Lions, and Tigers, and Break-Ups! Oh, My!

Did I mention I’ve been dating someone for a couple of months?  It hasn’t been anything super serious and I wouldn’t even go so far as to call us boyfriend and girlfriend, but it’s definitely been something.  However.

You know that first spark?  The one where they’re interesting and you have so much fun and you want to see them and blah, blah, blah?  Well whatever flame had been burning has been slowly flickering out and I haven’t known what to make of it.  This is always the case.  Something isn’t quite right so it stresses me out, then I retreat unto myself, I don’t want to hang out with the other person, I don’t act in an affectionate way (tho, to be honest, PDA-friendly I am not), and I go into excuse mode.  Well maybe it’s because I’m stressed at work…  Or maybe it’s because I’m just bad at dating…  Or maybe it really is us but it’s because we only go out to eat and don’t do other things so we don’t give ourselves the right opportunity… Or whatever.

Kate the Cowardly Lion

It all amounts to this: I am the Cowardly Lion of break-ups.

Rather than owning up to the fact that I’m just not into him, I hide and I make my excuses and feel sorry for myself and ultimately end up sabotaging things to the point where we’re miserable almost 100% of the time.  Cowardly Kate, right there.  The cruddiest part of it?  I date really fantastic guys.  I know, don’t hate me.  But I do. With the exception of one guy, my boyfriends have been really great people.  They’ve treated me well, they’ve been thoughtful, and when I was suddenly pulling away, coming up with my excuses, they were there trying to be understanding about it.  Cue massive guilt.

But I do think that’s part of it.  I’ve never wanted to own up to what’s really going on because I dread that conversation and the potential to hurt someone who is so kind-hearted.  When they’ve been so good to you, how do you tell them they’re just not right for you?  Yah, yah, you just tell them.  So you say.  It was never easy and so I never did it.

Until yesterday.  Call it maturity, but I finally realized how unfair it was to the guy and to me to go on in this state.  The conversation weighed on me all weekend (longer than that, if I’m honest) and I finally brought up my concerns, fully expecting it to The Break-Up Moment.  And yah know, a funny thing happened.  Not only was it not as bad as I imagined, but he reacted in a way that I hadn’t anticipated.  He said he really liked me and wished I’d given him feedback earlier so we could work on the issues which he viewed as easily fixable.  Huh.  I won’t go into the gory details.  In fact, I don’t remember the gory details.  (Really, who does?  Do you?  Because my own explanation of The State of Things became so convoluted that I could have talked about eating SpaghettiOs at the top of the Eiffel Tower, for all I know)  Suffice it to say, we are “taking a break.”  Yes, we cringed too.  But it’s not a bad plan.  We’re giving ourselves two weeks and then we’ll see.

Spinster friends, in a matter of hours “taking a break” changed my entire outlook.  Unsurprisingly, the weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I look forward to our next outing.  I know, don’t you just want to reach through the computer screen, shake me, and go, “SEE?!?!?!  When you talk to someone about your feelings, good things can happen.”

Right.  Yah.  For all my ranting about dating and such, I know I’m not even close to being perfect on that front.  My cowardly and non-confrontational way of addressing relationship issues is right there at the top of Things Kate Must Address if She Wants to Find Her Mr. Darcy.  So I can’t give much advice on this, but if you’re waffling about your man or lady friend dilemma and whether to say something, make like Nike and JUST DO IT.


17 thoughts on “Lions, and Tigers, and Break-Ups! Oh, My!

  1. I’ve been trying to write something wise about relationships and communication but all I can think of is Kate the Cowardly Lion. I’m laughing way too hard at that image.

  2. Every Lioness needs a cowardly side – its all about balance 😉

    I’ve been shamefully guilty of planning the avoidance game for the sole purpose of forcing them to break up with me. Karma caught up with me though and now everyone I date dumps me via third party (ie. telephone, email and Facebook – sadly no post it note yet)

    It was the mighty roar in you that let you actually discuss the subject with him at all, give yourself some more credit 😉

    • Ugh, how horrible. Another bad one – with all the online dating people just stop calling. So you’re stuck there thinking “are they just busy or do they not like me?” The time one wastes analyzing it is very annoying.

  3. Yeah, been there. To be fair, I think only good people who shy away from hurting someone could be this hesitant to talk turkey.
    Plus, you are not brave because you are not afraid of anything, you are brave when you overcome your fears. Which is what you did. So it looks like Cowardly Kate is a thing of the past now. Things can only get better from here on out. Good luck!

  4. This post completely and utterly speaks to me. Mostly because it is me. I’m not past the cowardly phase and I’m not sure I can just get out of it right now. Give me strength!

    • It was the worst week, getting myself ready to address the issue. Every time I thought about it I’d break out in a sweat and get very, very anxious about the whole thing. This is all to say, it’s not easy, but we can get past the Cowardly Lion phase!!

  5. How does one go from dating one day to ending a relationship the next? Really, no one wants to stop dating, ever. The trick is to date the one you are having a relationship with. The hallmark of dating is that slight feeling of insecurity. Helping him feel insecure in the relationship will help you feel the same. Game on. Great post.

  6. I’m another Cowardly Lion…so much so that when I talked to the last one on the phone the other day (for the first time in weeks – yeah, bad, I know) and he mentioned I should come visit him and have lunch, I totally said, “Oh yeah, I should!” knowing full well there is no way I’m going out with him again…yep, I get the cowardly thing…

    • I’ve done the same thing. You’re completely not alone in that. I wish I could say it was easy to be open and up front about the whole thing. It wasn’t. The whole time I was choking back tears (that kind of frog-in-throat feeling) and I kept thinking…why?! I can only guess it was because I was just upset to have to tell that to someone and it made me emotional. Seriously, how do people do it after they’ve been in long-term relationships?

      • When I told my ex-husband I wanted a divorce, after 12 years together, it was excruciating…I’ve pretty much decided I will never go through that if I ever get married again, that poor schmuck is stuck with me!

  7. Oddly enough, I kind of understand. Even when I found out my husband cheated, I waited for absolutely everything to go wrong before making the break. I just didn’t want to be the one to pull the trigger on something that had once been so great.

    As a result, I now avoid relationships altogether. Something tell me this is a bad long-term life plan.

    • Yes, it’s a bad long-term life plan! You are hilarious and fabulous and I hope his crappy actions don’t stick with you forever. That’s what I hate about things of that nature – half the time the other person just moves on but the innocent party is left with all the feelings for weeks/months/years. It’s very unfair. I had a boyfriend who cheated on my in college. He’s now referred to as Adam the Jackass Ex-Boyfriend. I also openly proclaim feeling sorry for any girl that he dates. Maybe it’s not the nicest thing, but it makes me feel like I have the control over any of the emotions that had on me at one time.

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