April 7, 2009

It’s a Good Thing My Apartment Isn’t Glass

Posted in *cringe*, Advice I have no business giving, The Aaaarrrghhhhh!, The WTF at 9:11 am by Dagny Taggart

I’m starting to understand why some people just give up on relationships altogether.  Because frankly, most relationships don’t work out.  Let’s say I was dating someone right now, and that relationship was one of the twenty-six.

Even then, I’ve probably dated* a dozen people since I started such shenanigans, and thus, most of my relationships didn’t work out.

And some of my relationships have not worked out in pretty spectacular fashion.  There was the guy who had all but moved in, who called me at work to break up with me on a Tuesday, and then didn’t actually leave the apartment until that Saturday, when he could get a truck to take the big-screen TV he’d been sleeping on the couch to protect.

There was the guy who told me, on my birthday, that I was a horrible human being and that he hoped nothing good would ever happen to me.

There was the guy who, having figured out just how susceptible I was to guilt, proceeded to torture me under the guise of “friendship” for three months – well after we’d both started dating other people.

And those are just a couple of my experiences.  I’ve witnessed passive-aggressive text wars, both ends of violence, been the (noncompliant) subject of a revenge seduction plot, and listened to the baffling logic of the formerly coupled.

An example of flawed logic?

Once you’re broken up, you have the right to expect your ex to take your feelings into consideration when deciding what hobbies to maintain and what bars to frequent.

The truth?

You’re broken up.  Unless you’ve both agreed to be friends, and you’ve talked about what expectations you can have for each other, you don’t get to expect anything, anymore.  So something’s happening, and you don’t want to be in that situation anymore?  Be a grownup and fix it yourself, instead of whining about how unfair the other person is being.  Jesus!

I have two rules for these situations:

1)  Do not, under any circumstances, let someone else’s behavior goad you into doing something of which you won’t be proud, later.

2)  When thinking about whether a relationship should progress to the next level, think about what this person might be like, if you broke up with them.  Only date those you feel fairly confident WON’T be infantile.**

Now that I’ve vented my spleen, so to speak, feel free to share.  What’s the most appallingly immature post-breakup behavior you’ve witnessed?

*Note that “dating” requires that the relationship had progressed to a certain level, not merely going on a date or two.
**  Note that this is where the stick-frame nature of my apartment’s construction comes in handy, since I’ve clearly done a great job of sticking to this rule in the past.


  1. Beach Bum said,

    My college boyfriend took me out to dinner on my birthday and broke up with me. When I complained about the timing he said “you wanted me to wait until Friday??” “YES!!!”

    We had a semi-friendship after that. We didn’t hang out often, but once in a while would catch up (him breaking up with me was the best gift he could have given me, as I realized a few weeks later, so I had no more grudges).

    A year later I had just got my heart broken by the Polish guy. I was crying my eyes out when the college-ex called. Noticing my voice, I explained I had just gotten dumped. And he said “are you more hurt now than when I broke up with you?” because I had hurt his feelings by crying about someone else. WTF?

  2. Lisa said,

    Ugh. I was appallingly immature in one spectacular years-long post-breakup relationship. If I dwell on my behavior, I cringe too hard.

    But I think you are so right – post break-up, you don’t get to expect anything of the other person.

  3. Random Guy said,

    Generally I feel as if I’m very much a via con dios sort of person when a relationship is over. I mean if I’m the dumper, a certain amount of decorum *must* be maintained. I just assume that feelings might be hurt and there’s no need need to be anymore of an a-hole, than you might already seem. Now if I’m the dumpee, it’s actually a blessing [although a veiled one at times]. The logic being why would I want to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with me.

    Getting on with it

    There was this one time…not at band camp, [if it was at band camp, I would have hit this girl with a tuba] I dated this particular young lady/little girl/all that made me consider the priesthood. Whose behavior and conduct throughout our relationship was so atrocious, that on that faithful morning when it all culminated, she left me no choice but to utter this:

    “you’re just such a terrible person and I hope nothing good ever happens to you again…ever.”

    Now in hindsight, there really is no way to rationalize or justify saying something like that. I just take solace in knowing that perhaps I only said it so I’d never have to feel like that ever again…and I haven’t.

  4. Beach Bum: Indeed. It’s hard to imagine a reason such conversations couldn’t wait a day. And it definitely sounds like you dodged a bullet with your egocentric college boyfriend!

    Lisa: I think most people have a similar situation from which they’ve learned a lot – it doesn’t make us cringe any less when we think about it, though!

    Random Guy: As always, there are three versions to any tale – his side, her side, and the truth. Of course, not feeling like that is a thing to be celebrated.

    So, congratulations. And in furtherance of your goal to not subject yourself to a person so vile as to inspire those words… why not simply stay away?

  5. Random Guy said,

    Oh, the staying away bit I think I’ve finally got down. But much in the the vein of Al Qaeda, sex offenders and gigantic meteors near our planet. It’s good to know where this things/people are in regards to various states of being.

    I apologize if this portion of the required periodic monitoring process was a bit more intrusive than usual.

  6. The worst post break-up behavior I can cull from recent memory came from an terrifically engaging but ultimately unstable woman I dated a while back. My feelings for her were strong despite the cognitive understanding of all that made her an unsuitable partner for me. We have tried to remain friends. It has not been terribly difficult for me except on the infrequent occasions where we see each other and she offers me a temporary gig as her emotion/ego fluffer. Not a job I wish to accept.

  7. freckledk said,

    I recently blogged about comments my ex left on my Facebook page, commenting on my change in relationship status. It was ridiculous, infantile, passive agressive, but very validating. I knew then, without question, that I had made the right decision in ending the relationship, and I’ve not spoken to him since.

  8. Random Guy: Thank you so much, for proving my point.

    restaurant refugee: I’ve been on the receiving end of that kind of offer, myself. I think it says a lot more about the person making it, than it does about the intended recipient. Ugh.

    freckledk: I remember that post – and you’re right, it sounds like his behavior was all of those things. I think your policy is a sound one, all things considered.

  9. Hammer said,

    The gas pump says to change your wiper blades regularly. The gas pump also says that there’s a little boy out there who might need some sense slapped into him, and that the gas pump might know some people with firm pimp-hands and reasonable rates.

  10. Hammer: I think I’m starting to like this gas pump a lot. Is it perchance originally from Jersey?

  11. Hammer said,

    I suspect so, but I don’t think the gas pump will ever admit it.

  12. rana said,

    Wonderful gas pump 🙂

  13. […] I was minding my own business, filling up the Karmann Ghia.  And out of nowhere, the gas pump starts spewing Confucian nonsense at me, interspersed with useful information about the 3-for-$2 […]

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