Monday, July 06, 2009

Guys Guide to Getting Dumped

At last something I can actually offer a Masterclass on, I may even try and get a pitch for my show 'Master-dead-beat' where I can tell how any person can excel at the art of being good-for-nothing. Running the contestants through a gauntlet of challanges designed to push their shamelessness to the limit. Hopefully this guide is less informative/more entertaining than the last one but no guaruntees:

1. Don't Trust Yourself

Consider this a handicap, I start out seriously. But I think possibly my greatest strength in character is that I don't trust myself. I am constantly plagued by the question 'am I the arsehole here?' and whilst not always successful, does often have me rethinking my behaviour.
In the context of getting dumped, this suspicion should be raised to the level of paranoid. 'Hey, maybe it isn't the best idea to go burn my name into her lawn?' and 'Gee perhaps I shouldn't turn up to her graduation and ask her to marry me?' and the like.
Think of it as akin to when you are trying to tidy up your diet. You mentally acknowledge that you should cut out the refined sugar products and yet - suddenly you find yourself purchasing a candy bar with your lunch. Pure compulsion.
Your about 10 times more vulnerable after getting dumped to acts of compulsion.
You are going through a grieving process, one of those bizarre circumstances where someone can be both alive, but cease to be the person you know and love. Hence your brain will trip out, going into shock, denial, etc.
As I understand it, part of these unusual mood cycles is the flooding of your brain with chemicals that can allow you to survive.
Thus whatever you are thinking of doing, run it past a friend. Better yet, get yourself in councilling as quick as you can. One of the surprising things when I went to councilling, was that my councillor was telling me the same shit in all 3 sessions. It just took 3 for it to sink into my organically drug addled brain.

2. 'An Idea cannot be removed by reason that was not created by reason in the first place'

Or something. Basically you can't argue your way out of getting dumped. By all means, ask questions. Just don't sit up all night writing a socio-economic-political breakdown into subheadings with substantiating statistics as to why you should actually still be together.
Chances are, the time for rational adult debate is passed. Ultimately your partner dumped you at the point they felt they had to. Because dumping someone is unpleasant. It's like telling your boss they are a douchebag and nobody likes them.
But yeah, I have never ever heard of anyone getting together because somebody made a really good point about the geographical proximity/ratio of mutual friends to individual friends/financial benefits of staying together.
You are much better off making appeals to emotion, describing your emotions. But the magnitude in which this is better is minimal. Over do it, and you come across as a whining unattractive prick.
You just want to let them know that it wasn't your choice to break up, your choice would be to stay together, because you love them, like them etc.

3. Responsibility

There's two circles of control that from a distance may seem to overlap, but when you get closer you realise they are far apart.
The first is your partners circle of control, in that they control their decision to stay in the relationship or not. To paraphrase my councillor 'she has made a decision about your relationship that you were not a part of' which any one is entitled to do. But your circle of control contains your own little piece of tasty pie.
Namely, that you have control of how you react, not your partner. Your partner can't dump you in a, well let's say, surprising situation of being single and expect you to handle it with dignity and maturity. The limitations of her/his/blinky the sheeps control doesn't extend as far as how you should OR do take the news.
Don't cover your shame by saying it was 'mutual' or 'amicable', just put on a brave face and say 'she dumped my sorry arse'.
I'm getting ahead of myself - take responsibility for your action on the one hand, whilst at the same time, don't let some bitch who dumped you tell you you should be mature enough to come to an intimate dinner party alone being hosted by her new avante gaurd fuckhead boyfriend. It's something Lao Tzu would have said if he had dated college girls.
So when you take responsibility, try and act maturely, and by that I think adopt the attitude that its too late, let your partner know the ball is in your court and then... excuse me while I vomit... concentrate on just being the best damn you you can be.

4. Hedge your Regrets

SO you have councilling, you ask your friends if you are being an arsehole, you tell your mutual friends you got dumped. You politely and inaudibly tell the new boyfriend to 'fuck off and die I don't want to be your friend'.
You are finally getting around to those Modern-Interpretive Dance Classes you always thought it would be funny to do, and you are volunteering to check interstate travelers for fruit-fly infected fruit.
With these accomplished, or at least undertaken, you can hedge your regrets. That is to say, a wise-ish friend said to me 'it's important to do the things you would regret not trying'.
Case in point, I have proposed to one girl in my life (to my recollection, I hope it was only one, but now find myself not so sure), knowing I would be resoundingly rejected. Except it was a year or two after I got dumped. What was the point? Well I just felt that someday I would possibly regret never having asked her. And better far far too late than never.
But it may not be that extreme. It's just you may regret not asking them to come back. Or move in with you. If you have your shit together, or have the shit together of getting your shit together, this is a safe place from which to let the said person know that, if they came back or whatever you would welcome them with open arms.
This contrasts with those that react 'get out of here bitch, I never want to see you again for as long as I live.' and come through on the threat by deleting their number from their memory, removing them from their facebook friends. Blocking their emails, and burning their face off of any photos they had.
You can hedge your bets by leaving a few bridges unburnt. Or just ask for their number again when you feel up to resuming diplomatic relations. Or when you have a new better partner that makes you forget why you even cared.
Don't find yourself alone in a room with your regrets and no unsullied photos to remember her/him/blinky the sheep by.

5. Masterclass - Smelling the dumpuing coming

Okay, once you've been dumped a couple of times, its time to step it up a notch. With experience you will learn to pick up on the early warning signs. You have a shitty girlfriend when they dump you at their house/place and force you to make the walk home. But this isn't as bad as it might first appear.
Allow me to explain. Because as afore mentioned the process of dumping someone is akin to having to gut a fish or something, it is unpleasant and typically people give it 'one last go' until they release that they have to go through with the face to face break up.
This 'one last go' takes the form of your partner ostensibly beign your girlfriend, but for some reason doesn't laugh at anything you say (okay maybe you just aren't funny), doesn't want you holding them/touching them in any way and smirking at the suggestion of physical intimacy.
You will find yourself pissed off and confused, on that night and probably for the entirety of the next day. An amatuer says 'well fuck her, I'll get my own back by refusing sex with her next time she wants it' oh my, what a faux pa, what a blunder! A master, knows and accepts that they are getting dumped, like a samurai who walks onto the point of his opponents sword, to get within striking distance of the jugular.

You need to play the part. First of all, ward off any suggestion that she might dump you over the phone. If she says 'we need to talk.' cut her off there and say 'you are right, I'll head on over and we can settle this face to face.' you just bought yourself 20 or so minutes more of relationship. Potentially the most valuable 20 minutes or so of the whole relationship.
If you play your cards right this will leave her nervous and anxious, suddenly faced with the prospect of having to commit to this horrifyingly unpleasant putting down of the puppy she bought that was cute and convenient, but has now grown into a mangey responsibility.
Head on over. Once you get there, slip on in. Now is the time to avoid eye-contact and the 'elephant in the room' which is 'it's over'. But you need to do it in a very specific way.
You need to walk immiediatly to the CD or bookshelf, or whatever other item of interest it is you want to take with you. As she tries to initiate the end, you change the subject abruplty by...wait for it... asking if you can borrow shit!

Yes, this has a surprisingly high success rate in my experience, as the concerns most pressing to her right now make CDs, books, photo-albums, Nintendo DS's etc all seem like mere possessions (it is a grieving process after all) and thus, she may flippantly agree.
It also makes for a little insurance for her, thus if she feels the need to slink over to your place with an innocent pretext, just to make sure you haven't picked up on the rebound, she knows she can always pretend to be asking for that borrowed item.

Once you get concent, no matter how vague. Keep said item in your hands at all times. If you are really practiced, you might say 'ooh I may as well take this one as well, I've always kind of liked Pearl Jam etc.' (never take the Jeff Buckley CD, you increase your chances of killing yourself 10 fold).

With a little practice, you then sit through a cold awkward conversation. Let the emotions wash over you, if you feel anger, clutch tightly that CD/Book/electronic appliance like it is the imagined face of whatever jerk cut your lunch.
If you feel sad, hold onto that CD/Book/electronic appliance like it's the only thing you will have to remember them by.
If you go into shock, you will probably cope best of all, but hold onto that CD/Book/electronic appliance as if it is your safety line as you absail down a cliff.

One caveat, I don't endorse stealing, I just argue that this is possibly the best time to borrow something, like in the old days, if you borrowed a video overnight on Saturday and the store was closed Sunday, you had until Monday! Be prepared for the possibility that you may be asked to return the borrowed item. But a master looks to profit from all situations, even one as lose-lose as getting dumped. After all things get lost ;)

2nd caveat, in particularly bitter break-ups and divorces, petty possessions can be the basis of prolonged pain and bitter bitter arguments, even legal action that results in appearing on televesion to have Judge Judy belittle both your intelligences. If you were attracted to your partner because of their stubborn take-no-prisoners-attitude. I suggest not borrowing anything, and maybe even leave a basket of muffins.

So I bet you couldn't believe that was my actual advice. Well it is.

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