Monday, April 12, 2010

Those Other Three Little Words

Today’s post is not about any one discrete event, person or situation—but rather a phenomenon I’ve noticed for a while but have been unable to articulate. And I’ve been itching to write another blog on relationships since the last one was so well-received…

You see, there are very few absolutes in life—and little, if any of them, apply to relationships. However, in my opinion, it’s time for people to stop being so damn fake.

Fake?! Yes, fake.

Oh, yes, I just went there. Honestly, it’s not meant as an attack on anyone—this is more about a cultural and societal issue of not being upfront with others. And it happens so often in dating and relationships that we must call ourselves out and stop this nonsense.

So, how do we do that? Well, it’s easy! You see, we all need to learn those other three words that are so vital to being honest with others—and ourselves. We all need to learn how to say, “I’m not interested.”

Oh, boy: the age-old question of, “Does (s)he like me?” It’s a toughie. And there’s never a 100%-assured answer. Oh, unrequited love, how you torture us!

But, to be honest, things would be a lot easier—and we could all live much more fulfilling and transparent lives—if everyone could just be, well, more honest.

I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard that go like this: X meets Y. X and Y go on a date. X likes Y, but is unsure if Y likes X in return. X and Y hang out several more times and everything seems to be going great. Then, Y disappears or becomes some other form of “shady.” Well, what the hell happened? Did Z get jealous of the alphabet action and decide to jump in? (Ha!) But, for real, this is a scenario that happens all the time. I like to call it “being phased-out.”

It really makes sense if you think about it. Something had to happen with Y to all of a sudden become disinterested or unavailable. And it’s not necessarily important what happened; however, it is critical that all of us Y’s out there learn how to communicate with the X’s (no pun intended) and tell them “I’m not interested.” Conversely, all of us X’s must learn to adapt to the situation and not over-react too early on in the game, or be clingy.

Because nothing is more unattractive than desperation.

At the same time, though, we all deserve a little clarity—some reassurance that our investment into the connection is a worthwhile one. This is where the honesty comes into play. Guys and girls out there: learn how to be more in touch with your emotions and communicate them with others. Life is too short to play games or get hung up about letting someone down or being let down.

And all of us Y’s out there need to learn to stop letting the X’s down easy. What’s the purpose? Us X’s don’t want to hear any of the following:

1. “You’re a great person, but…”
2. “It’s me, it’s not you.”
3. “I still want to be friends.”
4. “I don’t deserve you.”
5. “One day you’ll find someone who will love you like you deserve.”

Hey, Y’s: you don’t mean these things when you say them, so why do you even bother? You’re not helping out the X’s by letting them down easy. Actually, you may not realize it but you’re making it more confusing for the X’s because you’re not being honest. Muster up some courage and self-respect and start admitting how you really feel:

1. “You aren’t the right person for me.”
2. “It’s definitely you and not me.”
3. “The connection just isn’t there.”
4. “I don’t think you deserve to be with me. (Duh, I’m dumping you!)”
5. “Good luck! I’ve got another date after this awkward breakup.”

Because you’re not doing anyone any good by being fake. And we’re all guilty of it. We’ve all been an X and we’ve all been a Y. If you’re an X more often than a Y, try seeing the situation from the latter’s perspective—if the opposite is true, then vice versa. Hopefully, then, once we see that we’ve all been there, we can be honest enough with ourselves to fully open up to others.

So, learn those other three words—and prevent yourself from saying those cliché lines that are so transparent. Why “phase someone out” when you can cut them out? You don’t really want to be friends anyway! Isn’t it about time you start telling people that? Hell, if GaGa can admit it, can’t you?


  1. Gotta love the phase out.

  2. Loved it! So many good and very true points. And it doesn't change as you get older, I'm sad to say. People are guilty of this in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and beyond. I've noticed that sometimes people are intoxicated with the idea of meeting someone but when they finally find someone who is potentially that person, they flake out. Maybe it's fear. Maybe it's just the chase they like. Either way: lame!

  3. It's a constant struggle, really. But I think the more attention we call to it, the more transparent we can become. In that respect, this blog is pretty self-serving and vain, but I think it needed to be said. I'm tired of all of the B.S. and fake-ness! And you're totally right: the fact that we have to tell each other to be honest is pretty lame! Oh well... there's always the bar and the beach! LOL

  4. X, thy name is Insecurity.
    Y, thy name is Vanity.

    Simplified, avoid dating individuals where their demeanor, personality and morality are predominantly associated and defined by their sexual identity/orientation.

    Common sense is more transparent than you think, but of course, common sense is not necessarily fundamental.

  5. Hi, SenseiWit!

    I see your point, but I disagree on the whole. Here's why:

    We've all been an X and we've all been a Y. And I think we all do have moments of insecurity and moments of vanity, but, in the grand scheme of things, it's really more about the balance of interest between the two individuals—i.e. who likes the other person less as opposed to more. The person who likes the other person less is the Y. The person who likes the other person more is the X. Hence, Y has the power.

    I do definitely agree that we should avoid dating individuals who aren't well-rounded. No one attribute should dominate our lives—that's just unhealthy.