Friday, September 20, 2013

Adult Women’s Guide to Dating Volume III: Explain My Ass

I dated this guy in college for a few weeks and then he stopped calling me.  Suddenly.  By no means were we in love but I really dug him.  He had fantastic green eyes and tousled hair and could kiss his FACE off!  I was bummed with the sudden change.  Then I see him on campus one day not long after with his arm draped over the shoulders of a girl I knew from my Spanish lab.  It was clear they were together.  He stopped awkwardly, disentangled himself from her, mouth falling open, and his hands widening in full blown explanation posture.   I smiled and said hello, politely cutting him off before he started, and walked away.  Then, I NEVER THOUGHT OF HIM AGAIN.  Well, until just now telling this story.  You get my gist.

An explanation was irrelevant.  He was dating her and NOT me.  I hadn’t done anything and we weren’t exclusive or serious.  An explanation wouldn’t change the outcome and certainly wouldn’t make me feel any better.  In fact, the only one who generally feels better during an explanation is the explainer.  And that’s super lame. 

This holds especially true with the liars and the cheaters.  You don’t explain your way out of sleeping with another woman.  You can’t.  And hearing the intimate details only makes the burn more severe for the person wronged while simultaneously lessening the burden the cheater has been carrying.  That’s the shittiest math equation ever.  Knowing you went four rounds on the sofa with a 22 year old waitress “but you don’t love her” isn’t going to make swallowing the cheated-on pill any easier.  And that visual is all I am going to see every time you leave the house. 

So, I know what you’re thinking right now.  “What the hell am I supposed to do if I don’t get an explanation?  Do I just stare at him in muted rage?”  The answer depends on the scenario.  There are two.

I give you Volume III in all it’s Glory:
folding chair9.  As a grown woman, I will not let myself be subject to explanations or excuses for bad behavior. If a man fails me he doesn’t have the right to try to excuse it away. I will either walk (as in away forever) or I will talk.
  • Walk aka The Deal Breaker: If the grievance is unforgivable, the answer to that question is NO.  In a deal breaker scenario you walk the hell away but not before introducing his face to the Eff Chair™.  Make him carry that shit along for the duration.  Don’t let him unload his excuses on you and feel better.  You sure as hell don’t.
  • Talk aka The Forgivable: If he forgot to take the trash out, we can leave the Eff Chair where it’s at and spare his face, but the answer is still “No.”  If what he did is still pretty significant I suggest a different tactic.  Instead of listening to explanations that don’t make things right tell him how it made you feel and what you expect in the future.  He agrees or he doesn’t.  It’s not on you to make it right. 
Example: “It hurt me that you lied about going to serve soup to the homeless and got drunk with your buddies at the driving range.  Let’s not make this a habit.” 

Enough said.

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