This One Is For The Ladies

posted in People on Jan 31, 2009

A topic of discussion came up in the office the other day. It was about how to handle the ending of relationships; specifically how a girl is supposed to get rid of a guy to create the least amount of “hurt feelings,” so to speak. There are many ideas from many different sources on the subject, and every relationship tends to be different (if it’s not then you’re probably Bill Murray in Groundhog Day), but we were trying to establish the best panacea for our thought experiment. There was one point, one “solution” to the problem of a waning and poor relationship that struck me as, well, poor itself, and as a man, I’ve gone through this scenario more than once.

The way to end a relationship, as described – and paraphrased here – by a (female) coworker, is to let the man down slowly over a period of time, by means of still spending time with them, but attempting to ween them from the idea that there should be a relationship. Again, coming from the male side of this unfortunately all-too-common hypothetical situation, I was rather upset that this method of de-relationshipping might actually be pre-loaded into the female repertoire and not just something that accidentally happens. I’ve gone through several instances of where this exact course of action has been played out on me, and all the while I could only think, “Well, shucks, this is ending, but ending poorly.” I had no idea that it might have been an intentional slow burn. In retrospect I can see how it benefits the woman. They still get taken out, get free food, see free movies, have someone to call for a sounding board…until someone else comes along who is better looking or the tension of the declining relationship finally comes to a fever pitch.

Unfortunately for us guys it’s an entirely different feeling. Sure, there are the signs that girlpants over there isn’t feeling you the way she used to, but she still is calling and she still wants to go out and she still talks to you…but soon her doubt starts to subtly show through in a three month long decrescendo of affection until you’re left with your pockets turned out and your heart broken. Not the best of feelings.

Myself and the other prominent male figure in the office firmly established the point that the Band-Aid method is preferable. You simply have to tear it off. There may be sharper initial pain, but it only lasts so long. You know the outcome and you know it RIGHT NOW.

Now, the last few paragraphs are not to eschew looking at the direct opposite of things. Guys do this too, and I’m sure it sucks as well. But here’s the kicker: for the vast majority of guys, and guys who may or may not write to forums/blogs online (such as yours truly), being dumped and then trying to find someone new is difficult. This next statement is completely biased, but I will go ahead and say it: females have it easier when looking for a partner. It’s that simple. You can argue with me if you want and that’s fine, but it’s true. Show a little leg and you have a date.

So what this post boils down to is this: Is it better to do a slow burn to finish off a relationship or is it better just to rip it right off and part your ways? As a guy I have to say the latter, but I know females who prefer the former. What say ye?