About A Woman’s Right to Choose to Break Up With a Perfectly Good Man
For once, I didn’t want to be right. My gut was telling me something was wrong, she was acting distant and cold, but I didn’t want to think it had anything to do with me. Certainly I didn’t deserve the treatment, as many times as I asked her what was wrong, she came up with gibberish.
When I broke down the way my girlfriend was treating me to a friend of mine, someone who didn’t know her well, but with whom I felt comfortable confiding, she set me straight. “She’s treating you the way you guys treat girls you don’t like or don’t want to be with.” Her diagnosis was a wake up call.
I called my girlfriend, attempted small talk before delving into the bigger issue. But she wasn’t even up for chit-chat and tried to get off the phone as quickly as she got on it. That’s when I said, “Okay, this is ridiculous. What’s your problem? Why are you treating me like this?” She was caught off guard by my bluntness. There was silence, then I could hear a crack in her voice. She admitted she didn’t know exactly what was wrong, whether it was her or me, but something between us didn’t sit well with her and she wanted some time to herself to think about it.
A week later, in a park not far from her apartment, we sat down on a bench. There, she broke up with me.
I was a full grown man and the news made me cry like a baby. I was shocked, hurt, and upset. Here I thought this was the woman for me, and I treated her as such. I don’t know if I did everything right, but I damn sure didn’t shoot myself in the foot. The self-destructive tendencies I fell victim to in most relationships were off the table. I wanted to be this woman’s man and I didn’t want to mess it up.
I pressed in search for concrete, tangible things I did or said that made her look at me and us and say, “No, he’s not the one I thought he would be.” She didn’t have any. She certainly didn’t find any evidence that led her to believe I was being unfaithful or dishonest, because I wasn’t. So as you can imagine, I was quite confused.
It took me a while to realize there didn’t need to be a definitive reason for her not wanting to be with me. And I’m ashamed to admit, part of that had to do with me underestimating a woman’s ability to choose to be single and her need for more time before she settles down.
I needed to be broken up with to remind myself women don’t always want what we think they want. A part of my pain was induced by the blow my pride took. I could not believe after loving this woman to the best of my ability she still did not want to be with me. But when I stopped searching for things I did wrong and started replaying the things she said to me, I began to better understand, she was treating me the way guys treat girls they don’t like or with whom they no longer want.
One of the most frustrating things about moving on was when people asked me what happened between her and I. Though many asked me what I did wrong, jokingly, they found it hard to believe I did nothing to deserve it. That wasn’t only insensitive to me (because I really did not do anything to provoke being broken up with, which doesn’t make her perfect, but I digress), that was insulting to her.
Sometimes, when I talk to guys who tell me they’re hesitant to commit to a woman who they know is good to them and really cares about them, I tell them to give her what she wants up front. I tell them if they’re not afraid of her changing her mind and wanting to end things in 3-6 months, he should give her all of him and watch what happens. In 3-6 months, she may be surprised to find out she doesn’t want it anymore. Women, like men, only think they want what they don’t have. That kind of thinking is not exclusive to gender, it’s human nature.
There’s this idea we have that women want to be in relationships and it’s so surface. We believe all a woman desires or dreams about is a good man who will come home to her and her alone at the end of a long day, who only has eyes for her and only wants to be with her. We believe all a woman wants is a boyfriend who she can bring around her friends and family and say, “This man is the one.”
That kind of thinking is short-sighted and seen on TV. We have to stop believing relationships are what every woman wants. Women like to be single too. We also have to stop thinking even if relationships are what they want, they may not want such things with us.
Women have options. You can give me numbers to show me otherwise, but I prefer to date highly desirable women for whom the numbers don’t apply. The type of woman who is single for not only a reason, but her own reasons, that’s the woman I like.
One thing I can say about my girlfriend, she didn’t believe in all the statistics that said she’d be lucky to find a man who wanted to marry her. She wasn’t looking for a man. Instead she found me, thought she wanted differently, gave it a shot, and decided it wasn’t for her. So it’s back to the bachelorette life for her. Her and I are friends now, and though I don’t know all the details about her current dating life, I’m pretty sure non-existent isn’t a word she would use to describe it.
I have broken up with more women who have broken up with me, but I like to remind people me being single isn’t entirely my fault. I could have been with this woman or that woman, and when they ask me why I’m not I tell them the truth: She didn’t want to be with me.
That’s fine. It happens. What’s not fine is acting like it can’t happen, and acting like a woman’s feelings can’t change.
Admittedly, the relationship I am speaking about was rushed into. Our foundation was shoddy, to say the least, and built hastily. But I believed we could prevail and the fact that it didn’t took me aback all because she was a woman, and I once thought when I’m ready to be with a woman, that woman will be just as ready. She was born ready.
My girlfriend wasn’t crazy for breaking up with a man like me. I was crazy for thinking a man like me is something she wanted simply because she was a woman. Maybe I did do something wrong, but to say such a thing is shortchanging her ability to make her own decisions. Maybe she didn’t want to be in a relationship at all? After all, she remains single. Maybe she wanted to be with someone else? This is also a possibility. Either way one thing was certain during our breakup conversation: Through her tears, she said, “I don’t know what I want.” I told her, “I know you don’t want me.” Sometimes, that’s all a woman needs to know.
These days when I date, I don’t carry with me the pain of the breakup, but I definitely keep the lesson close. I like to remind a woman, we need to take our time not only so I can figure out if she is who I want, but so she can figure out if she wants me, a perfectly good man.