Once a Dumpee, Always a Dumpee

If ending a relationship were up to me, I certainly wouldn’t be single this Valentine’s Day…because I’d still be dating my junior high boyfriend. In every break up, there’s a dumper and a dumpee and I am NEVER the dumper. I just…can’t. Even when it’s awful, even when I’m unhappy a good portion of the time. Call me a barnacle, call me a clinger, but I call me an overachiever. I recently read an article that proves me (sorta) right: 

“Overachievers hate failure, and failure is failure, whether it’s work or a relationship. For that reason, overachievers are more likely to stay in a marriage they know is doomed because they’re concerned about how they’ll be perceived if their marriage were to fail.”

Simply put, I hate failing. Once, in high school, I got a B- on a paper. I cried my way to an A-. In many people’s minds a B- isn’t a failure but I wasn’t used to getting that grade and to me it felt like failure and it hurt. So I cried. 

After reading and rereading many of the thoughtful comments on my last posting I realized that I was hanging on again. The guy I was dating very clearly stated that he wouldn’t be in Chicago forever and that he wasn’t sure he wanted a long term relationship. I very clearly still stayed with him. One comment on this post told me to consider my response since I knew his answer. But until tonight, I chose to stick it out and maybe convince him otherwise. 

Where did that leave us? In limbo. And I just. couldn’t. break. it. off. Instead I gave him the choice: break it off or choose to figure out your life here with me in it. But why couldn’t I just make the decision for us? Because what if? What if he’s the one and this is a test? What if he really does like/love me and he’s just scared? But most of all, what if I’m desperately afraid of being alone? 

And, yes, of course I’ve thought of the flip side, that it’s (probably) better to be single than in a relationship that’s going nowhere. I know this, but I’m always paralyzed in this stage in a relationship. And so I just waited for this guy to man up and tell me that he wasn’t ready for a relationship. Because it’s what I do, I’m a dumpee. And now I’m a single dumpee. Happy Valentine’s Day!!

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