway but at least I go out with some Dignity”. And wouldn’t we all like to go with a little bit of dignity? So where do we draw the line between a preemptive breakup and knowing when it is time to call it quits?

I guess the solution is one of two things: either you decide to end it – foregoing any future possibility of ifs, ands or buts, and totally own that decision, or you stick it out ’til the bitter end. If you chose door #2 you probably now despise everything humanly possible about that person – but you’re sure. If you did it a la George, well…. congratulations, I guess?

**Awkward 7 month break in thought process: I started this blog in the summer of 2008. I then left it, intending to finish – but never did. It is now January 2009.

Perhaps my lapse in writing about dating is indicative of a fear of commitment? Or maybe it is just laziness? Possibly it is because shortly after starting this blog to appease a friend who was sticking pins in a voodoo doll of her ex, and I was fed up with yet another failed internet dating experience, or maybe it was just laziness. But I am back.

Also, since the introduction of this blog, I entered into a long-term relationship. Scary, I know. For anyone who knows me, you’ll know that this is not my forte. I’m a sprinter, not a saunterer. I start hard, go fast, and end quickly. So what has changed?

It is hard to say? Maybe it was jsut time? Maybe it was my new found self-awareness ? Maybe it is the perfect guy (yeah, that kind of cheese makes me want to vomit too). Or maybe it was just the realization that George Costanza was saved my an envelope poisoning and is likely not the best dating role-model.

The preemptive breakup, or any other preemptive relationship reaction, is dangerous. It is so easy to run because you might fail, but as it turns out, that kind of sucks. Enter cliches: “it is better to have loved and lost, then never loved at all”, “Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain, But I’d have had to miss the dance”, “Working hard, or hardly working?”. (Ok. That last one isn’t even a little bit relevant, but it is high on my list of pet peeves and tickles the same gag reflex as the rest of them). More importantly, if you’re prone to running in a relationship, you’re probably prone to running in the rest of your life.

The best thing that I have learned in the past 6 months is not that relationships work because you’re perfect, he’s perfect, and everything that was meant to be, is. What I learned is that relationships are great because you get to practice your life skills in an environment where you get forgiven over and over again because that other person loves you (or likes regular sex, at the very least). When else in life do you get to enter a situation where both parties have everything to lose, and they still choose to be there?

So I guess what I am saying is that the decision to break up is hard, and it only gets harder the deeper you get. My aunt likes to tell me that my grandfather told her that “you should only get married if you have to” (meaning if you can’t think of any reason not to). The most simple criteria I’ve ever heard (from a very smart source) is: “Any time things get tough, I think about whether or not they would be easier without her. Everytime the answer is no.” Nuff said.

But if you do find yourself in the situation where you know you’re about to get the boot, be sure to do it first. If you can’t get your words in first at least be the first one to get to facebook.

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