Sunday, September 27, 2009

Exit strategy

I have so many friends who are unhappy in their relationships and searching for something better, that sometimes I wonder if there is such a thing as a “good relationship” at all. I know that my last boyfriend was apparently looking for someone else while we were together. I just didn’t know it. After being on that end of it, I would never stay with someone if I wasn’t sure about him. I would rather be alone than deceive someone into staying until I’ve found the “real”, “the one!” My friend wants to plan his exit strategy from his current relationship. He sat in silence with her last night and as he told the story, he said, “Of course we had nothing to say…cause we have nothing to say anymore…” Well…when you run out of things to talk about, is it over?…or is it just “comfortable?” This is an interesting aspect of society. Part of me wonders if the problem is simply due to the need for “newness” in our instant gratification generation. Personally, I like the comfortable stage. If I could issue the book with all the information about the past experiences that brought me up until now and then after I’ve read “his” book and cleared him of previous criminal behavior or women that he’s already said the words, “to death do us part” to, I’d love to start from there and move ahead with the comfortable stage. That way, it would remove that 2 or 3 month break-up stage (okay…in my case, 2 or 3 week break-up stage.) The strange thing about my life though, is that my breakups never “take.” Even honesty doesn’t work. I’ve tried “It’s not you, it’s me”, “I’m looking for something different and we’re in two different life stages”, “It’s not me, it’s you”, “I’m sure you’re very nice but I'm allergic to dogs”…That one is a biggie! I can’t tell you how many guys have thought that I would change on that. Um…NO! No dogs! Whenever I see a single guy (really single- not divorced with kids- a truly single guy in his 30’s) with a dog, I think, "that guy struggles with depression!" I saw a guy in the park the other day walking his dog. My heart broke for him. He looked lonely and sad. This flies in the face of the old “walk your dog in the park to pick up chicks” thing. It won’t work on this chick! The best he’ll get from me is a phone list of alcoholic’s anonymous meetings that I'll leave on a bench across the park after running the long way around so I don't have to walk near the dog. Oh well!

So how do you get out once you’re stuck with the wrong person? We already know that honesty doesn’t work. Dancing around the subject doesn’t work because someone who’s into you will try to fix the things you allude to as being the problem. Doing annoying things so that the person breaks up with you definitely doesn’t work. (Though this is my personal favorite, this actually makes me try harder for some reason!) Taking it slowly is the best bet. I suggest not labeling anything until you’ve been together for a year or so! (of course…I have found myself having to break up with people who, as far as I was concerned, I wasn’t even dating…but there are flaws in even the best laid plans. Apparently it is what it is- no matter what you call it. Simply cutting out and disappearing is NOT a valid breakup. I actually have a guy that I’m pretty sure I’m still dating after years and years…his phone is just broken or something. It must be…or else he would call and let me know that we’re not together…right?…