The Relationship Post Mortem

I spoke of my friend yesterday, and how she doesn’t love the relationship that her daughter is in. The update is, the boyfriend broke up with the girlfriend on Monday (coincidently right after his graduation weekend)

You would think my friend would be relieved, which she is, sort of. Of course her first thought was – “I wish I knew why he broke up with her.” (of course my first nasty thought was – maybe his Mother didn’t like her- I know- I’m bad)

So here’s the question for today:

Do we really want to know why someone ended a relationship?

There are millions of reasons why two people break up. My sister once ended a relationship because she didn’t like the way he brushed his tongue. Some are tangible, logical reasons: they drink too much, they live too far away, they don’t treat me well. We can put a name to these: there is one specific thing that makes the relationship not good. But what about when there is no “big” reason?

Ok- the boyfriend broke up with the girlfriend. What if the reason is seemingly silly, like the tongue brushing thing. Do you need to know that a guy thinks you have some little quirk that is harmless but a problem for them? What if a woman thinks you have a hobby that is silly? What’s the point of knowing? Are you going to change?

See- that’s my thought: Is knowing why someone broke up with you beneficial? Are you going to stop the behavior they don’t like, or start doing something that they do like? Or in general- will it be a catalyst to some sort of change? Will it make you think about yourself more clearly? Or will it make you feel bad about who you are?

In theory, I guess there’s something to closure. I broke up with you because of A, B, C, F and G. Thank you next. But how much time are you going to spend dissecting the reasons? Are you going to question why you behave that way? Are you going to overanalyze your characteristics to the point you question everything you do? Are you going to beg the other person to come back because you vow to change?

Do you need to change because someone doesn’t want to continue dating you?

We also have my favorite answer to why I’m breaking up with you:

It’s not you, it’s me.

Is there a worse line in the history of stories we tell one another?

What does that even mean? It’s not you, it’s me. Why would you ever say that to anyone? Is that an actual reason to stop dating someone? I’d rather someone not tell me a reason than to say that tired, tired, lame excuse. Don’t insult my intelligence.

Of course, there is one step lower than INYIM: ghosting. When did it become acceptable behavior to just stop communicating with someone? And I don’t mean after one date- I mean people that have been in a relationship and then just cease communication. Did people start ghosting to get out of explaining why they no longer want to date someone? Did the relationship post mortem expectation become so intense that people feel it’s easier and better to just walk away?

I know I threw a lot at you today. But what are your post break up expectations?

 

 

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Why?

Yesterday I told you about the lovely B’Nail Mitzvah and horrible behavior of my in laws.  But my FIL had another trick up his sleeve.  The conversation went something like this:

FIL: I was out walking the other day. My neighbor was getting a visitor.  It was her 17 year old grandson.  I went over to talk to him.  I told him about you.

Daughter: uh huh

FIL: I showed him your picture.  See, this is why I like to take pictures of you. So I can show a recent snapshot.

Daughter: uh huh

FIL: I told him how smart you are

Daughter: uh huh

FIL: He has one more year left

Daughter: uh huh

FIL: He told me he couldn’t believe you were so pretty and that smart

Daughter: uh huh

Me: You know who you’re talking to?  She doesn’t want to date anyone

FIL:  She will when she hears this.  He doesn’t like sports.  Doesn’t watch it.  Can you imagine.  Have you ever heard such a thing?  A boy that doesn’t like sports.  Do you know anyone else like that?

Daughter: Yeah.  Every boy at my school.

FIL: Really?  How can so many boys not like sports?

Observations?

  1. FIL takes pictures of my daughter so he can show them to men/boys?  Seriously, can we just think about that for a moment before we hack into his icloud account? Can you spell C-R-E-E-P-Y
  2. Why does he assume all boys like sports?
  3. Why does he assume my daughter doesn’t want to date because she only meets boys who like sports?
  4. Why does he assume my daughter doesn’t like sports? (true- she will rarely watch a game on TV- but she is not adverse to the Mets or the Rangers or the Giants- she has given up on the Knicks though)
  5. Why does he think my daughter needs to be set up?

So I find myself at this situation- again- where people think my daughter needs to have a partner.

Why is this an issue?

Why is this the first thing some people highlight?

Why do they think that she is “lacking”?

I know this has become my soapbox, the one I will stand on.  But in an era of empowering women, we will never be able to empower anyone until we stop thinking that uncoupled women have problems or issues.

Why is it so hard to see that someone is content with who they are and what they do?  Why does having a partner make you complete?

Oh wait.  That movie.

Here’s the deal: you don’t need someone to complete you.  You need to be complete on your own.  And then if you meet someone that you like, you can have them as an add on.

Ok.  I won’t talk about this topic for a few weeks.  Or until my FIL comes over with said boy in tow…

Don’t Worry – It will Happen

Sorry.  This is going to be a bit of a rant, but something irked me and I have to complain write about it.

A few weeks ago, Husband and I were at dinner with friends.  My daughter was coming home from her tennis match (the parent who drove parks his car near the restaurant) and she saw us through the window, so she came in to say “Hi”.  As this was about 7pm on a Saturday, our couple friends asked what she was doing that night, to which she responded “homework”.

To make this clear, my kid is an avid studier and not so avid partier.  That’s just who she is.  Grades and extracurricular are much more important to her, and she has surrounded herself with friends who feel the same way.

Well, S asked her where the boyfriend was. (I think you all remember my blog about this particular topic) And she said that a significant other isn’t even a thought in her mind, that she’s just not interested.

When she left, he said to me.  “Don’t worry.  One day she’s going to wake up and meet a boy.”

What?

He continued.  “It will happen.  A boy will walk in and she’ll fall in love and won’t be alone anymore.”

I changed the subject.  (also- to be clear- this is my husband’s friend) In my mind though, I was sort of pissed off.  OK- not sort of.  Really annoyed.

  1. What’s wrong with a kid who is a serious student?
  2. What’s wrong with a kid who doesn’t want to date?
  3. Why are you looking with me with pity in your eyes that my 16 year old doesn’t have a boyfriend and it’s a tragedy?
  4. Why are you consoling me with one day a prince will come mentality?
  5. Maybe I think his kids being under 30 and all married is the wrong choice….( I know- not a question, but emphatic point that I thought should be included here_)

I know.  I’ve written this before, but today is blog as therapy day, and I have to put my frustration and anger on the page.  But the real question is:  why does it bother me so much?  Am I really subconsciously worried about why my daughter doesn’t choose to date?

So I thought about this.

And I thought.

And I over thought.

And I’ve decided that no, I really don’t care whether or not my daughter dates.  I’m actually pretty happy with the way she is.  She’s confident and hard working.  She’s a good person who isn’t mean and treats people with respect and dignity.  She has self worth. She has friends who treat her with respect and dignity.  She is a pretty happy kid, especially for a teenager growing up today.  And maybe she is all these things because she has focused on herself instead of focusing on popularity or pairing off.

So here’s the lesson.  Be yourself first.  Figure out who you are, what you like, what you don’t like.  Smile when someone gives you a look of pity, because you’ll probably have the last laugh.

Just like me.  Rant over.  Whew- aren’t you glad?