Wednesday, August 24, 2011

male's eye view: break-ups 101

hear ye, hear ye!
today i welcome my very first guest blogger

i figure a little outside perspective is a good thing
especially when the topic is dating
and that outside perspective is male

introducing, mr. reed willis

he doesn't have his own blog for me to link to...
[umm this is totally like i'm oprah and he's dr. phil and i'm launching his career]
[please don't grow a creeper moustache, mr. willis]

so let's be encouraging and give him some comment lovin'
ready, go!


I must admit right off that I am not a blogger. This is my first post. Ever. As such, I ask that all negative comments be directed to the E.I.C. of the blog (Katie) for letting an amateur wreck the enjoyment you receive from reading the witty and insightful writings of Katie. And by reading this far in the blog, you've agreed to follow the above procedures for any complaints....I'm a lawyer (confession #2).

I'm an old, single guy that has tried to find his lucky girl (because she'll be lucky to have me!) (confession #3-humility is not a strong point). In my years (yes, years) of dating experience, there is one thing that I always dread....the DTR, the end of the relationship, the talk, or whatever euphemism you want to use to describe the horrible process where a heart is broken and dreams are dashed. It doesn't matter which part I'm playing (the breaker or the breakee), it stinks.

Here are some observations about breaking up, and some suggestions on what to do. I'm curious to see other suggestions people have in the comments section. So please share the stories! The messier they are, the more enjoyable they'll be for everyone else.

1. People never say, "We need to talk" and have it end well.

2. Please don't say the other person is great. It's already assumed that they're great or you wouldn't have wasted time on them! Plus, the breakee will often think the breaker is either crazy (which may be true) or a liar (I'm great, but you don't want to date...false).

3. Trying to spin "the talk" makes the breaker seem shifty and disingenuous. It's not gonna be a soft landing. Ego, pride and a heart are'll hurt no matter what.

4. Because "the talk" can be hard, people avoid it. Don't.

And now the suggestions:

1. Realize that it is personal, and not business (unless you're Hitch, or a matchmaker).

2. Get over yourself (both the breaker and breakee). I once was trying to end things with a girl by spinning it (see #3 above), and she said, "You're great, but not that great. It's okay." Awesome. Seriously.

3. Be honest, and receive the talk with an honest ear/heart.

4. Remember, "[F]aith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, [and] compassion." See "The Family: A Proclamation to the World". Learning how to communicate honestly and openly is needed in any relationship. Your future spouse (or current one...let's not neglect those married people! Holla!) will thank you for practicing it.

5. Have hope and faith

6. Laugh. You've had good times. Remember those and the lessons you've learned.

7. And remember two great songs by Beyonce: "Irreplaceable" and "Best Thing I've Never Had." Other songs in this category include Darius Rucker "This," and Rascal Flatts "Bless the Broken Road." The list could go on, but the Academy of Break-up Songs nominated these four. These do not reflect any personal preference, but were the first ones that came to my mind.

[via amazon]

Good luck breaking up!


Katie said...

Good perspective. Although, with the "Laugh. You've had good times" part, I completely agree - unless you're thinking obsessively about the good times you've had with your now-ex. Sometimes it's easier to pretend that things were awful for awhile - at least until it doesn't hurt so much! Ok, now it's time to get a blog, Reed! :)

p.s. Thanks for not leaving out the married people - even if I have only been married for two-and-a-half weeks! ;)

Rachel Jones said...

Now...I do not want to develop a reputation of breaking up, but clearly (since I'm single) I'm better at breaking up than getting married. The odds are against me. Although probably an inappropriate request (I'm going to ask anyway), I think it would be interesting to hear from one of the girls Reed has broken up with, to find out how his methods really work.  As a lawyer, he understands the need for evidence. (I suggest that they dated a minimum of 2 weeks to be both relevant and admissible evidence).
I’m just kidding. That would be both awkward and inappropriate for this light hearted, soul baring post.
As a suggestion for break ups (not that my opinion was solicited for this hot topic) BUT, I suggest feeding them when you are going to break up. Men are so much more patient and understanding when they have been fed. Just sayin.

Scott said...

Great stuff Reed, wouldn't have expected anything else from you. I do differ on one of your observations, the first one in fact. I have used "we need to talk" for good reasons and it has produced good results. When you think about it, needing to talk is almost always good because there is communication and often thoughts and feelings that have been waiting to come out are finally going to be expressed. A break up can be and often is a positive thing. It means you've got one more person out of your way as you continue looking for "the one." When you realize it's time to move on, hopefully before he other person, try this approach: "I have excellent news, through our time together I've learned and grown as a person and I sincerely hope you have too. I know for a fact we can each find true love and happiness, we just need to keep looking."

Reed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Reed said...

@Katie: I think my next post will be about what to do post break-up. Obsessing is not a good thing. And congrats on the marriage!

@Rachel: I passed Break-ups 101...I'm still working on the lab. I'm still working on putting the theories into practice. Food is always a good way to lessen the blow.

@Scott: I do think that talking is important. See Suggestions 3 and 4. I think the phrase "We need to talk" often leads to people putting up walls, feeling stressed, and react so they don't get hurt. I think when people put up walls, it shuts down open and honest communication. I have had "the talk" with several girls that ended really well. But, none of them started with "We need to talk." I'll definitely try your suggested phrase of learning and growth the next time I have "the talk" with a girl!

Rachel Jones said... you generally present her with a certificate of achievement or medal, as well? It sounds very much like graduation. ;) That would be cool.