Relationships are funny. You meet a new person, you hit it off, and you get to know him or her, he or she becomes incredibly important to you… then, sometimes, the bloom falls off the rose.
So then you’re stuck. Maybe you let it last a little while, trying to see if things will improve, if this is just a rough patch. But sometimes it doesn’t, and all of a sudden someone who meant everything to you … becomes someone you want to smother in the middle of the night with a pillow. Their voice makes you want to drive ice picks into your brain, and the idea of them touching you simply causes your skin to crawl. Or maybe that’s just me dating the wrong people.
So you break up. You say the usual things: “It’s not you, it’s me”; “I’ve met someone else”; “I just need to focus on myself/my job/washing my hair right now”; “I think we should see other people”; “I can’t be in a relationship right now”… and my personal favourite, “I think we should just be friends.”
The “Let’s be friends”? It’s bullshit. Complete, total, utter, absolute bull-shit. Mind you, for some people, it works. I know of one couple that stayed friends after they broke up; however, they were still sleeping together, and she was still in love with him, and now that’s he moved on to another girlfriend, they’re no longer friends. But for some people, staying friends after breaking up works. These people are aliens.
Once someone begins the break up talk, it’s basically impossible to derail. I mean, what do you say to: “I think we should see other people”? “No”? I guess, “I already am” would be a bit of a surprise, but maybe a welcome one – after all, if you’re dumping someone, do you care if they’re already seeing someone? Actually, that’s a dumb question… unless it’s the reason you’re breaking up with them in the first place.
Anyhow, what I’m trying to say is that once someone initiates The Talk, it can’t be stopped; at least, not in my experience. Unless, of course, you’re the one beginning the talk; then it seems as if there’s nothing you can say to stop this snivelling, whining, desperate person clinging to your hands, begging you to change your mind… or maybe that’s just me, dating the wrong guys.
In a break up, there is basically one person left feeling more than the other, unless it’s a mutual event: something like, “You ran over my cat, we both know this should end.” But generally, one person is left with a bruised heart, while the other either still cares but has to pretend not to, or is busy leaving death threats on your answering machine to convince you they want you no longer. It’s a rough situation in which to be, regardless of which end of the stick you have.
So what do you do? Well, there’s the stereotypical approach for either gender: as a man, if you’ve been dumped, you go out to the bar with your friends, drink a few beers, malign the “bitch’s” character, drink a few more beers, then leave a drunken message on her answering machine begging her to take you back, then when she doesn’t respond in two seconds, calling her a trampy slutwhore and hanging up. The stereotypical female approach to being dumped is to gather together all of your girlfriends, watch sappy chick flicks on the VCR whilst consuming everything chocolate, salty, and/or vaguely edible in the house and crying your eyes out, then declaring that you’re an incredibly beautiful, sexy, intelligent woman and he never appreciated you anyway.
After some time passes, unless one of you has left the city or died, you’ll invariably run into one another in person. When Fate and Luck are really pissing on you, this is when you will look your worst, and they will look absolutely fahbulous, and accompanied by their new boyfriend or girlfriend. If Fate and Luck are on your side, these roles will be reversed, and you can walk away feeling great.
But if you do run into an ex-, and there is no avoiding him or her, rest assured that regardless of what happened, you are better for not being with him or her. Look back on your time with your ex- as time spent learning about yourself and being better for it; even if all you learned was, “I’ll never date another asshole like him or bitch like her again.”