Archive for January 5th, 2009


On being dumped

I spent much of the Christmas holidays playing GTA 4, which oddly forced me to contemplate the phenomenon of getting dumped. Actually, the game I mostly played over the holidays was Far Cry 2 as I was instantly attracted to its smooth gameplay and superb graphics. Unfortunately, I slowly realised that Far Cry 2 is seriously marred by poor variety in the missions and an under-written story that’s nowhere near as important as it seems to think it is. And yes, the bug with the saving system that has been widely reported happened to me. By this stage, however, I was already invested in the game and I figured I should see it through to its ultimately disappointing end.

But I digress. While playing GTA 4 I received a text from an in-game character telling me she didn’t want to see me for a while. This may take some explaining for those who haven’t played the game. One of the features of GTA 4, you see, is the ability to meet girls at take them out on dates. This is either brilliantly inventive or horribly pathetic, depending on your point of view. Anyway, after twice phoning a girl to ask her out (yes, there’s even an in-game phone, which is probably better than my real phone) and getting shot down both times, I got a text from her telling me to cool my jets. I suppose I left her with no choice really. On our last date I took her to a strip club, got into a fight with a bouncer, and pull a gun on him. For some reason she found this objectionable, and so I eventually got a text informing me that, though she’s flattered by the attention, she’s really busy right now and I should stop contacting her. After initially thinking, “wohhh! This game has thought of everything,” I came to realise a familiar sense of rejection. Girls don’t want to date me even when they’re characters in video games.

Some weeks before Christmas I was sort of seeing a girl on an informal basis, until she politely let me know that she didn’t think it was a good idea for us to continue going out. Part of me feels I should more upset by this than I actually am. This was, after all, a casual, commitment-free arrangement and she still felt it wasn’t worth the bother. Surely that says something about me. Mostly, however, I was just relieved, like it was a problem that sorted itself out.

Prior to this I was involved in what was very much a committed relationship, until it was ended by the other party. This too came with a sense of relief, but only because it was preceded by months of unanswered texts and an increasing emotional distance. It’s pretty painful to see a relationship you care about gradually unravel, especially when it seems you can’t do anything to fix it. When she eventually called it a day I at least knew where I stood.

She told me she “values me as a friend”, which may sound like the usual self-serving platitudes people say when they’re breaking up with their partner. In her case, however, I believe she meant it as she made a genuine effort to stay friends afterwards. Still, things really haven’t worked out that way. Maybe that’s for the best. I know it’s over, but I still value what we had. Rarely a day goes by that I don’t remember the good times. Hanging out as buddies would probably make that worse.

This reflects a general theme throughout my relationship history. I have usually been the dumpee rather than the dumper. But you know what; I wouldn’t have it any other way. I would much rather be dumped than be the one doing the dumping. When you’re dumped you feel like shit for a few days until your buddies get you pissed and convince you you’re better off anyway, and that’s that (unless of course you’re the whiney, stalkerish type who desperately tries to convince the other to take you back, but I’m much too proud for that). Dumping, on the other hand, requires you to thread an emotional minefield that will either end in you looking like a dick or in personal humiliation. For instance, I once told a girl we shouldn’t see each other anymore, only for her to say (and I swear this is true) she didn’t realise we were seeing each other in the first place.

The one other incident that sticks out in memory was my first year college. I was 24 (mature student) and dating an 18 year old. Please don’t judge me for that. She was the one who initiated it. And she did so in a way that was so clumsy and ham-fisted that it indicated it was the first time she made such a move. I felt obliged to reward her bravery. Nonetheless, I knew from the start I wasn’t interested in her in that way, so after a week or so I realised I should end it rather than lead her on any further. I was only concerned with her interest, but that didn’t make me feel like any less of a shit for doing it. And it didn’t stop the evil glares from her friends for the rest of my college career.

Still, being dumped is no easy matter, and a spell of being dumped certainly isn’t made any easier when it starts happening with video game characters. At least in Far Cry 2 my friends just double-crossed me and tried to kill me. It would have been worse if they dumped me beforehand.