Carrie Bradshaw I am not (despite what you say)

I’m constantly compared to Carrie Bradshaw.

No, it’s not because I look like her, since I can’t think of a single physical similarity save for we’re both women; nor is it because I have a lot of sex in this (or any, for that matter) city. My shoe collection hails from Target, and before a new pair is purchased one must be discarded (or, more often the case, eaten by my Lila Belle) to make room.

To boot:
– I’ve never dated a furniture designer.
– I’ve never fallen for anyone who I’d be apt to call "Big".
– While I’ve got my gals, I’m not lucky enough to get to have breakfast and lunch and dinner and coffee and drinks and all night parties with them; they’re in DC and North Carolina and Florida and Georgia and New York, damnit.

But I *DO* have a website, I *DO* talk about like and lust and love and relationships and the interplay between all that befuddling stuff, and – listen up, I think this is the clincher – I’ve been dumped in the most creative ways. No, I didn’t get a Post-it Note on my laptop screen, but I have gotten:

  • Email: 8 months into the throes of it all, I get an email discussing the "recognition that our romantic relationship has run its course." It has? It HAD? Who knew? (Certainly not me, though I did wise up damn skippy.)
  • Instant Messenger: Not as much as a breakup, but a "disenfranchisement" per se. (And by "Disenfranchisement" I mean "I no longer want to see you naked nor ‘know’ you in the Biblical sense. Ever.")
  • Phone: I initially interpreted the "I just don’t feel a spark" after experiencing the sparkiest relationship I’d had in quite some time (not to mention the ridiculous early-mention of marriage) to mean "He just wasn’t that into me." (Thanks, Greg Behrendt.) Shortly afterwards, I realized it meant "I don’t feel a spark with girls." Hmm. That’s a new one.

Now, I could go on, but figure the above sampling accurately represents the atrocities of relationships’ demise (and I didn’t even mention the incident at the mall where yet another suitor told me he asked another girl to move in with him. I’m shitting you not.) A result of all of this fun (read: Shitty dumping techniques) is that those near and dear (or hell, those who I share any of these anectdotes with after a beer or two) always says ‘Ohmigod, you’re TOTALLY Carrie Bradshaw!’ While flattered (I mean, really – she’s hot, skinny, and got to make out with fabulously hunky guys on tv), I don’t necessarily think it’s accurate. Still, I’ll take it; I suppose the alternative could be much worse.

And yet, years (ok, months…ok, who am I kidding, weeks) after experiencing something along the lines of one of the aforementioned ‘disengagements’ (you like how I’m choosing my words carefully here?), I think it’s only fitting to make good of some messy matters. So I’m givin’ the universe some lovin’, some advice from one who, like Miss Bradshaw, feels entitled to give it. And so, without further ado, guys: Listen Up. (Or, more accurately, Read Below.)

How to dump a girl: An instruction manual from one who knows

Let’s face it: It’s not going to be pretty. She’s not going to be elated, and you’re certainly  not going to get an enthusiastic “thank you!” But if it’s time to part ways with your lovely lass, there’s a few strategies that can help (or at least save you the public embarrassment that can result from an angrily scorned woman who finds sharing your peculiar preponderance for creative bedroom antics an appropriate retribution.)

Tip #1: Keep private matters private
You’ve heard it – your best mate suggests taking her to a nice dinner whereat you kindly break the news that you’d rather spend your Saturday nights going forward (indefinitely, at that) watching hockey with the lads instead of having fabulous sex with her.  The theory is that the public nature of the occurrence will prevent the one thing you’re most dreading: the tears. Face it, buddy, she’s going to cry (and while it evokes a bit of guilt on your part, equate that level with her similar embarrassment – she’s not enjoying this either.) But step up to the plate, respect the time you’ve spent together and keep it behind closed doors.

Tip #2: Technological advances don’t make it easier
While we’re talking about doors, make sure that you’re actually in a physical place. Email is never appropriate for the parting ways discussion; don’t even THINK about IM. While you can make sure you’re phrasing your words appropriately (a justification from one of my ex’s when he thought that email was something other than a massive cop-out), just accept that it’s going to be uncomfortable for all involved and do it in person. Using the convenience of Instant Messenger to attempt to avoid feeling like a heathen is nothing less than pathetic.

Tip #3: Don’t delay the inevitable
People ask me how long I was dating a certain ex; I accurately say “about 6 months longer than I should have.” In this case, we were both guilty parties who didn’t have the courage to end something that was clearly heading towards festering. While I’ll never advise jumping the gun (it is, after all, quite a significant decision), you, she, and your respective relationship at least deserves an accurate assessment of the situation from which you can decide if it should continue. Staying together when things are dismal is just wasting time.

In the end, use your head. (The one on top of your shoulders, that is.) You entered into the relationship for a reason, be it physical attraction, emotional attachment, or even just a drunk Friday night that led to weeks of ‘hanging out’. Whatever it is, remember one thing: girls talk, and cities are much smaller than you’d think. So step up to the proverbial plate, digest an hour of horrific uncomfortable conversation, and walk away with your manhood – literally and figuratively – intact.

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