Breaking up: “How To” & “How Not To”


I was rocking the argyle and in the 1980’s that may have been enough to push me over the top.

The Actress was my first girlfriend and my first breakup.  And my second breakup.  And possibly my third breakup.  I don’t remember for sure if we broke up two times or three times.  I was kind of a douche bag back then and I’ve tried to push some of those douche-y memories aside.  What I do know is that I was stupid for ending the relationships with her.  I was young and stupid. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

I said that I was a douche bag back then, but the reality is that I can still be a douche bag now.  If you don’t believe me, when you’re done with this, go read I’ve Seen Better Days.  But back to my story about The Actress…

The details are fuzzy but I remember that she was very cool and she was totally into me.  I was into her, but not in the literal sense of the word.  We never had sex.  I’m just saying…

I’m not totally sure why she was into me, because I wasn’t overly smooth and I was a bit of a dork.  I did dress nice, so I had that going for me.  I was rocking the argyle and in the 1980’s that may have been enough to push me over the top.

I don’t remember why I broke up with her the first time.  I know that it wasn’t for someone else because between The Actress and the Actress again I didn’t date anyone.  Maybe it was a fear of getting close or maybe it was my lack of self-esteem.  Maybe I though that I wasn’t going to give her the chance to dump me.  All I know is that I was stupid for doing it and that I basically just disappeared with no explanation.  Then magically I reappeared a few months later and wanted to start dating again.

We dated again for a while and just like the shampoo bottle says, it was just lather, rinse, repeat.  The Actress is a smart chick, so I’m not sure that she would have stood for a third time after I broke it off the second time for no good reason.  All in all, it was young love at its finest.  And it its worst.

The Actress was my first breakup but she certainly wasn’t my last.  My latest (and hopefully the last breakup I ever have) was a woman I dated in Canada for about five months.  I haven’t written about her yet, but in the near future you will start hearing about Teacher.  Her breakup story is interesting to say the least.

Teacher teaches violin and runs a music school.  She also plays violin and viola professionally.  She is a very talented woman and I thought that we had a pretty good time together.  Obviously not.  After dating for five months I received an e-mail at 11 PM basically saying that she was no good at long term relationships and that we could go on and date for another year, but because she was no good at long term relationships that she would probably just end it anyway, so she was just going to end it now.  Good luck.  Have a good life.

I had just crawled into bed that fateful night when my iPhone buzzed with a new e-mail.  Suffice it to say that when I grabbed the phone and put on my glasses, that is NOT what I expected to see.  It all worked out for the best because I moved back to the United States and I ended up meeting and falling in love with The Phone Sex Operator.

In between The Actress and Teacher there were many breakups—some where I was the breaker-upper and others where I was the one getting the shaft.  One girl comes quickly to mind, but I don’t think you can really call it a “breakup” since we had only gone out twice.

The two dates we had were pretty good and we decided to go out on New Years Eve.  This was sometime in the late 1980’s—1988 or ’89 probably.  I had tickets to go see Barry Manilow at the Universal Amphitheater and I invited this girl to go.  (I’ll pause momentarily while you snicker at the fact that I had Barry Manilow tickets…)

So, I invited this chick to go see Barry Manilow and she accepted.  She was going to school at a small local college and she was living in the dorms.  We spoke on the phone December 30 and she was looking forward to going out the next night—or so she said.

I don’t remember what I was wearing that night, but I’m sure it was pretty stylish—after all we were going to see Barry and he was hot at the time.  Plus it was New years Eve and looking good is just how I like to roll.

I drove to her dorm to pick her up, went into the lobby and hit the intercom button for her room.  Her roommate answered the intercom and was quite surprised to hear me on the other end.  She was even more surprised to hear that I was there to pick up her roommate.

Why was she surprised?  Her roommate had moved home that morning.  Apparently she had known about it for quite a while.  She was transferring schools and when we were talking on the phone the night before, she was in the midst of packing her stuff in boxes and waiting for her dad to come get her.  What a bitch.  I even brought the chick flowers.  Did I mention that she was a bitch?

Mine aren’t the only decent breakup stories.  I hit up my fans and readers via Twitter and Facebook and a few of you were nice enough to send yours along.  Thanks to those who did.  Here are a couple of good ones that I received.  My friend The South African (who actually lives in South Africa) sent me this one:

I used to be a soldier for the previous government. In later years I met a girl and we started going out and at some stage I showed her some confidential military material, which, may I add, was not confidential anymore.

After a couple of months I had enough of this nympho.   I wanted a normal girlfriend but she wouldn’t let go, even though I said it is not going to work out.  Eventually I had to do something drastic in order to get rid of her.  When somebody accidentally broke my car window, I told her she must sit down and listen to what I had to say.   I told her the broken window was a warning sign.  I explained that I’ve done some ‘special work’ in the forces and there is a price on my head.

By that stage the new government was in full swing, which was perfect timing for me! I told her she might be in danger if she keeps hanging out with me and I needed to go away quickly and that she could have no contact with me!  After a lot of crying she finally let go.  Oh I felt like a dog!!

I must add that she eventually met Mr. Right, but she still tells me on Facebook that she loves me til this day. Maybe she was my Mrs. Right.   I will never know.   Young guys will be young guys.

So that’s how they roll in South Africa.  Blame the government and call yourself a secret military operative.  Nice work bro!  He’s not the only one with a good story.  My high school buddy, Sir Lancelot, threw me this gem:

A buddy and I used to practice what we called the “Witness Protection Program”, which was to just completely disappear. The girl(s) would eventually figure it out. Although it was tense, it had a 100% success rate.

One example: I called my buddy to go out drinking on a Saturday night – his answering machine came on, but it wasn’t his voice. It was the recording “I’m sorry, but the number you reached has been disconnected..” He put it on his answering machine as a “Witness Protection Program” dump. I saw through it, but the girl didn’t.

Other acceptable ways to use it: Unplug your answering machine and don’t answer the phone. (This was waaaaay before caller ID) It worked within a few days and you could go back to your old ways quickly.

Oddly enough, the only woman I got a story from was The Phone Sex Operator.  Hers was good.  So good in fact, that it deserves a blog post of its own.  I’m going to save that for another day.

If you have a good breakup story that you want to share, please feel free to do so.  One of these days I may just get a case of writers block and can use them!

J.R.

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16 Comments

Filed under Dating, General

16 responses to “Breaking up: “How To” & “How Not To”

  1. My last break up was over the phone.. after 3.5 years and talks of marriage….. ouch.
    Thankfully, we’ve become very good friends and the break up was for the best.. however.. still stunningly single. *sigh*.

  2. J.R. – WHAT A BITCH! I am so sorry that happened to you.

    You do rock the argyle sweater 🙂

  3. The Actress

    Bless your heart for putting that out there after all these years! Happily married for 9 1/2 years now, I am so thrilled not to be a part of the dating world anymore. I certainly had my share of breakups, and I have to say (and I think the ladies will agree) that nothing is worse than the disappearing boyfriend. Even the “it’s not you, it’s me” speech is better than wondering why he doesn’t call, wondering what you did wrong. So to any of you guys thinking the “witness protection” method seems like a good idea, I say suck it up and just tell her.

    To PSO: hang on to this one. He really has a heart of gold and has (I think) learned from his mistakes 🙂 Just make sure you call him out on his crap now and then!

    I’m happy to have been part of the learning curve, and I’m so glad we’ve reconnected. You’ll always have a special place in my heart as my first love.

    Remind me to tell you about the guy I had to break up with because he made the death of my father all about him…

    • Bless your heart for saying bless my heart. I appreciate the nice comments and I will cross my fingers and hope that PSO heeds your true words! I’m sorry that some guy made the death of your dad all about him. Your dad was a pretty cool dude. I’m not sure why he liked me after I broke your heart and started going out with you again, but he did. I would love to hear the full story sometime.

      P.S. She does call me out on my crap when necessary, though the calling out is pretty infrequent…

  4. I had to pause in the middle because I was laughing so hard at the fact that you went to see Barry Manilow, but I got through it. 🙂

    I don’t have a break-up story: I married my high school sweetheart. 🙂

    • Thanks for laughing and for continuing to read after you laughed. Be happy that you don’t have a breakup story! I don’t want another one of my own! If this relationship were to somehow end it would suck. Hard.

  5. The girl that pulled that bitch move on you was, well, a bitch. You were probably better off not having to deal with her.

    None of my break up stories are that good. When I break up with someone, I just tell them why I’m doing it and end it. I always figured it was better to be bluntly honest and up front about shit. It’s always worked out and only one guy didn’t take the “It’s over” so well. He showed up at my job later that night with a bag of Skittles and an I’m sorry card. I didn’t take his gifts and tried to set him straight again about it being over. The next day he tried to bring me some CD’s and a caramel apple (because I fucking love those) which I didn’
    t take and again explained that it was O-V-E-R. He got pissed after that and said he just didn’t want to see me anymore. Ah, finally we were on the same page, lol.

    Great post!

  6. You are a braver man than I to admit the Barry Manilow concert…although, I broke up with a high school girlfriend at a Debbie Gibson Concert.
    Rock on.

  7. A good story is worth a lot.

  8. In high school I got invited to the prom every year (1,2,3,4) by a different girl (I never wanted to go so I never invited anybody myself). My Sophomore year I got invited by this girl who was a friend of mine and who was pretty cute and friendly. We weren’t going out or anything, but in a moment of complete douchery I cancelled on her the weekend before the prom. I didn’t think it was a big deal because to me the prom was nothing more than a night out. But, she completely flipped out. I was, from that moment on, the biggest asshole in school as far as the girls were concerned. I was confused for a while, but I completely get it now. Not a smooth move. We were still friends after that, but it was a little touch and go for a while. 🙂

    • Ouch Keith. Even I know that’s a bad move! Oh well. At least you learned from the experience.

      Thanks Jack. A good story is worth a lot. One of these days when I finally write another good one I’ll keep that in mind!

  9. Mitzi

    Ah geez, I pulled the big move on a guy! But I wasn’t a bitch about it, I really had to get away from him. He was a Scotsman who drank WAY too much, and I was WAY too nice, and couldn’t deal with the drama of trying to leave him verbally. Oh those puppy eyes… So I knew I was moving, and just used that as a surefire way to make sure I didn’t fall for his charm again. And end up holding his hand while he would be sick in some alley after going out. Thanks to no Google yet, he never found me. YAY!

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