My guy pals have told me that men are emotional cowards. They’d rather walk barefoot over broken glass than do something that would make a woman cry. Thus their preference for going poof rather than tell you they have changed their mind.
A year ago I was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal for a story about how younger people learn their sweetie has broken up with them by their partner changing their Facebook relationship status to “single,” or by a text message. I thought that was immature. Midlife people didn’t do this kind of cowardly thing, did they?
Today I learned that King Charming has broken up with me. Did he tell me? No. In fact, in an hour-long IM two days ago he said, “I did not contact you nor meet you with the intention of our sharing a short-lived transient relationship. I am one who likes things to last for a very long time…. Candid with you I will always try to be….”
Well, so much for being candid! Here’s how I learned that we are not the couple I thought — and he said — we were.
He had been gone for 2.5 weeks dealing with the aftermath of an unexpected family tragedy. We texted regularly and he called once. We both proclaimed our affection for the other and how much we missed each other. In the last month, I’ve regularly received messages like:
“My whole life has changed, oh what a wonderful change it is to be a part of your life and to have you be in mine. You enchanted me from the beginning and now I care not to think of being without you my sweet. Whether near or far you’re always on my mind and in my heart because for you there is a special place reserved just for YOU.” And “Being away from you for any reason will not ever be enjoyable for me. You have a special place in my head and my heart and nothing I could here now imagine will alter that in any way because I tell you with pride and joy that I want YOU…!”
We’d had the conversation about not being interested in seeing others, how we’d taken down our profiles from the dating sites, how we weren’t pursuing or accepting invitations from others. We didn’t use the “exclusive” word, but we said it in different ways.
In the most recent IM conversation he disclosed he was going on an extended road trip the next day to clear his head — with no mention of our seeing each other before he left. He had no idea how long he’d be gone — it could be weeks. I was disappointed and hurt. As diplomatically as I could, I asked when we would see each other. When he returned.
In the past 2 months when we have been apart and I missed him, I enjoyed reading his hidden, now-private dating profile on the site where he found me. I’ve told him I do this, so he knows I read it periodically.
On the day we met, he hid his profile from pubic view and changed his headline from “Need Just You…” to “I have found you.” Under “How would you describe yourself,” he’d changed “One happy man who sought to find that one good woman” to “One happy man who sought to find that one good woman to make my queen and by fate’s will [my screen name] has come into my life now and I have no urge to seek another.” And from “I am looking forward to meeting you and exploring more than possibilities. It is my hope that you are of a like mind” to “Lovely [my name], now that we’ve begun to communicate I am looking forward to meeting you and exploring more than possibilities. It is my hope that you are of a like mind.”
When I looked at his profile this morning, 1) it was active again, 2) he had been on the site within the last 48 hours, 3) the headline and verbiage were back to the original.
In his most recent IM he mentioned one of the places he will visit is the small town where his last girlfriend lives. On our fourth date he said he’d told her about me and she wasn’t happy. Well, it appears he will be seeing her on this trip — and by all indications it isn’t to shout his love for me while jumping on her couch.
He had removed her pictures from his public Flicker account soon after we met. Now her pic is back. There were two of him and me — one of us kissing. Now that one is gone, although there is one left. Perhaps she, too, peruses his pics periodically, and he knows that she does, as he knows I do.
So all of this adds up to a cowardly king and a disappointed, single goddess. Unless I am misreading all this evidence.
Have you ever discovered someone you were dating exclusively broke up with you but didn’t tell you? How did you handle it?