I have a theory I am working on — guys don’t dump their girlfriends, no matter how lame these girlfriends are. I realize this is a bold statement, and I haven’t done a formal study, but I can’t think of the last time a guy I knew broke up with his girlfriend. Now this is not because all of the guys I know are in healthy, happy relationships. Hardly. In fact, over the years, I have seen most (if not all) of the guys I know in relationships that were downright awful. But even though they were/are so obviously unhappy, I’ve never seen one of them dump their girlfriends.
Instead, these guys usually try and blame their unhappiness on something else: work stress, financial stress, roommate drama, whatever, as long as they don’t have to consider the fact that maybe the thing that is making them unhappy is the she-devil they are dating. And since these lame girlfriends tend to have no problem ignoring their boyfriends’ unhappiness, these guys usually start acting up. I’ve seen this play out in a number of different ways; everything from picking fights about stupid crap to cheating. But no matter what avenue the guy takes, it all shows the same thing — they want out of the relationship and they don’t know how to ask for it.
In truth, I think girls are only marginally better dumpers. So many of us will just put on blinders about problems and ignore red flags because we don’t want to be alone. However, when push comes to shove, it seems like we always have to be the one to pull the trigger.
So why is this? Why are guys so hesitant to drop the dead weight in their lives and go after something better? Here’s what I think the top three reasons are:
• Guys hate being the “bad guy”. When you dump us, we cry and guys hate that. It is much easier to act like an asshole, because then then we’ll get all mad (instead of sad), and do the dumping for them. And frankly, although it isn’t a perfect plan, it usually works.
• Guys don’t like admitting they were wrong. When I broke up with Mr. Not Quite Right the first thing he said was that he thought we would work because he had never been wrong about a relationship before. I think that is an asinine comment, but it did give me some insight into why he’s still with this 21 year old who, by all accounts, is a crazy bitch. Personally, I don’t think dumping someone is admitting you were wrong but I can see how it could feel that way.
• Guys don’t like being alone. This is especially true for guys who have been in a string of relationships. Modern culture would have us believe that every man has the desire to be George Clooney — perpetually single, dating, promiscuous. But this just isn’t true for the vast majority of guys I know. Everyone likes someone to cuddle with and dumping a girlfriend means sleeping alone.
So the question is, how do we help these dump-phobic guys? In the past my plan was always to keep mum. I’ve usually tried to play nice with the bitchy-ass girlfriend and keep my mouth shut when the guy talks about her. But I am starting to re-think this theory. Maybe all these guys need is a little tough love. Maybe it is time to say, “Hey dude, your girlfriend sucks. We all hate her. You are clearly unhappy. You should get out.” Possibly a little outside perspective is what these guys need to avoid taking drastic measures (eg. cheating) and finally dump their lame girlfriends.
What do you think? What would help a guy end a relationship that sucks? Is an intervention the way to go, or do we just have to sit by and hope that these guys figure it out?