Breaking Up

Damn, I hate this final part of a relationship. Especially right before the ending–when you both realize what you have is terminal. There are few things worse; certainly, few things are sadder.

Endings come to fast and pass too slowly.

There’s heartache; empty feelings and pain and all of that uncomfortable awkwardness  And these dying emotions are with someone with whom you were intimate and shared a million different things secrets and aspirations.

Then suddenly, you’re wondering what you ever saw in each other.

You now only share the urge to walk away from each other.  In some cases, it’s the need to run like hell.

So, who breaks up with whom more often?? I think it’s fairly split down the middle in terms of  gender but for me personally–I am the true, Goodbye Girl. I can count on a few fingers the number of times I’ve broken up with a guy. As for counting the occasions I’ve had my heart stomped on like Peruvian grapes?  Too many to count.  I’d need a freakin’ centipede.    And what’s worse, I’m a “Gateway Girlfriend”…a marriage enabler.   If you want to meet the woman of your dreams and marry her, date me because invariably, once I fall for you, you will suddenly meet your Venus and leave me for her.

It never fails.  I’m the marijuana of romance.

So yes,  I’d say I know a thing or two about breaking up.  I know the signs.  I know what it means when you wake up one day and look within the depths of your relationship and you suddenly see more red flags than outside the Kremlin.  When you sense that unmistakable loss of interest.  He’s busier; you talk less…you see each other even less frequently.   You snap at each other.  Things bother you more.   Easily irritated.   The sings were there and this time I was emitting some of them. More on that a little later one.

But just because I’m experienced at severing ties, that doesn’t mean it ever gets easier.  It doesn’t.   No break-up is easy; women and men suffer equally, but because I’m a woman, I can only address breaking up from my gender’s viewpoint.

So, this post will be about men who leave women.  I’ll also focus on the way menfolk will resort to some old standards when it comes to conversational gambits in the final moments of a relationship’s end.   With the help of an article from Men’s Health Magazine, this post will attempt to help my Sisters of Fallopia in trying to understand and decode what some of his lines used within his exit strategy actually mean.

I love this one…it’s a classic: “It’s not you; it’s me.”
Translation: “It’s not me; it’s YOU.”

Don’t believe this line for a second, my Sisters–at least not the line as it’s uttered at face value.

Their hearts are in the right place, I suppose. About one-third of men admit that they’re lying when they blame themselves for the demise of the relationship. Of course, we know that they’re trying to soften the blow a bit, to ensure that you know you’re a great person, a caring person, a person who’s perfectly right… for someone else. After all, if you were the right one (for him), it wouldn’t matter whether his mind was somewhere in French Guyana, he’d find a way to make it work.

This is the ultimate way he can tell you that he’s just not into you. Fool yourself if you must, find solace in the “it’s not you, it’s not me” line if you have to, but just understand what it really means.

“I’m just not ready for a relationship right now.”
Translation: “Whoa baby, let’s slow this thing down!”

Even though some guys can come off as more desperate than Nick Nolte in a dry county, as a rule, they take their time testing the relationship waters. If a woman comes on too fast with talk of the future or of how she’s never felt this way before, then the man often will be likely to retreat. And he’ll retreat fast, too. It’s not that he’s not ready for a relationship; it’s just that he’s not ready to decide whether any Linkin Park should be in the second or third set of the DJ’s playlist at your reception.

I have come to the conclusion that the best thing we women can tell a guy is that he’s the center of our universe.

I have also learned that the worst thing we can tell a guy is that he’s the center of our universe.

Ladies, we need to be smarter about relationships. We need to start thinking before we act. For starters, we need to let them know we think they’re aces and that they’re important to us, then we can bake them their favorite some cookies–then leave them alone. For a while anyway.

We have GOT to learn that needy chicks turn off a guy faster than a naked Rosie O’Donnell AND do not talk to them about feelings or the extent of your current relationship. I mean no offense when I say this because it is true—but men are emotionally retarded. I love you guys and I respect you assloads, but this is the honest to Pete truth.

Women, we cannot give men more than they can handle and they just cannot handle conversations about feelings. At least, not as a rule.  I think this is pathetic, but this is the way it is…BUT if you have a guy that likes to talk about feelings, mozol to you,  he’s a rare breed indeed.

But the majority of us aren’t that lucky.  Therefore, we have to learn the difference between letting a guy know that we “want” him vs. the fact that we “need” him. These are silly mind games which I LOATHE, but we have to do it ladies.

“Can I call you sometime?”
Translation: “If I’m ever lonely and horny and there’s no other chick in sight at 3 a.m. on a Saturday night….”

Well, he may or may not be that crass, but he is trying to keep the door cracked open a bit. You know, as in easy access and then easy exit.

Allow me to explain: If he’s the one who’s dumping you, then he’s (unfairly, mind you) trying to lead you to believe that a break will strengthen the possibilities of some kind of rekindled romance in the future. If he’s the victim–the dumpee, then he’s trying to hang onto any slim chance he may have in the future with you (or possibly, one of your friends). Either way, beware the drunk-dialing ex-boyfriend. Behaviorists have actually studied the man and have concluded it’s not without its pitfalls.

Sometimes it’s best just to make a clean break, regardless of who’s on which side of the heartache.

“I still care about you.”
Translation: “Please don’t tell your friends that I’m the total asshole jerk that I really am.

Truth is, he probably does care about you–just not enough to maintain a relationship with you. He still wants you to do well; he hopes that you eventually find someone and that you get what you want in life. But what he’s also saying is, please don’t tell all your friends to cross me off their lists or yours, should nothing better come along.  The relationship may be broken, but it’s a pretty big concern that his reputation remains intact.

It’s either that or in Laurie Land anyway,  he’s attempting a preemptive strike of sorts, to prevent you from keying the shit out of his car on your way to yours,

I’m tempted to call bullshit on the “I still care about you” one.  Basically, this is where my experience differs from Mens’ Health Magazine’s take on this.  If he still cares, he’d still be with you and if he isn’t and you still care, spare yourself and stop it.  That’s been my experience.  My breakups have almost always been permanent. The guy usually had someone with whom he was already involved and in one case, “married to” by the time we actually broke up.

Tragic, huh? But true.

In my entire life as an adult, I’ve only had one relationship in which we reconnected after breaking up.

The last thing he said to me upon the end of that gut wrenching break up call was that “we’ll revisit this again” and then he hung up. I remember how loud the click was and then how deafening the dial tone was. I held the phone to my ear, trying to process yet ANOTHER life altering break-up. I eventually hung up the phone. I was distraught and I didn’t believe him for a second.  He wasn’t coming back.  That’s not the M.O. of men in my life.  But my sisters, said he’d be back, but I thought that was lip service and when he said that to me in our last conversation, I felt sure that was his way of saying, “It’s not me, it’s you”.

My heart was broken. So much so that the pieces actually clinked and clanked together when I walked.

But several months later, this man called and I swooned and he asked and we did.

Get back together, that is.

And sadly, I fear things are ending right at a year later.  My heart is breaking.

I won’t say that some relationships are meant to be; I simply won’t be that naive, but I am convinced that some relationships (and sadly, they are very few in numbers) are unique and have a special purpose. They have post scripts; second acts; a need to exist; to be at that particular moment in time–to perhaps seed something stronger and more binding down the road.

And here’s hoping that this road leads to other, more genuine people.

As for me?  I heard these song lyrics recently; “How many times can I break ’til I shatter?”

Well, I think I now know the answer to that question.   With the help of some glue, a little duct tape and special relationship Bondo, I’ll be fine.  I can’t change everything that has ever happened to me, but in some strange way, I’m grateful for all that did.   I think you have to be grateful in situations like this and I take with me, two very real positives from what we had.    Well, make that three, if you include the fact that I now know what not to do next time.  I was gullible and vulnerable, but that won’t happen again.   I won’t be so trusting; so quick to believe what I’m told and I won’t allow myself to be blind to the warning signs that were so obvious to everyone else.   People told me it was wrong and oddly scoped, but I insisted no, they were wrong.    The calender pages of my life were flying by before my eyes and that made want this one with zeal and zeal made me ridiculously oblivious.

But someone removed my blinders.   I’m almost embarrassed by what I wouldn’t let myself see in so many of them I’ve known.  On the afternoon of one break up in particular, I realized we had to call it quits because of our extreme religious differences–he thought he was God and I didn’t.

Unmitigated narcissism.

Sadly, there are a lot of liars and disingenuous manipulators out there.  People inflict pain and can’t say they’re sorry.  They’re classic emotionless, unrepentant sociopaths.  These people are destined to remain this way because they can’t change what they can’t acknowledge.  They’re also selfish, boorish and arrogant and these usurping bitches and bastards are pervasive in society.  If you have one–regardless of gender–do yourself and your heart and soul and bank account a HUGE favor and get rid of them now.   Leave, run…seek emotional asylum.  Do what I didn’t, then do what I did.

I’ve learned monumental lessons.

Color me educated.

This will be my last post for a while.  I’ll return in a few days;  a week, maybe two after I apply that “special relationship Bondo” .  And once it’s dried,  all sanded down smooth, then painted over to cover all the ugly dings that have been the result of every head-on relationship collision I’ve ever had, I’ll be back.

Thank you for your patience and understanding..



  1. Where you may be the gateway to marriage, I am the gateway to a relationship losing streak. Every man I have ever dated and dumped has gone on to have a long string of failed relationships. And one I think may have become gay. *sigh*

    I hate that fresh breakup feeling. I have to say that I am glad the dating part of my life is (hopefully) over forever.

    Use the colored duct tape for a bit of flair. I got that from Martha Stewart. Until your healing’s done and you’ve returned to us, kudos. I’ll drink a martini for you tonight, dear. *cheers*

  2. I’m so, so, so sorry to hear this LK, all I can say”Hang in there KID! And God Bless!

  3. Take care LK. This is the best breakup song ever, by one of my favorite local Pennsylvania bands, The Clarks. It’s actually very humorous and upbeat. It’s about moving on.

    “She said ‘It’s not you, I just need my space…’
    I said ‘It is me, just say it to my face'”

  4. Ah, been there, done that. I know what you mean…I’ve also met only losers…in fact, I almost married their King. Hang in there….You seem like a really strong woman and I admire you for that 🙂

  5. Hey girl – Hang in there. You loyal readers will wait for your return. Until then, take it easy on yourself. XOXOXO

  6. Happy healing, and good job on at least seeing through those crap lines! I’ve been a gateway, it’s no fun at all. Once even told that I should be flattered that I was chosen as what amounted to no more than space-filling. Ugh.

  7. Laurie,

    A few months back, I recall a rather lengthy piece wherein you pointed out numerous attributes about this guy that were driving you nuts–at least, I think this is the same guy, I have not been keeping up.

    Unless that piece was merely you having a little fun at his expense, he’d have to be awfully thick skinned–or headed–or both not to be wounded. The only alternative would be that he simply didn’t give a shit what you think–or feel. It’s also easy for a casual observer to get the impression that you were feeling pretty much the same way about him.

    I enjoy your work. Anything that cuts off the supply pisses me off. So here are my thoughts. Obviously, the lying bastard wasn’t worthy of you, and you’re better off without him. In fact, I’d tell you the same thing about most men, particularly those north of 50. We’re essentially pigs, although some of us manage to hide it better than others. Some of us read a lot of books, and pontificate. You seem to be attracted to guys like that. Think about it–what kind of healthy, loving adult male spends time with his nose in a book? An asshole–that’s what kind.

    So, get back to work here. You’re 50, short and cute (I’m guessing because I’ve never seen you) and you can write like most people wish they could write–and you are truly funny–I love your stuff, and I don’t usally bother admitting that to somebody I don’t even know. That might not seem like a big deal to you, but it is to me.

    I wish you happiness, which is a lot easier to achieve when you are not worrying about things like terminal relationships. Hell, they’re all terminal–some people just don’t have the juevos to admit it–you do, and God Bless you.

  8. Great post!
    There’s another line I’ve heard several times, usually combines with the “it’s not you, it’s me” classic: “I’m confused, I need time to think”.
    Meaning, NOW I don’t want to be with you, but to try other flavors. And again, it leaves the door open for a second try!

  9. Sorry to hear this Laurie.

    Remember that no one has a long list of “successful relationships”….so keep doing what you do.

    I would add one comment about “It’s not you, it’s me.”. While I agree with everything you say about it…I think there’s more to it. A guy who uses that line is possibly unable to understand what it is about the woman that causes him to want to break up. Perhaps the woman seems as though she has all of the right traits but it doesn’t click. I don’t say this to justify the comment. I think we spend far too much time in breaking up trying to understand and communicate the “why” when, in some cases, the participants don’t necessarily know what they are trying to verbalize.

    Just a thought…I could be wrong.

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