I feel that writing a "chick" column has not ruined my dating life quite enough, so I have thus pursued the answer to yet another post-divorce dating question: How do women dump men now?
The following list of things NOT to do were compiled using extensive research among all my friends, both male and female, which means it is most certainly NOT scientific. I didn't even go to the trouble of forming a hypothesis or creating a controlled environment. However, the following themes did present themselves again and again.
I must present the following disclaimer, though: If your sense of humor is lacking, please don't read any further. In lieu of the trial and error of my dating adventures, I would recommend that you go read some Ayn Rand or something all intellectual like that because the following list is for pure entertainment and does not serve any purpose whatsoever.
1. Don't take his phone calls.
While great in theory, ignoring the phone is not so great in practice. For one, a ringing phone is obnoxious. Secondly, like some women, some men can't take a hint. He is thinking, "Maybe her cell phone battery is dead. Maybe she has just been too busy for the last two weeks straight. In fact, I'm going to just show up where she works to make sure everything is OK." Yep. It's better to be honest.
2. Tell him he icks you out.
As much as you might want to tell him that "Seed of Chucky" is not your idea of cinematic art or that you can't believe someone gets paid to write Kid Rock lyrics, either he's not going to understand what you are telling him or he's going to get all defensive and call you a bitter, man-hating bitch. Not that I would know from experience or anything. And as far as I know, there are no self-help books for men we are "just not that into," so we will always lose with the ick. It's better to just lie.
3. Let's just be friends.
Boy, can this one backfire on you. What you are really saying here is, "You are a very nice guy and can be entertaining; however, I'm just not that into you, but I don't want to be that girl who dumps nice guys, so let's just be friends." He hears, "I still want you to call me twice a day, and there is still a remote possibility we could date." It's better to be a bitch.
4. Be a bitch.
By the time a chick resorts to number four, she is her most heinous self, so this should not be too difficult. Pull out your most passive of aggressions and the most underhanded of comments, plus anything you can remember from past conversations that can be used as components of your arsenal. Like that time he wore a tacky shirt to your friend's house or when he didn't call for a few days because he was in court defending an innocent woman. Be aware that the "be a bitch" technique will most certainly give you a reputation as, well, a bitch. It might be better to just tell him you want to marry him and have his babies. That'll scare him off quick.
Yes, most women know we are all grown-ups and deserve dignity and respect when ending a relationship. However, like some women we know, some men have developed a wide variety of defense mechanisms to avoid hearing "it's not you…it's me" or even a simple "we don't have much in common."
Like the fingers in the ears "LALALALALA! I can't hear you!" mechanism. While this defense will in fact keep one from hearing the female voice, we all know there is not much one can do to keep a woman from talking.
No one likes to dump or get dumped, except for that one guy who only dates "slim" women, but we know where his real "size" issue is now don't we? And while we're on that subject, who told him he is 6 feet tall? Now really. I know how tall I am, and if you're looking me in the eyes saying you're 6 feet tall, not only are you shallow, but you're a liar!
I'm sorry. I got distracted. Yes, no one likes to dump or get dumped. It tends to bruise egos no matter how we deal it and which side does the dealing.
I have found a way to lessen the odds of a bad break-up, though. It seems easier to get to know a guy and have actual conversations before the first date, if there even is a first date. That way you'll know before physical attraction gets involved if said date has an eerie collection of weaponry or a room full of stuffed elephants. And if he's pushing to go faster than you desire, set him up with that girl who is ready to get married and make babies.
They are meant for each other.
JFP columnist Emily Braden is a free-lance writer and mom who lives in Rankin County with her son "Monkey" and her dog Zeke.