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The Non-Breakup Breakup

At what point do we need to break up with someone?  When does the “fade” or non-response stop being a legitimate way of ending things?  Two weeks?  Two dates?  Do you absolutely need to have a conversation after only one date?

I feel like I’m not a complete neophyte when it comes to dating, but this is the issue that always gets me.  And I feel like I ALWAYS get stuck having “the conversation” even when it’s completely and utterly unnecessary. 

Sounds like a personal story, you say?  Well, yes, as a matter of fact, it is.

So, the brunch guy from my puking story, well, I decided I didn’t want to see him again either.  It had nothing to do with the fact that I was hungover and hating life, and everything to do with lame conversation.  And there may have been a slight height issue. 

Anyways, point is, he was supposed to make me dinner and I woke up the morning of said dinner with an overwhelming feeling of nausea (not because I was hungover), so I canceled. 

“Oh.  Ok, well, I’ll just call you early next week and we’ll make a plan for the end of the week.” 

Fine.  I just won’t answer your call, and that will be the end of it. 

This was a Thursday and he left the next day for a boozy weekend in Tahoe with his friends where, apparently, he missed me.  Starting Saturday morning, I received about 19 text messages with photos, ideas for new drinking games, updates on who was losing (clearly he was), and inquiries about what I was doing. 

“I’m working on my book today.  Have fun with your friends.”  Read: I’m busy.  Stop BUGGING me.

A half hour later I received a text inquiring as to my availability the following week and instead of throwing my phone against the wall like I wanted to, I responded with:

“Hey, it’s been great meeting you and I’ve had a lot of fun, but I have to be honest, this isn’t really what I’m looking for.  Thank you for the two great dates.  Good luck.”

Not the best way to end things but at least I extended him the courtesy of responding.  Or so I thought.

He responded with a brief, obviously hurt and slightly confused text message that ended with “good luck,” so I thought I was in the clear.  I thought it was over.  I thought we were good.

Then a half hour later….

“PS-the next time a guy spends $125 on you for brunch, offering to buy him drinks afterwards might be a nice gesture.”

“Thanks for the tip.”  Jackass.

“I don’t understand why we can’t go out again.”  Really?

“Hey, look, I’m really sorry you’re upset.  I didn’t know how much brunch cost and to be honest, I’m pretty upset you told me.  I didn’t ask for you to spend that money on me; that’s your lifestyle, not mine.  I would have been fine going for a walk with your dog.  I think we care about different things.”

This set off a barrage of text messages asking, “How could you not want to go out again?” “Why can’t we go out again?”  “I thought we had a connection.”  Etc.  I finally turned off my phone.

Well, the beautiful thing about my dating site is that you can see who has viewed your profile and when they viewed it, so when I went online a few days later to respond to a guy I actually liked, I saw that he had viewed my profile twice a day, every day, since our “break up” over text.  Then I got one of those pop-up windows letting me know “he’s viewing you right now!” 

Seriously dude?  What is your PROBLEM?  It was two dates.  Two!!!

Then an IM window pops up:

“I deserve a conversation.”  Deserve?  DESERVE?  You deserve a straight jacket. I closed out of the dating site and avoided it for a week.

He later apologized over text (coward) and when I accepted his apology he said, “You’re welcome.” 

Again, really?  You don’t say “you’re welcome” when someone accepts your apology, they’re not thanking you for a present.  He also followed with a, “If you ever want to go out again, you have my number.” 

I don’t get it.  If the situation was reversed and a guy just stopped calling or “faded”, or even gave me the courtesy of a “I’m just not that into it” text message, I wouldn’t have stalked him demanding a further explanation.  I would have shrugged it off and said, “Next!” 

I just don’t think you owe anything to people you’re just starting to date.  In the beginning, there are no promises.  No contracts are signed, no vows are exchanged.  You are free agents feeling the other person out to see if you want to make promises or sign contracts, or maybe, just maybe exchange a vow or two. Call me insensitive, but I honestly feel that for the first few months, “I’m just not that into you,” is a legitimate reason to end things.

What do you think?

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