The Gradual Fall Away vs the Abrupt Ending…

20 04 2011

We’ve all been there. Things are seemingly moving along swell with a guy (or girl) that you’re dating. You’ve reached the point where you two talk on the phone and go on dates pretty regularly. You’re starting to wonder if this situation has legs… Maybe this could be something cool, you think. Maybe he could be more than Mr. Right now (not necessarily Mr. Right, but possibly Mr. For a Little While)… and then, slowly you start to realize you haven’t actually heard from him in a couple days.

That’s okay, you surmise. You’re a busy person who often has to juggle her priorities and desires, so it’s fair to reason, he’s busy as well. Or something happened (although that’s not something anyone wants to be the case…). But after a few days he calls, and you guys make more plans. Everything seems to be somewhat good – so you’re back on track, right? Until unfortunately, it happens again, but this time 3 days turns into 5 days. And he’s now coming up with polite reasons for why he’s been so distracted.

Your radar goes up at this point, because you’re no fool (ha!)… But since everyone (woman and man) likes to believe they’re the exception to rules, you keep the dating situation moving forward. It couldn’t possibly be that he’s become disinterested… he’s just busy! Plans are maybe made again, and possibly attended, but the chemistry is clearly not as great as it once was, a fact confirmed because it takes another week before you hear from him again.

If this has ever happened to you before, you have experienced what many like to call the gradual fall away. It’s the guy (or girl’s) way of letting you know their interest isn’t quite there anymore without having to actually say it. Oh, you’re still cute – and thus still around, but the prospect of your potential for anything more than that has been greatly diminished.

That’s not the only way people end relationships, however. If you’ve dated your fair share of folks, you’ve probably also encountered the abrupt ending. It’s not abrupt to the person doing the ending, mind you… just to the receiver who seemingly never had a clue this was coming. I’m not judging here. I’ve been both receiver and giver in this uncomfortable exchange between 2 people (actually, I’ve participated in the other scenario on both sides as well. Le sigh.); it’s just that typically the person on the receiving end of the break-up convo always claims surprise when its over. ‘I didn’t even know we were having problems,’ they’ll say, which may be true at times – but often is not.

Either way, we all know what I mean by the abrupt ending. Whether it’s a call simply stating that you’re not interested anymore or an in person convo engineered so that you can tell the person ‘it’s not you, it’s me,’ whatever the reason – when it hasn’t been discussed previously, we’ll just put it in the abrupt category for the sake of this post.

But which approach is the hardest to handle? While the abrupt approach tends to have the harsher reputation, I’m much more of a fan of it. It gets the point across quickly and allows the other person to get on with their lives. Is it easy to do? No, not really – but I’m just someone who would much rather hear you say that you don’t want this anymore. So when the shoe is on the other foot, I try to afford the guy that same courtesy. But I know not everyone feels this way. A lot of people prefer the fall away approach. Is that because it’s easier? I’m not sure.

What do you all think? What’s an easier pill to swallow and which approach do you normally use?

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