In fifth grade I had a boyfriend. We were 'going out'. We were together for a week. For me it was the best week of fifth grade. This boy was so cute and we would walk together in the hallway and hold hands at lunch. Six days of pure bliss capped off by one day of extreme misery. On the seventh day my best friend Robin pulled me aside and told me that boy I loved told Jack, who told Chris, who told Robin that he wanted to break up with me. I was devastated. Why was he breaking up with me? What had I done? I wanted to speak with him but I was a fifth grade girl filled with deep emotional insecurities and there was no way I was going to confront him. Especially not with his fifth grade posse hanging around him. So I was left with a hole in my heart and unanswered questions. Why? Why did he end our torrid love affair and why didn't he tell me himself?
Fast forward. I am now on my dating adventure, trying to meet solid men of a certain age who presumably have matured beyond fifth grade. So how is it that these men have not figured out how to end the relationship in an honest and mature fashion? Why is it these men think that silence speaks volumes. Don't they understand women? Silence makes us brood, obsess, concoct and become crazier than we already are. The silent treatment. A staple of middle school girls everywhere and middle age divorced men. It is supposed to say, 'I do not want to talk to you or see you again', but what it really says is 'I am a huge wuss and I am afraid to tell you I don't want to talk to you or see you again'. But what it does to women is make them create stories in their heads; scenarios in which the men are in jail, in hospitals or lying in a ditch somewhere. We convince ourselves that the men are just super busy and can't call or text. But really what they are saying is, 'it's over and I am telling you by not telling you'.
And then there is the 'I want to end it but instead of ending it I am going to tell you that we are going to get together again but clearly we are not'. A girlfriend of mine was recently dumped by her boyfriend. Both are in their 40's. But instead of saying, 'It is over', he said 'I feel like you are slipping away and I hope to see you soon'. She was slipping away because he had said he wanted to take a break from dating. And he 'hoped' to see her soon. There is no need for hope. Just pick up the phone and make a date. Or maybe if he squeezed his eyes shut really hard and thought about her and clicked his heels three times, they would be on a date. And really if you have no intention of seeing us again, don't even put a hint of it out there. Because we are women. And we read into everything. And if you just whisper that there is a teeny tiny chance that we could get together again we are waiting for your call. So when you say things to us like 'We will connect soon' what you really mean is, 'See ya babe, I am not coming back'. But what we hear is, 'When I am not so busy which clearly I am right now, I will most certainly continue our relationship'. And men wonder why we are nuts.
So in my recent dating experience, I have been broken up with. And each time it leaves me with more questions than answers. What is most perplexing to me is the demise of these relationships comes abruptly and without warning. One day everything is going along swimmingly and then radio silence. Of course I have my suspicions about the abrupt ending, but those suspicions are never confirmed or denied by the man involved. And why is that? Because in my two most recent dumpings, the men have danced around what is really happening and why. Both men refused to state the true reason for the break up. Instead they concocted stories about their complicated lives or their need to really sow their oats. When in reality they were saying to me that even if their lives were simple and they wanted to only date one woman, it wouldn't be me they were calling.
I am not asking for pity here. I am asking for honesty. At 40-something years old it should be assumed that talking to a woman is not a scary thing as it was in fifth grade. So why can't men say what they mean? I think we women are incredibly clear with what we want, right? Ok, laugh now. But seriously, if you are going to break up with us, at least have the decency and courtesy to really say ' I am never going date, kiss or have sex with you again. So you can stop obsessing over me because I am never coming back'. I really believe if men started doing this, women would be less crazy and the whole world would run smoother and maybe, just maybe we could achieve world peace. But until that time, I will continue to brood and date and be dumped because after all I am 43 and single.