Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Lowdown on the Letdowns

The painful truth: in the last couple months, I’ve been effectively “let down easy” a.k.a. DUMPED by two very eligible bachelors. And, the ironic thing about it is that both men started off pursuing me… hard! But when I let it be known that the feeling was mutual, they both backed off rather quickly.

Now, the articulated reason for their collective retreat had something to do with the fact that they are both on the path to achieving really big things professionally. And, each of them is dedicated to making that happen within a certain time frame… therefore, neither was willing to let something as silly and insignificant as love get in the way of their hopes and dreams. Neither saw that it was possible for them to balance both romance and entrepreneurship. And, Lord knows that the last thing I want to do is stand in the way of a man and his dreams. In fact, I had this fantasy that I’d be the background to their foreground, so to speak. I’d wake up next to my man, sit up in bed and watch him get dressed to go out into the cold cruel world and fend for our family. And when he sat down to put on his socks, I’d lean over and rub his shoulders, and give him an enthusiastic pep talk about why his family needed him to, yet again, brave the shark infested waters of the business world to make sure that our family not only survived, but thrived. No, for real. I had this all laid out in my head. For these two men, I’d be the best damn cheerleader I could be. But neither of them gave me a chance to be that for them. Instead, they chose to end things so that they could focus on bringing their dreams to fruition.

I can’t be mad at that. But I CAN be suspicious.

Suspicious of what, you might ask. Well, see, the stated reason for why they ended things with me had to do with sacrificing love for the greater good of their eventual professional success. And, if that’s true, then more power to them both. But, both of these men also had unresolved feelings about previous tumultuous relationships with unstable women. They both admitted to suffering from “trust issues” and they both were hesitant about getting into a romantic relationship – with anyone – in the first place.

Now, what’s really crazy about both of their circumstances is that in both cases, based on the information that has been given to me, I’ve basically concluded that the women they’re still somewhat pining for are both NUTS. You know, it amused me that these two men, who are so fundamentally different, were basically saying the exact same things about their previous relationships.

Okay, number one, they both had gotten out the relationships approximately 1 year before they became involved with me. Number two, in both cases the women did dumb shit and made incredibly retarded mistakes in the months leading up to their eventual breakups. Number three, both men are bitter about their breakups. Number four, I honestly believe that, in both cases, if their exes came back and wanted to start over, the men would jump at the chance. And, I believe that this last part really explains why these two men couldn’t settle down with ME. It was because in the back of their minds (consciously or subconsciously), they are still waiting for these women to come back to them!

Now, I just want it to be known that I think that’s crazy! The fact that these two men would still be caught up in the relationships that they had with two crazy chicks is just silly to me on one level, but on a deeper level, I get it. I had just had a conversation with a friend of mine about the difference between the way a man handles a breakup and the way that a woman handles a breakup. And, believe it or not, I believe that there are some key differences between the two approaches.

First of all, I believe that women are dynamic, ever-changing, unpredictable beings. So, there are not any clear-cut rules to their reactions. Men, on the other hand, respond to bad breakups in one of two ways:

1. They do whatever it takes to get right back into another long-term relationship with the first woman they come into contact with;

2. The decide that they won’t get into another relationship again unless it’s a last resort, and until they encounter that last minute situation, they will be the most skittish, most suspicious, most down-on-love, and most promiscuous person they can be.

The Dynamic Duo that recently decided they wanted nothing to do with me, ended up in the second category. They were both scared shitless at the thought of being ever trusting a woman again, failing to see that I was NOTHING like either of the women who had hurt them. And, everyone knows that a relationship cannot survive without trust. So, rather than let down their guard a trust again, they’d rather just throw all energy and effort into building their empires. Great. Go for it, boos.

So, anyway, where does that leave me? Well, for starters, it leaves me ALONE. Which, for all intents and purposes, is not necessarily a bad thing. But it also leaves me confused. Who were these women who could do so much damage. And, also, I’m a firm believer that nothing that leads to the demise of a relationship is a “surprise”. What do I mean by that? Well, for instance, let’s say a couple breaks up because the woman discovers that her man is on the down-low. I personally do NOT believe that this should come as a shock to any woman. I don’t care how well the man covers things up, the woman would have seen as least a few signs along the way that would stir up her intuition, but because she didn’t WANT to see those signs, she’ll claim that his status was a TOTAL surprise. And, it won’t have been. After the relationship is over the person will say, “I remember when he did thus and such… and right then I should have known that something was up.” Yes, I am aware that hindsight is 20/20, but if we learn to let our intuition lead us, it can save us from a lot of potential heartache.

Now, I’m not saying that these two guys were completely innocent bystanders who just stood around and let their exes eff up their relationships. Oh no, they DEFINITELY played a part in the downward spiral of their relationships, but their exes certainly hammered some nails into the coffin as well. But when one of these guys tells me that he was totally surprised that his ex was so evil, vindictive and conniving… well, you can see why I was skeptical. I suggest that we go back over the relationship and look for signs that might have indicated that she was all those things and more BEFORE things really got bad. And, as we go back over the relationship, he points to lost of legitimate signs that the girl was a nutjob! So, I ask him why he stayed and he said that he just couldn’t think of a reason not to stay. Wow. It was that simple, huh?

I was thinking about this conversation while I was sitting under the hairdryer at the salon last week. I was flipping through a magazine that my stylist had handed me before I settled in under the intense heat shooting out of the hood of the dryer, and came across an article that purported to have the answers to why men find it difficult to move on from bad relationships. I rolled my eyes and chuckled to myself, preparing to read a bunch of dime store psychology that didn’t really answer any of the questions women have about men. But, in the article, a 23-year-old broke things down in a way I’d never considered. He basically said that men stick around because they’re afraid to give up on something that is broken. It goes back to their need to always “fix” what is broken. And if they walk away from a broken relationship, it’s almost like they’re admitting that they were unable to make the situation better.

Hot damn, a real answer! An answer that made sense! An answer from a… 23 year old?! But, who cares about age. This dude just made a really damn good point! So, what it comes down to is that men are stay-ers. If they care about someone (and it’s important to emphasize this aspect of things… if they don’t care about their partner, then none of this applies) it’s difficult for them leave a relationship, let it go, or really even accept the fact that it is over. That’s deep, but boy do I get it! These unresolved feelings also have something to do with the male ego. And we know that damn ego is a powerful influence. If it’s not feeling right, then everything else will go wrong.

I’m hoping that one day both these guys can get over the unresolved feelings they have about their past relationships. And, I’m hoping that they both realize that throwing themselves into their work is only a quick fix for the unresolved and unaddressed feelings that they still have about their exes.

I once heard a pretty interesting quote that said: “The only thing that keeps a good man away is a bad one.” Translation – lose the chicken dinner and get with a winner, if you know what I mean! I want to yell this to these two guys. They’re hung up over two nutjobs and have essentially sacrificed the potential happiness that they could’ve had with me for the guaranteed misery they’d already been subjected to by their exes. I mean, we already know it’s their loss (so don’t patronize me by telling me so!), but it doesn’t make it an easier pill for me to swallow. The shit sucks. It is what it is.

1 comment:

same story said...

It does sucks for the good women out there who are left wondering where the good men are, and frustrated that when we find one, they are hung up on not-so-good women! I guess it's similar to good girls who like bad boys; good guys like crazy girls. Go figure.