On Being Non-Dumped

Who Knew?

Who Knew?

A few weeks ago, I wrote this message to a friend on Facebook:

Hey, let’s grab a beer this weekend!

The friend is female, Czech, and a person I had seen socially a few times recently. She wrote back:

Hey! You are so great and so much fun! (enter 30 emoticons here)

Me: Thanks! (because who doesn’t love an unsolicited compliment?)

Her: But…

Me (in my head) But? But what? My anxiety took off into a variety of trajectories. Had I done something wrong? Had I been rude? What was this “but” business about?

Her: I’m just not feeling it! I’m sorry. Still, you are so awesome, you deserve someone who appreciates you.

It was then I realized what was happening: I was being dumped. Nobody likes being dumped. It hurts. It sucks. Songs and books and movies and art have been created in order to detail the misery that follows being dumped. And surely this dumping would have come as much more of a blow if I had also realized that I was dating this person.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to save face. I have been dumped and I have been dumped hard. One thing women never seem to have a problem doing is breaking things off with me. I have run the gamut of being dumped, as well. I’ve been dumped in bars, on dates, on first dates, before first dates, and by women who didn’t know they were dating me. I’ve been let go in several date venues: restaurants, pubs, theaters, bowling alleys, at dances.

Moreover, I’ve been dumped using a broad range of conduits: by girls, their friends, their mothers, their answering machines, via email and text message, over the phone. I’m just waiting for the day that I get dumped on a Jumbotron at a baseball game or in skywriting at the beach.

But these were relationships I was actually in. Now, it seemed that women were first inventing a relationship I wasn’t part of, and then ending it. Apparently, simply being dumped wasn’t enough for the women of the world, they had to begin an offensive assault.

So I was truly confused to be getting some variation of “the talk.” I began reflecting: Why would she think I warranted this talk? We had only been out a couple of times and only for beers, not more classically date activities like dinner or a movie. There had been some physical fun, but nothing that would suggest we were moving towards being a couple. And certainly not a couple that needed to be dealt with by a swift blow from the Dumping Sword.

I started to wonder how I should react. Instinct told me not to fuss about the salient details. Coming back with We weren’t dating! would simply be inviting a relationship problem with someone I wasn’t in a relationship with in the first place. Thus, I’d be in a non-relationship dealing with the worst aspect of relationships: arguing. It’s like a person who doesn’t do drugs carrying around a kilo of cocaine and urinating on a police officer’s foot. Why do the time if you don’t even do the crime?

Additionally, I don’t want to raise a fuss because even though they were misplaced, her intentions were to be honest and open. I appreciated that.

Instinct also told me that I shouldn’t play it too cool. Sending a message which suggested that I overly didn’t care would, no matter how true, only make me look petty. The only reason I’d written was to suggest meeting for a beer and now I’d have to fabricate a pretend reaction to a break up that was hypothetical to me at best. I am obsessive; this is what I do.

If the tables were turned I’m fairly certain that she’d have no problem sending me a message which conveyed the utter hilarity of the scenario. I’d be left to question my judgment and overall sanity while drinking beer in my local pub.

In the end I decided to cut my losses, be a man, say thank you for the honesty, goodbye and walk away. And I did just that. It just wasn’t meant to be, after all. Besides, there are so many other women out there who would want a relationship with a catch like me.

Some even a real one.

  1. #1 by Tiffany N. York on June 6, 2016 - 7:30 pm

    I’m going to be your voice of reason here and tell you that if you engaged in any sort of “physical fun” you were more than just friends. Her natural assumption was you would probably want to progress to…whatever.

    Women are way more black and white than men. We don’t like fuzzy grey areas. We’re either dating you or we’re not. And if we’re only friends then there’s nothing physical going on unless you’ve established you’re going to be FWB.

    Anyway, it’s good you took the high road. And good for her for not trying to milk you for dinner and drinks without…you know.

    • #2 by Damien Galeone on June 6, 2016 - 11:01 pm

      Well, that does make sense, and I do concede that. Moreover, she was being honest and I wasn’t upset or angry. What threw me a bit was that I was getting “the talk” rather than what would have been more suitable for this situation, which is something in the “hey, can we just be friends” area. “The talk” was the part that seemed out of place.

  2. #3 by Hanky on June 8, 2016 - 3:07 pm

    I don’t agree with the “women see things black and white” your friend is arguing, but I think it’s ok of the girl in question to give you “the talk” even if you’re not dating. If she doesn’t “just want to be friends” but just, you know, stop meeting even as friends.
    There was no reason for you to argue about anything so I don’t see how that is the “high road” – you still avoided telling her that you didn’t have any relationship-y intentions.

    • #4 by Damien Galeone on June 9, 2016 - 9:09 am

      As I said before, I don’t disagree with some clarification on her part at all, but what was alarming was the cliched “we are dating and now I am breaking up with you” talk. That’s all. It was surprising and therefore funny and seemingly out of place. Moreover, I think with “the high road” my friend was pointing out that I could have said something like “well we’re not dating” etc, and tried to save face. I don’t think she meant do something hurtful or petty to her.

  3. #5 by Ken on June 9, 2016 - 2:12 pm

    Interesting introspection Damien. My view is that she was saying that SHE was more interested in finding that perfect guy than she was in making more friends at this time. SHE was looking for something/someone specific right now in her life and it didn’t involve just chilling casually once in a while for good conversation and some food/drinks. I’ve been in the same boat, but where there was also some ‘strictly casual, physical intimacy involved. It’s annoying, because you want to tell the woman, “Hey, I’m cool with just being friends as in human beings who keep in touch and just catch up from time to time.” – but the truth is that when someone, man or woman, is so focused on finding something or someone specific that he or she is looking for, he/she just wants to commit most of his/her spare time to that. And it definitely feels like a weird dis, almost worse than being dumped as a boyfriend sometimes I think because sometimes we may feel that that person doesn’t even like us as a friend (what!! How can that be!!). But the truth is, that person has just decided to put the blinders on to anyone and anything not related to his/her goal.
    And in a way it’s kind of shallow to be so non-existential in thought as to seek a relationship in that way so that should be comforting when that person walks away : ). Well, that’s my take on it anyway

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