Wednesday, February 2, 2011

When Dumping Isn't Awkward: A Nice Story

Stoked About Getting Dumped

We all fall into one of two categories: the dumpers and the dumpees. There is some overlap, but most of us have a preference when it comes to ending a relationship, fling, or changing the status of “friends with benefits” to “just friends”. The dumpers are the people who dump before they can get dumped, or — more nicely put — they are more proactive and end something when an end is needed.

The dumpees (usually my M.O.) beat the dead horse of a relationship until they get dumped so they don’t have to confront the problem, or in other words, they want to be absolutely sure that the relationship should end so they keep it going for as long as it takes to eliminate all possibility of regret.Yes, I generalize. Obviously there are exceptions and often — as is the case with relationships — extenuating circumstances. Only rarely does breaking something off work out so that both parties walk away happy.

This rare circumstance found a friend of mine recently.

My friend (we’ll call her Betsy), had gone on about ten dates with this guy she had originally scoped out on an online dating site (one far less superior to PickV, so it’s not even worth mentioning), but didn’t hear back from when she sent him an email. Used to the crap-shoot that can be online dating emailing, she let it go and moved on. That weekend, she was at a friend’s house party and much to her surprise, so was this guy. Her friend introduced them, not knowing that they already had a connection, and as soon as their mutual friend left them to talk, the guy said, “I’m so sorry I didn’t email you back. It’s been a crazy week at work, and I haven’t had any time for anything but eating, sleeping and working. I was going to email you back next week, but this is way better. Hi.” Betsy smiled. The guy smiled. A connection was born.

After about four months and ten dates (the first of which Betsy swears was in her top five best dates ever), things fizzled, as they do. Both Betsy and the guy had other online-born connections that they would occasionally go out with, and Betsy and the guy kept having schedule conflicts, which didn’t allow them to bond as quickly as some of the other connections they both had. End result: after a few months, Betsy was feeling like it was time to call it, and try a friendship with the guy instead. She liked him as a person, but the romantic spark hadn’t lasted past the first date.

She was nervous about talking to him, since she didn’t know where he stood or what he was feeling. She is also a fan of being the dumpee, so switching sides and initiating an end was a new situation for her. She finally psyched herself up enough to make the phone call (she decided doing it in person was too intense for their particular situation), and when she got him on the phone, he seemed really happy to hear from her — relieved, almost. Cringing, she started into her pre-prepared talk, but only got as far as “So, I’ve been thinking…” before the connection cut out and she was unable to get him back on the phone. A couple hours later, after trying him twice more to no avail, she received an email from him: “Betsy — I wanted to talk to you about this earlier when you called, but now my phone is dead and after it cut out I couldn’t call you back. I really didn’t want to do this over email (I like you more than that), but I think we should just be friends. I think you’re a great person, but I’m just not feeling a spark. Let me know if you still want to hang. I totally get if you don’t, so no pressure, OK?”

How stoked was Betsy? Very stoked. It’s so… nice when things work out like this and no one gets hurt, right? Here’s to hoping that the next time you find that the spark has fizzled, whichever side you prefer (dumper or dumpee), things work out every time as well as Betsy and her dude.

Yours in pleasant endings, S