Everyone has been on the wrong side of a break up at least once. If you haven’t, you’re either a virgin, or really, really good at dating. But for the rest of us mere mortals, we have plenty of fodder for those drunken story-swapping 3am chats with a good friend. It sucks being broken up with, but in my own personal opinion (which you are free to disagree with, should you feel so inclined) is that being on the business end of a break up is just as shitty, if not even more so.
I’ve had a bizarre and moderately disturbing trend lately of breaking hearts and taking names (minus the taking names part). I find myself in emotionally overwrought situations, when all I really wanted to begin with was some drunken fun. I have even described myself to a friend as being a “fuckboy”, the irony of which does not escape me (largely because I’m not a boy, but also because I’ve been jerked around by total fuckboys to a ridiculous degree).
Every time we start getting the dreaded “I’m so busy” texts from the object of our affection, we swear to ourselves and all those around us that no matter what, we will never pull this garbage on someone we aren’t quite feeling. But the truth is, no matter how big of a diplomatic game you talk, we all devolve into a cowardly subhuman once we detect the feels being transmitted in our direction that we don’t necessarily reciprocate. For all the anxiety I feel when a risky feeling-soaked text I send goes without a response for days from my crush, I feel a completely equal and opposite anxiety when my phone lights up with the name of a guy I wish would telepathically understand I’m not down.
I would like to consider myself a decent human being. No, I’m not the “donate to charities” type of good person, or even a “make eye contact with homeless people” type of good person. But for all intents and purposes, I’m not a bad person. Yet, I pull the same cowardly shit all the fuckboys have pulled on me. I dispense those standard lines we all use when trying to brush someone off: “I’m so busy” or “Sorry I was asleep” or “My phone died” or “I got stuck at work and lost all my money and my grandma fell down the stairs and please tell me you’re buying this” (also, hint: if you’ve been getting these on a regular basis, abort mission. Especially that last one). We all do this, despite the fact that there are 6 magical words that can completely dispel all of this anxiety: I’m just not that into you. It is for this reason that I cut the aforementioned jerks in my life some slack. Despite not being into me, I highly doubt that intentionally hurting me was ever the plan. Unless it was, in which I hope someone flings acid in your face.
The upsetting part of all of this is that while some people handle break ups (or brush offs) as adults, I would say a conservative estimate is that 85% of people don’t. Even the best of us cop out every once in a while. The best way to approach this is to be considerate. You may not have been dating long, or even “dating” at all – but if they’re legitimately trying to make an effort to see/speak to you and you’re not feeling it, there’s a chance of them getting hurt. And remember: when someone tells you that you hurt them, you don’t get to tell them you didn’t. There’s a person on the other end of that pussy text you’re sending, so grow a pair and at the very least be conscious of that.