There are Harder Things In Life Than Breaking Up. Telling the Other Person, For Instance.

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In all of mankind’s glorious inventions, whoever came up with the idea of taking turns deserves a special place in history for being particularly brilliant.  I imagine a conversation, somewhere around the beginning of time, between two Cro-Magnon men, that must’ve gone something like this:

“Okay, tonight I’ll sleep in the cave and you sleep outside.  Then tomorrow, I’ll sleep in the cave.  Then the next day, I’ll sleep in the cave again.”

“Hmm, when do I get to sleep in the cave?”

“Oh snap.  I didn’t think about that.”

“Hear me out.  How about tonight you sleep in the cave, and then tomorrow, I sleep in the cave.”

“What about the third night?”

“I have no idea.  Do you want to eat a fish?”

The genesis of taking turns must’ve gone something like that.  Now, eons later, taking turns is still all the rage, just like fire, the wheel, and sleeping in the cave (if you are a bear).  The modern dating ritual largely incorporates this older theory of turn taking.  If I buy you dinner, then you get the coffee afterwards.  If on Tuesday I go to your side of town, then on Thursday, you come to mine.  If you do something nice and clean my apartment, I’ll do something nice and sleep with your friend.  Things like that.

Likewise, sending text messages is all about turn taking.  I message you, you message me.  Say I message you four times before you respond, then I’m a weirdo and you’re frightened.  Or, if I message you and you don’t respond, I lay off sending another message, getting the idea that you aren’t interested in further communication and you are probably at a magic show (that’s an in-joke).

So, two or three weeks ago, I finally met a decent girl on the dating website.  We went out a few times and it occurred to me that I liked her and I wanted to see her more often.  At the same time, and in lieu of my disastrous last pseudo-relationship that ended with heartbreak and a pathetic attempt at a bar fight, I wanted to keep my options open.  The last thing I wanted was to get attached to someone and end up getting hurt again.  I continued to talk to women online and, even though I was texting and hanging out with the one girl, made plans to meet up with another.  This was supposed to be healthy for me.  Kind of like how you send out your resume to a bunch of jobs, despite the fact that there’s one you have your heart set on.  Because that job might not work out, and obviously it’s better to work the night shift at Target than have no girlfriend at all.

I ended up going out with Girl Two twice and, to be honest, she was pretty cool as well.  I still preferred Girl One, but Girl Two was definitely no Target.  Last weekend, I had plans to hang out with Girl One.  Pay close attention – this gets complicated.  Still following the ‘keep your options open’ philosophy, I tried to make plans with Girl Two also.  In fact, I did make plans with Girl Two.  Then Girl One changed our weekend plans a little bit, (unknowingly) creating a situation where I had two overlapping dates.  I found that rather thoughtless of her.  Understand, though, that I’m just not that kind of a guy.  This situation was no fun at all, and I felt stressed out by it.  I decided that I’d have to get rid of Girl Two, which shouldn’t have been that big of a deal since we only hung out twice and never even kissed.

Now came the hard part – ending things.  It’s hard enough breaking up with someone; ending things when there’s no real relationship there to begin with is even more uncomfortable.  As with most things, I started by trying to weasel my way out.  I sent a text saying I ‘might be’ busy the next day.  Her response?  She sent back kind of a snippy text that said, “Fine, if you have plans, just forget it.”  She didn’t sound pleased.  I waited until the next day and then sent another text that simply said, “Yeah, sorry, going to have to cancel for tonight.  Have a great Saturday. : )”

Yes, that’s right.  Have a great Saturday.  I mean, I don’t want to fuck up anybody’s weekend.

There was absolutely no reply to this, which clearly (I think) meant she was pissed.  That was five days ago.  We’ve had no contact since.  In the meantime, I saw Girl One a bunch of times, and we had a talk and decided to give a dating relationship a try.

Here’s the question I’m asking: I’m out with Girl Two, right?  I mean, it’s her turn to text, and since she hasn’t done so…that’s it, I think.  I don’t have to send a message saying that I met someone else or anything like that, do I?  I sent the last text…so, end of story, right?  I repeat – it’s HER turn.  Not my turn.  Deal done, correct?

Maybe not the classiest way to handle things, true, but what’s a guy to do?  Taking turns is important in a relationship, especially one where both people are treated equally.  So, by extension, the next date will be with Girl One, and, after that, it will be her turn again.  That’s only fair.

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33 thoughts on “There are Harder Things In Life Than Breaking Up. Telling the Other Person, For Instance.

  1. correct. It’s a done deal, don’t get so messed up about it. For all you know girl 2 maybe even thankful. Sometimes silence doesn’t have to mean yes or no, it just means that… nothing. ;)

    hehehe… just so you know.. if I was girl 2 I’d spread ugly rumours about you hahahaha (joke) :D

    • Yeah, is this the kind of thing that makes women say things like, “There are no good guys out there”? From my perspective, I could’ve gone on seeing both, but I stopped it before things got too complicated. What a nice guy I am! That was a very, very thoughtful thing for me to do. : D

      • there is?… a good guy?… out there?…. nahhh… keep dreaming… :D hahahah

        drown yourself in the illusion that you’re a good guy maybe someday you’ll be able to convince yourself and girl one, besides those of your friends and relatives…

        ahihihi… hey, don’t mind me, just bursting your balloons… but on second thought hmmm girl 2 should be reading your blog, so she can have a lot of things to bust you with hahahaha :D

      • Haha – Girl Two, if you’re reading this, you’re a really great gal and I had two great days with you. Actually, if you would like, I was kinda thinking maybe we could go out again. What you think? Like Ysobele says, I’m a good guy. So let’s give it a shot, girl. What choo doin’ Sunday night?

  2. Wait a minute, let me get this straight. I am coming over to your side of town and then you are going to clean my house? Turn taking, right? What a deal! Sold. ha. In all seriousness though, so happy to hear that you found a nice girl, Bill!! Yay for online dating :) All that humiliation of verification to the credit card company has paid off! xo

    • Hi Cara! Don’t worry, I’m sure we’ll be broken up and I’ll be back to being single in no time. Hey, how about you cook something amazing for me, and then next time, when it’s my turn, I can microwave you some Totino pizza rolls? Deal?

  3. Hahaha magic show! I remember that. Not personally, from your earlier post.

    Yeah, I can totally understand your stress over cancelling plans with a girl you had 2 casual dates with who didn’t respond when she realized you cancelled plans to go out with someone else. ?!?! I’m sure she has been inconsolable since and her fingers fell off from sheer pain of heart, rendering her incapable of texting. Or she opted out of her text turn and moved on. You decide.

    Good luck on the relationship! Be careful what you blog so nothing comes back to haunt you should this progress to another level! Which I am totally rooting for, yay! The progress, not the haunting.

    • Yeah, good point. One good thing about being single is that I could pretty much say whatever I wanted to on here…now perhaps I’ll have to censor a bit. Eh…that’s gonna be difficult.

      Haha – like the bit about the fingers falling off. Maybe she could put a pencil in her mouth and text that way.

  4. I’m all for girl two. She could’ve been a lot fiercer about it all. Acted like a real lady in my opinion. The horror that is an angry women, hell looks like a spa resort.

  5. dude, just stick with Girl One…….you know I love ya’…but you can’t juggle 2 women. shit will blow up in your face and you’ll be left with only a few funny and depressing blog entries to show for it.

    you found someone you like, just man up and dive in.

    finding someone you really click with and can make work is rare…and rare things are usually earned, not simply found. Take advantage.

    • Dude, what is this? You’re such a romantic! Come on, man, you’re supposed to encourage me to go out and date a million girls. Two should be the tip of the iceberg! You’re such a monogamist…

      Yeah, juggling two or three girls is seriously difficult and involves lots of texting during bathroom breaks. Not fun at all, and you give off the impression that you have a weak bladder.

  6. E.

    hey, the lady number two is quite a lady, in my opinion. she could have made it worse. don’t worry, all your dealing with her is over. glad that you found a nice girl, Bill! treat her well, my friend! treat her like a lady.

    by the way, how about you come to my side of the globe and clean my new apartment, and i go to your side of the globe and you show me around? : P

  7. classywithatwist

    So true, the unwritten rules of texting can be quite annoying. In terms of breaking up, it’s even worse when there’s not even a real relationship there. Then you’re just awkwardly breaking up the possibility of romance. Not fun.

    • Yeah, seriously. It would be easier to break up while in an actual relationship. The other scenario seems premature. Let me tell you, it’s so much more convenient to just get dumped.

  8. ( >.< )

    Topicless, You just burst my bubble. And to think I was trying to trust again. ! ! Okay, just like looking for a job, you're covering all your bases, but love relationships are not like that. One at a time , big bro, one at a time…. If I were the second girl, and found out you were dating other girls, I'd run away from you in a sec. Your text was as subtle as a ten – wheeler truck, big bro. * Come here, I so want to flick your head *

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