Monday, June 11, 2007

Easy Out.

I've never broken up with anyone. And no one's ever really broken up with me. No- I'm not indefinitely dating everyone I've ever gone out with...I just never bother to define anything to begin with. That way, when it's over, we can both go quietly to our separate ways and appreciate what we had without causing a fuss. I call it, "the easy out." When one of you eventually realizes that things will not progress beyond a certain point, that individual naturally backs things down, dials the relationship back, and begins to pull away. Sometimes that person is me. Sometimes it isn't. Either way, there is an inevitable pull that creates distance; a distance that you must choose to either fight in order to stay together, or let it go and allow the relationship to dissipate into the thin air from whence it came.

When the distancing begins, the calls become less frequent, the time becomes less intense, and the contact feels less important. If he is the one to pull back from me, I figure it's message enough that he's just not into it. And quite frankly, I'm not interested in convincing someone to work harder in order to be with me. So I let him go and call it a good run. Conversely, when I'm the one pulling away, and he doesn't argue it, I figure it's letting him off the hook easy. He doesn't have to feel the awkwardness of me explaining that I don't feel as strongly for him as he does for me, he doesn't need to witness my tears or emotional ramblings, and neither of us has to come up with excuses to make one another feel better when we know that, ultimately, we won't have much more to say than the bottom line: This relationship is over.

Some would call
not breaking up the chicken$#!% way out. I figure quietly disappearing just makes ending things easier on both of us. Don't get me wrong...if someone really felt the need to discuss the end of our relationship, I'd be willing to take the time to end it all cordially. But isn't the mere virtue that someone isn't fighting to keep the relationship together telling enough? If it were a relationship worth salvaging, I would assume that both parties involved would pull equally hard toward each other in order to stay together. I mean, isn't that the only way people do work out? When they both fight equally hard to keep it together? But that leads us into the concept of "closure"- another term I don't put any faith in. But that's a whole 'nother post altogether...

That seems to me the only discussion worth having: one where you decide to work harder to keep it all together. If you have to have a talk in order to end things, well- everything you need to know about the state of your relationship is probably already understood, and then it becomes merely stating the obvious in a likely less-than-honest way, which is, "I guess I don't like you as much as I thought I would." So no matter what, that relationship is already over, or, in the words of Jack Handy, "If you drop your keys into a river of molten lava, forget 'em, 'coz, man, they're gone." Of course, if it makes you feel better, you can recall the ancient Chinese proverb, "If you love something very much, let it go free. If it does not come back, it was never meant to be;
if it returns, love it forever."

ps- No, I haven't broken up with anyone...obviously. I just realized a lot of these posts lately are related to break-ups. There are a lot of them going on right now, but these posts aren't about anyone in particular. This just happens to be a topic that seems heavy on everyone's lips...and you do know how I love controversy to get y'all talking. I'm sure we'll move on to something else soon- feel free to offer up your suggestions.


Kory said...

Farrah, I have to disagree here, if you find something you want, fight for it, and if you think they don't want you- you don't know why. It could fizzle for a number of reasons, just like a Sale-

Key Example: Brent. I woke up one morning and felt the relationship fading. AND I was pretty ticked off, because this guy SHOULD have been in love with me. (Good Self-Confidence will take you a LONG way) So I called him and asked him point blank "Are you in or are you out?" His response "Well, I guess I'm out." Normal Kory would have said see ya, but I had been through a hell of a lot of sales training so I went on to the next question. Plus I was curious.

"Why are you out?" He then continued to ramble on about distance, school and work to which my response was, "just say 'Kory I'm not interested in you' and it's over. You'll never hear from me again" He didn't say it, he continued to talk abuot stress and work to which I finally said, "You've been complaining about being 33 and single, with all of your friends getting married and then God sends you a funny, smart, successful, athletic, beautiful, spiritual woman- and you're going to say 'sorry God, it's too much work?' Do you really think God's going to send you some one else after you turn down me?" (my self-esteeme rocks)

He proposed exactly one month later, which wasn't exactly the response I was going for, but it worked. I wasn't even THAT into him at the time, I just couldn't believe he wouldn't do everything in his power to get me. And if someone is going to let me go, I want to know why.

I say hold people accountable for their actions and feelings.

Kory said...

But be careful if you do. You could end up married, going to bed at 9:30pm on weekends and living in SALT LAKE!

Vanilla Vice said...

Kory - I like you. You are amazing. Could you blog that for me on my blog so that all the 33 year old idiots sitting around in easy chairs will start realizing that sometimes you have to get out and run a marathon for the girl you want. Sometimes you don't even have to run a marathon. You just have to walk a few damn feet.

Farrah, you and I are like Paul and James on this one. Grace or Works. It would be a long battle, and we're both right. We just need a little faith.

f*bomb. said...

Yeah, Kory. Because the glamourous life of Friday nights watching Law & Order reruns and falling asleep on the couch with cookie dough in your mouth is sooo much better than marriage.

Quite on the contrary. You prove my point exactly. You and Brett were willing to fight hard enough to keep trying. I've never met someone I loved enough (or who cared enough for me) to work harder for. (Keep in mind, I haven't dated someone active in the church in over 7 years.) Usually it was a matter of, "well...He's not gonna change, and I'm not about to make him change, so- that's the end of that." And I don't ever feel bad walking away, because I know I gave the best I had for what they had offered me.
Again- keeping the love you take equal to the love you make.
And I absolutely have faith that I will one day meet someone who IS worth fighting for, and who feels the same about me. But until then-kick that bum to the curb. Kindly, that is.

Bree- I don't know Paul or James. But if they want my phone number, that's cool.

Rachel said...

Farrah? Whoa. I wandered exactly three links away from my blog and landed here. It's me, Rachel from Novato circa 1994. And can I tell you how totally excited I am to have stumbled your way? So, um, what have you been up to for the last 13 years? Right now I am sitting on your hand-me-down chair that went to your old cool black desk. Wierd. Email me:

Dubious Brown said...

I used this strategy for years and it totally works if your goal is to avoid uncomfortable breakups. I always tried not to define anything so I rarely had to worry about going through bad or awkward breakups (I'm still on good terms with all my exes).
Of course I've also never had to worry about planning a wedding because by never committing to the point that a "breakup talk" would be required to end it, made it impossible to have a real relationship.

PS, Law & Order reruns are great! :-)

f*bomb. said...

I have realized that I am, in every sense of the definition, a menace to society.
As I've said before, I'd be willing to give up my ways if I met someone who was actually worth committing to. No insult to the boys I've been with- but they were "boys," and we never had any chance anyway (which I'm always honest about from the start- so fair's fair).

The ONLY bad endings I've ever had were:
1) Walking in on him and another girl in the bathtub. UNDESIRABLE.
2) He takes me to Utah and decides to work things out with his allegedly psycho ex-fiance. Who's gonna fight THAT?
3) The only one who forced me to define things (3x) in order to more officially cheat on me. With my friend. He came with a terrible reputation to begin with. My mistake for trusting.

Kory said...

Brent wanted to let it fade, he tried- but I wouldn't let him. I guess in one aspect it proves the point that one party has to be willing to fight. Brent wasn't willing at all, I had to open his eyes to what he was passing up. (And He's darn lucky I did! :)

I agree, if some one can't see how absolutely fabulous you are- they're an idiot, and it's a good thing you found out the easy way.

Switch out Law and Order for House, you'll love House.

f*bomb. said...

I keep hearing this about HOUSE. I do. Plus, I've been in love with Robert Sean Leonard since 1985. So.

In response to something someone accused me of in Bree's blog:

It's true. If I were a man, you'd say I was an @$$hole. Thankfully, I'm NOT a man, and anyone who has met me knows I always have the best interest of others at heart.

When I walk away, I figure it's the "easy way out" for HIM. If he were TRYING to communicate, or if our relationship was DEEP and MEANINGFUL and LONG-TERM, I'd absolutely make a mutual effort to communicate and be considerate. What I'm saying is that I am providing the ultimate move of consideration- Not forcing someone into an uncomfortable spot when I already know what the answer is.

No vindictiveness. No tit for tat. No bitterness. Just "let it go and be well." Very zen.

Not immediately gratifying, no. But definately a good way to walk away being able to think kindly of the relationship and appreciate the person for who they were when they WERE being amazing to you, rather than have the ugly, dirty image of someone mutually cared for pushed into a level of cruelty.

Dainon said...

I like Kory, too. Guys usually need to be talked into a relationship, you know. I learned that from Chris Rock. Kudos to you for already knowing that.

Man, Farrah, you sound like me, which ultimately makes me the asshole. I've accepted that, though. Years ago.

I come at relationships pretty casually most of the time, so I don't much mind the revolving door approach. I don't much mind not defining where things are going until, well, there's no question that they're something amazing or something that should have already ended. At least, that's the way I've been for a long time. Now? I'm molting. Changing, if you will.

Now I'm of the opinion that it takes a certain amount of courage to ask a lady out, one, and a whole lot more to power through the initial bumps before you even see who she is. No fair cutting and running right off the bat. Let the definitions fly. Embrace them. I'm alright with that. Mom wants some grandbabies before she goes to the grave, so I'm just trying to do my part. If that means changing up my natural tendencies, so be it.

At least I'm not 33. Yet. I have until next month, so there.

f*bomb. said...

um...Congratulations, Dainon?

I don't "mind" defining things, if HE is the one to bring it up. I'm just not the sort to go around putting labels on anything...let alone my relationship with people.

I figure that actions speak louder than words. This seems especially true of men (gentlemen, confirm?). As in, I don't feel the need to define "dating" when I'm spending all my free time talking to them or grow to have the expectation to see them on the weekend. I know who he's with and what he's doing because I'm the one he's talking to until 4 in the morning, and he's over at my house for breakfast the next day. So nor do I need to define our status when it becomes 24/7 and we start buying groceries with each other.

Same thing goes for when that intensity decreases...If he's not around, he probably doesn't really want to be with me anymore. The accepting that he isn't going to be the Knight I thought he was is what I consider, "Closure."

Usually I leave things with the happy reassurance that chemistry IS real, prayer DOES work, there IS a man out there who understands me (having one simply proves there are others), and that I am one step closer to learning the acceptance and understanding a Real Relationship will require.

caroline said...

i sort of disagree. why do breakups have to either be avoidance or tears and cursing? maybe it's cause i'm a girl, but i want it to be spoken. it can be over the phone, but the fade away i think is dishonest. you set a precedence with someone then you just fade out, most likely making them think they did something wrong. it can be hurtful, and if they've had bad experiences, will most likely assume the worst about your intentions. why can't we be adults and say, this is what i need and i'm not getting it from you for these reasons? i've honestly had this conversation and it works. and no need to drag out any awkwardness. it doesn't have to be harsh, it can just be honest and straightforward. anyway, that's just my take on things.

f*bomb. said...

That is probably the first time the concept of a "break up talk" has ever made sense to me...

As far as practice goes...