The Dumping Ground

Been there, done that.

Maybe it's me, I don't know. I was in a relationship for a few months that was going absolutely perfect. I brought her flowers, candy, and gifts and took her to nice restaurants. She, in turn, bought me sushi one night, offered to pay the tips at dinners, and bought me a shirt. I thought things were going somewhere. Since we were in love (or so I believed), I gave it my all.

Then the cliché came: She claimed not to be ready for a relationship. Translation: She was ready for a relationship, just not with me. Everybody I've talked to has confirmed that, saying my gut feeling was right on the money.

So we agreed to be "friends." Translation: "Boy, you just don't measure up. This is my way of letting you go."

Not my first time, of course. So maybe the guys who worship Tom Leykis are right—being nice and deep is something almost comical. Be superficial, and hey—shake the tree and all the fruit falls right into your lap.


Get over it, pal—everyone gets dumped at some point in their dating career. However, not everyone wastes his valuable time concocting a spending-comparison analysis like you did. So you bought her some gifts and food—who cares? She bought you a shirt and some uncooked fish. If you'd wanted her to split the bill, you should've piped up at the time, instead of churlishly begrudging her a couple dinners and some flowers after she's gone. Contrary to what you may believe, buying a woman a meal or three does not guarantee her undying affection. In fact, you could've bought her a castle full of bunnies with a chocolate-milk-shake moat, and she still wouldn't have been obliged to love you forever.

Sometimes things just don't work out.

I confess that because what little radio listening I do is limited to NPR (and yeah, I know what a jackass, knee-jerk lefty that makes me), I had to Google Tom Leykis. Snort. Just another boring, shticky He-Man Woman-Hater, speaking to disenfranchised bitter morons too ignorant to know they're being talked down to. But hey, if you want to go there, don't let me stop you.

As for the "I'm not ready for a relationship" line—most of us have been on the receiving end of that one, too. Sure, it's lame and, yep, rarely true. But what would you prefer she say?

•"I'm sorry, Derwood, but I always took charge of the tip because you can't be trusted to leave more than 7 percent. Therefore—out of solidarity with service professionals everywhere—I must bid you adieu."


•"I met someone hotter/smarter/ funnier than you."

Or—wait . . . shall I go on? I think not. Who the hell knows what's going on inside her noggin? All you have to go on is the fact that she does not want to be in a relationship with you. We've all been there, and there's really no arguing with someone who doesn't want to go out with you.

In the interest of fairness, I should point out that I grew to appreciate the "not ready for a relationship" cliché, because it was far kinder than a lot of what I'd heard, the worst being the unsaid, yet obvious, "Damn, you look far better with your clothes on" post-sex departure. Gulp. Try that one on for size!

Instead of looking at the demise of your relationship as some kind of kooky proof that you shouldn't ever spring for dinner (which, if you don't want to or can't afford to, you shouldn't!), maybe try and take a realistic look at the relationship and your expectations. Most women aren't heartless gold diggers, just as not all men are shallow morons like Tom Leykis.

You can choose to be a victim (not very attractive) and blame us big mean ladies, or you can choose to pull your head out of your ass and realize that love is a difficult business and nine times out of 10, somebody gets hurt. This time it was your turn. Next time, who knows. Maybe you'll be the one pulling the ole "it's not you, it's me" outta your bag.

Dating difficulties? Write Dategirl at or c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave., Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104.

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