Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Cheap Cop-Out of "Let's Be Friends"

[Note: On the LiveJournal homepage, they pose "Writer's Block" questions that act as prompts for a blog post if you're looking for a topic to write about. I don't usually answer them (let's face it - I can think of plenty to write about on my own), but today's topic actually grabbed my attention. Since I don't advertise my LiveJournal blog (it's where I like to be anonymous and geeky), I have decided to post my thoughts on this subject here because there may be some Real Life peeps that may benefit from my musings. What can I say? I'm a writer - I think everyone is entitled to my opinion. Important points are bolded.]

Writer's Block Topic: Do you stay in touch with your former romantic partners? Have most of your break-ups been amicable or messy?

I haven't had so many actual "break-ups" (in the traditional sense), but I've had some hefty romantic disappointments that have felt like break-ups. And it's always been the guy doing the actual breaking up. If I were a sane person, I would count myself lucky that I've never had a big blow-up-style break-up. Alas, I am not sane and I wish that I had more experience with the nuclear-type break-ups to draw upon because I think this weak, awkward "let's be friend" crap is just as bad, if not worse.

Personally, I never want to do the "let's stay friends" thing with a guy that I've dated. Mostly because at some point in the relationship, I've probably imagined what it would be like if it was permanent and more often than not, I get attached to the idea of the permanence. (Sad, I know. I don't know how other people avoid doing that). I wish I didn't because it sucks. Usually, I can just ignore the guy and go on with life. But the really bad part is when HE continues to keep up the "friends" BS and I don't know how to tell him to knock it off without being completely bitchy (these are the times I truly hate having a conscience). Every time I get a phone call from him or an email or a Facebook message or I see him in real life, it reminds me of that happy, giddy "holy crap, this could be THE ONE" feeling and I'm reminded how everything really turned out and I feel embarrassed and idiotic. So, while he may think that it's okay that we be "friends," I honestly would prefer that he never make contact with me again. To the result that when I do hear from him, I'm not very nice. Then, I feel even worse because I know he was just trying to be kind and I threw it back in his face.

The key thing to remember: The worst phrase in the English language is "Let's be friends" because all it is is a pathetic attempt to soften the blow that would probably be better in the long run if he just kicked me to the curb in the cruelest way possible. That way, I don't beat myself up into a bloody pulp when I do treat him like scum when he calls or emails and I'll feel better about moving on because he never liked me anyway, the bastard.

The best advice I can give to a guy that wants to break it off with me is this: Just be abrupt and tell me you don't ever want to see me again. Emulate the Band-aid method - it's a bit more painful, but it's fast and done with. Don't worry, I'm a big girl. I'll eventually get over it and be better for it (I might even come to a point where I don't completely hate your guts). Don't feel like you have be bestest-best-buds with me just because you think it somehow makes everything okay in the short-term. In reality, it doesn't. All it does is make life more awkward for the both of us. To be honest, there are some situations I really haven't completely healed over because I feel like I have to be "friends" and I just can't handle that right now (if ever). "Friends" just prolongs the suffering.

I promise - If you let me down hard, I won't write nasty things about you online, I won't deliberately wreck your car, I won't prank call you in the middle of the night, I won't sic my dog on you, I'll make my dad put the shotgun down (I don't know - what do harpy-shrewish-women-scorned-in-love do nowadays?) I may whine to my sisters and my mom and my friends and I may eviscerate you in my pen-and-paper journal that I keep hidden in my room, but that's just for therapeutic purposes and not to be shared beyond that (keep in mind that what you don't know won't hurt you). After some time (how much time is dependent upon the situation), my reason and logic will return and I will be a sensible person once again, but that can't happen if you keep showing up just to remind me you just want to be "friends" (if it's truly, honestly an accident that we happened to meet at the grocery store or whatever, that's forgivable. But even semi-constant contact through email or invitations to go to group activities, etc. is pushing it. I don't care if you're commenting on my Facebook status update about the weather - go take a quiz about which Disney princess you are). Just let me have my time to heal and if we ever meet up again, it might just be a pleasant encounter. I also promise that I will do the same and not contact you. I've probably already deleted your phone number from my contact list anyway.

Does this make me sound a heartless shrew? Perhaps. But it's also good incentive to never date (which is another topic for another day - maybe I'll submit that as a Writer's Block question).

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