Author Topic: What to Say  (Read 7028 times)

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Redneck Gravy

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Re: What to Say
« Reply #30 on: July 11, 2013, 02:10:48 PM »
I had a relationship end because our work schedules changed dramatically at the same time.   After a couple of weeks I realized I hadn't heard from him and that I hadn't missed him either.

When people ask if I am still seeing XYZ, I just say, "no that relationship ended.  It didn't end badly, it just ended.  I have nothing negative to say about it."  We have a lot of the same friends and run in several overlapping circles. 

And quite honestly it's the truth.  We had a great time together but it had kind of run it's course and wasn't going to the next level for either of us.  We will probably go out as "gotta show up with a date" in the future but the actual dating for long term is over.

I hate to hear someone belittle the other party and drag their name into the mud after a breakup.  It's like they didn't notice these things during the dating period   :o

   

EllenS

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Re: What to Say
« Reply #31 on: July 11, 2013, 07:18:39 PM »
Miranova, I think it is fascinating to find out the different ways people feel and process stuff, and I appreciate you talking it out.  I wasn't talking about "giving notice" - the "period of time" may just be from the beginning of the conversation to the end of it, depending on how the person reacts.

But it is really hard for me to understand how someone would have an issue bothering them to the point they are "considering" breaking up, without even bringing the topic up in conversation - like, EVER?  Of course the person may be surprised that you are breaking up, but the REASON for the breakup - how could they not know that about you, if you are being your authentic self (excepting, of course dating partners who are just so self-involved they don't notice anything about anyone).

Someone upthread used the example of dating a person with a passionate interest that you find creepy/repellent (a newt collection or something). Unless you are pretending to like newts or that it doesn't bother you, surely they would be aware you are turned off by the newt thing?

Or if you really want kids, or believe your partner is an alcoholic, how do you process all that inside your head without your partner ever knowing it?  Wouldn't you have talked about wanting kids, or said something about the drinking at some point when it happened?

I guess where I'm coming from is, if you are breaking up with someone because their behavior, or priorities, or goals, are incompatable with yours - surely they did that behavior, or acted on those priorities/goals along the way - how could they not know what you think about it?
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TurtleDove

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Re: What to Say
« Reply #32 on: July 11, 2013, 08:36:58 PM »
I totally agree with EllenS - it would seem really strange to me to not have addressed an issue that is a deal breaker. It's not about "giving notice" so much as it is "hey, you are important to me - this is bothering me - what can we do?" And if this isn't done it seems like the people involved don't communicate well at all!

blarg314

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Re: What to Say
« Reply #33 on: July 12, 2013, 12:49:23 AM »
I think it's starting to sound like I never communicated any feelings while dating, and that's not true.  I'm only talking about breakups and addressing the notion that if a break up is a surprise that is proof that someone wasn't honest.  I am only contesting that point which I really don't think is accurate.  I don't think I am obligated to tell someone that I'm thinking of breaking up with them, but let's just wait a few weeks first so he isn't surprised.  I am actually having a hard time understanding that.

I think that's a good point.

dating someone definitely doesn't come with a responsibility to reform someone into a shape  that's acceptable to you.

Sometimes you *have* tried to address things, or let someone know that you're unhappy, and they didn't notice, or didn't listen, or didn't take things seriously. Sometimes the problem is something that isn't changeable, or you can't handle. Sometimes it's not specific things, just a general this isn't working for me feeling. Or you realized that the relationship is getting serious, and you don't want that. Or it's not anything specific - it's just the person. That's why we generally date before getting seriously committed - to see if someone you are initially attracted to you is someone you want to be with.

It's also very, very difficult to delicately let someone know that you're considering dumping them, but haven't made up your mind yet.

What I do think is that if you are going to *tell* a person why you don't like them (or why you're breaking up with them) in more detail than "it's just not working", it needs to be at a point when the feedback is useful (and making yourself feel better doesn't count).

And if you've decided to break up with someone, do it immediately, rather than trying to drop hints to get them used to the idea. That's just cruel. There are a few exceptions - waiting until the day after a big exam, rather than the day before, for example.

In a dating situation, even a long term one, I don't think there's any obligation to work on things once you've decided it's not for you. You're dating, you haven't made a formal commitment. If you *have* made a formal commitment, then it's different - if you're living together, have kids together, or are legally married, then breaking up involves practical and legal considerations, and a lot more disruption to daily life.

EllenS

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Re: What to Say
« Reply #34 on: July 12, 2013, 04:28:35 PM »
Sometimes you *have* tried to address things, or let someone know that you're unhappy, and they didn't notice, or didn't listen, or didn't take things seriously. Sometimes the problem is something that isn't changeable, or you can't handle. Sometimes it's not specific things, just a general this isn't working for me feeling. Or you realized that the relationship is getting serious, and you don't want that.

That's what I mean.  Of course, if someone isn't listening, you've just got to put a stop to it.

Even with a "this isn't working for me" or "I don't want to be serious", surely that's going to come out, though?  I mean body language, saying "no" to things. I guess I'm just talking about living your boundaries, expressing your opinions, and not leading people on or keeping your feelings a secret.
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wolfie

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Re: What to Say
« Reply #35 on: July 12, 2013, 04:34:21 PM »
I totally agree with EllenS - it would seem really strange to me to not have addressed an issue that is a deal breaker. It's not about "giving notice" so much as it is "hey, you are important to me - this is bothering me - what can we do?" And if this isn't done it seems like the people involved don't communicate well at all!

I am imagining that some of this is coming before that person is important to you. For example if I am going out with someone for say a month and I discover that he has a huge doll collection that creeps me out I will just tell him it isn't working out because well.. after a month he isn't important enough to me for me to try to work things our or discuss them.

TurtleDove

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Re: What to Say
« Reply #36 on: July 12, 2013, 04:38:18 PM »
I totally agree with EllenS - it would seem really strange to me to not have addressed an issue that is a deal breaker. It's not about "giving notice" so much as it is "hey, you are important to me - this is bothering me - what can we do?" And if this isn't done it seems like the people involved don't communicate well at all!

I am imagining that some of this is coming before that person is important to you. For example if I am going out with someone for say a month and I discover that he has a huge doll collection that creeps me out I will just tell him it isn't working out because well.. after a month he isn't important enough to me for me to try to work things our or discuss them.

I guess our terminology differs a bit - I wouldn't consider stopping hanging out with someone I've been hanging out with for a month as "breaking up."  I think EllenS and I were talking about actual relationships of some commitment and duration - in those situations, I think it would be odd to have a deal breaker never be discussed.

EllenS

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Re: What to Say
« Reply #37 on: July 12, 2013, 04:46:12 PM »
I totally agree with EllenS - it would seem really strange to me to not have addressed an issue that is a deal breaker. It's not about "giving notice" so much as it is "hey, you are important to me - this is bothering me - what can we do?" And if this isn't done it seems like the people involved don't communicate well at all!

I am imagining that some of this is coming before that person is important to you. For example if I am going out with someone for say a month and I discover that he has a huge doll collection that creeps me out I will just tell him it isn't working out because well.. after a month he isn't important enough to me for me to try to work things our or discuss them.

I guess our terminology differs a bit - I wouldn't consider stopping hanging out with someone I've been hanging out with for a month as "breaking up."  I think EllenS and I were talking about actual relationships of some commitment and duration - in those situations, I think it would be odd to have a deal breaker never be discussed.

Good point.  I think this harkens back to the beginning of the thread - it really depends on what duration/level of dating you are talking about.  If you are just going out with someone sometimes, with no expectations or committment, there's really no reason to say anything other than "no thanks" the next time they ask.
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miranova

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Re: What to Say
« Reply #38 on: July 13, 2013, 04:18:02 AM »
I totally agree with EllenS - it would seem really strange to me to not have addressed an issue that is a deal breaker. It's not about "giving notice" so much as it is "hey, you are important to me - this is bothering me - what can we do?" And if this isn't done it seems like the people involved don't communicate well at all!

But the very things I'm talking about are the things that I couldn't or didn't want to DO anything about.  I'm talking about personality traits.  Things that make people who they are, things that in my opinion no amount of "working on" will change. 

I am enjoying the discussion, and hope it continues because it is very fascinating.  However the insistence that there is some dishonesty going on continues to baffle me.  I pride myself in always being honest.  I don't give false compliments, I don't say things I don't mean.  I don't pretend I'm happy if I'm not.  If I say "fine", I truly mean fine, and little cliches about how you know you're in trouble when a woman says she is fine annoy me because I certainly don't participate in those kind of games. 

I did online dating and was always upfront right in my profile about kids, preferred age, location, religion, what I was looking for etc.  Brutally honest.  I would not continue to chat with anyone who didn't fall into what I was looking for, because I don't lead people on and refused to change my standards.  I also wasn't there to find friends.  Ironically, even though people claim they want honesty, I found that a lot of men were extremely annoyed when told things like "the age difference is more than I'm comfortable with" or "our beliefs just don't seem to match up".  If I had a nickle for every time I got treated like I was a horrible human being simply for stating these honest, simple facts that were already listed in my profile....but I digress.  My point was, no one was ever lead on or unaware of any dealbreakers before a relationship started.

After reading some of the responses, I think it's the duration of the relationship that is influencing a lot of our differing opinions.  I mentioned this before, but it may have been missed.  I would never BE with someone for multiple years without a marriage decision, so I've never been in a situation where I broke up with someone I had been dating for several years.  (I have been divorced, but I consider a marriage break up to be a totally separate topic.) So I guess maybe that's where the disconnect is.  People are picturing a lovely committed relationship that's been going on for 5 years or more and I didn't think that was the sole situation that we were discussing.  Yes, I would absolutely have dealt with any dealbreakers before 5 years!  That was part of my point actually, that as soon as I know something isn't working for me, I will break up with someone rather than trying to change them or "work on it" for several more years first.  I am baffled that that would be seen as dishonest.  It appears pretty upfront and honest to me.

As I said I knew my current husband was THE ONE when I liked him exactly how he was.  I didn't have to work on anything to get it that way, it just WAS.  Of course we have our differences and arguments and have to work on things NOW, because that is the reality of marriage and living with someone for the rest of your life.  It takes work and compromise.  Again it may just be semantics, but now matter how wonderful things are, I don't consider myself "committed" to someone before marriage.  Both people have every right to walk away before marriage.  I am in no way judging anyone else's level of commitment before marriage, and I do know that many people see themselves as equally committed without marriage, and it's not my place or intention to say that everyone should feel the same as I do.  I'm only trying to explain why I was never interested in "let's work on this" before marriage.  It's just not for me, and I've watched too many friends throw away years of their lives in failed relationships and their reasoning is "well I have to be willing to work on things, right?"  No, you don't have to, not if you don't want to.  None of us have a moral obligation to continue to date someone or put in a certain amount of work or time on any one person.

I was also thinking....of course I certainly have not always been the one to break things off.  I've obviously experienced my share of being dumped.  I've always felt at least SOME surprise.  I mean, no one walks around thinking "I bet he will break up with me today".  But, it happens, and I can't say that I've ever had the thought "yeah, no surprise there".  I mean I can look back and do Monday morning quarterbacking and find signs after the fact, but I never knew it was coming before it happened.  So I guess I just see surprise as one of the feelings that always accompanies breakups, along with other things like hurt, maybe some anger (depending on circumstances of course), grief etc, and don't see it as an indication of dishonesty. Certainly some people are dishonest, no doubt.  But not all.