All right, my invisible dear one. You have heard me bemoan the lack of courage, courtesy and kindness in the people whom I've dated, in regards to their ability to end the relationship. And you're right. I've moaned. I've whined. I've bitched and complained. On occasion, I have ranted. Not that this happens often.
Okay, that was unkind. You didn't have to go there.
The problem I see with most breakups is this: the vast majority of people can do better. No, silly, not in regards to whom they're dating--although, you're not wrong about that. I think we've all seen the pairings that have obviously come about out of desperation and damn fine timing/good luck. The oh, dear GOD, sweetie, why did you settle for this? reaction. No, no, I'm not talking about that. What I meant was most people can do a better job ending their relationships.
Darlingest, please don't think I'm issuing a rally cry to dump your sweetheart. Nothing could be further from the truth. I love happy endings [stop it] and I would wish that for everyone. Okay, most people. There are a few whom I believe deserve to die withered and alone on a desert island. With bad weather. And no snacks. But this is, as usual, off the subject.
Let me give you an example of an excellent breakup. Before I start, however, allow me a couple caveats.
1) I saw it coming. I believe a breakup [or getting dumped in general] is easier when we know it's about to happen. A couple of weeks before this discussion, he'd brought up "exit strategies" and asked about my preferences in such. We were able to discuss things we would want from the ending of a relationship and things we did not want. This...was a clue.
2) My heart was not fully invested. Although I cared about this person and care about him still, I wasn't picking out china. The hall hadn't been booked. I had not contacted my mother about getting a diamond wholesale because, my invisible friend, you never never NEVER pay retail for a diamond. But that's a whole different blog. The point is, I just wasn't there.
So. That having been said, the gentleman and I were talking. And he said that he really had been enjoying my company. So much so, that he'd stayed in the relationship longer than perhaps he should have, because he'd hoped to have deeper feelings develop for me. Sadly, this did not seem to be likely. He felt strongly that while he was having a good time with me, staying with me in the current relationship would be using me for his own ends. Out of regard and respect for my feelings, he didn't believe it was the right thing to do. I told him that I understood what he was telling me and appreciated his honesty. I thanked him for his concern for my emotional well-being and agreed [having spent time with me] that a prolonged involvement with him would probably end with my becoming attached.
I do that, btw. It's stupid, but there it is. I've struggled with it but have learned to work with it. Or around it. Cursed emotional vulnerability.
Okay. We were over. Nicely done, yes? But my gentleman wasn't finished. He went on to say that there were several things about me he'd noticed and admired during our relationship, hence the sticking-it-out thing. Then...wait for it...he listed them. I know. There I was, fine with it being over. Pleased with this man's personal strength in facing what might have been an emotional Category 5 land storm. Wasn't. But could have been. He didn't know going in. He ended things in a kind and respectful way and was off the hook. But he said these lovely, lovely things anyway.
When he left, we hugged goodbye and wished each other well. I tell you now as I told him then that the woman with whom he will spend his life would be a very fortunate person, indeed. We've even met for a meal a few times since.
I don't expect every breakup to go like this. I'm not high. I'm not completely delusional. But I do think this is the gold standard. This is what I try to achieve the few times I am the breaker, as opposed to the breakee. I have not achieved it but I have tried.
Best. Breakup. EVER.