50 ways to leave your lover

There will come a time in your life where a former partner will resurface out of the blue after you had written him off as long since gone.  You know how it is.  You'd finally gotten that person out of your head after an acrimonious split and had put it all behind you, when bam!–here he is again.  When this happens–and it will–brace yourself so that you do not fall victim to the sweet talk once again. 

After a period of hibernation, a man recently reappeared into a friend's life after nearly a year of radio silence.  He'd only just discovered that she had unfriended him on facebook and wanted to double check if they were still friends–if that's what she really wanted: not to be friends anymore.  Needless to say, she was shocked that he had actually contacted her after so long, and was more dumbfounded that he'd had the audacity to ask what he did.  You see, a few years prior they'd dated for a few months until he unceremoniously dumped her by text in the middle of her work day, only to make contact a year later apologizing and asking for forgiveness.  "That wasn't me.  I don't know why I did that," he'd said.  She forgave him and decided that she could be friends with him.  Eager as he was to prove himself worthy of her friendship, he remained in touch until they were finally able to meet for dinner a few months later.  He apologized again for his misgivings and assured her he wanted to be a part of her life. 

They enjoyed a nice catch-up dinner and afterwards he said he wanted to do it again soon, and in the ensuing months she optimistically proceeded to try to get together multiple times, only for him to decline for whatever reason while never offering an alternative date/plan.  Because she wasn't desperate to be friends with someone who clearly did not want to maintain the friendship, she unfriended him and didn't think twice about it.

Until nearly a year passed and he returned, sniffing around again. 

This time she was not so forgiving and, rightly so, curtly returned his message saying that it was obvious to her that it was he, not she, who had no longer wanted to be friends, so yes, she'd unfriended him long ago.  She said it was obvious that he'd had a girlfriend and that it had ended, which was more than likely the reason behind his resurgence.  (As their dinner did not result in her being his girlfriend again, which was fine by her, she did not care if he'd had one, but did not appreciate his sudden drop off for no reason after he had previously practically begged to be a part of her life again.)  She told him that he should not contact her again if he was not coming from a place of sincerity as she was not interested in being friends with someone who says they want to be friends but make zero effort to do so, especially given their history.  He was taken aback by her message and thought it "intense"–code for: I was just hoping for a meaningless hook-up, but she's called me on my shit and I can't handle it so I'm going to be defensive–to which she replied that it was the unvarnished truth, take it or leave it, and she closed by stating that he said he could earn back her friendship if he really wanted it.  After being honest again and not accepting his BS, he replied that, of course, he would love to be her friend.  Weeks passed with nary another word from him.  He did not try to schedule a get together or a talk so that he could again prove himself to her.  Because this guy was an ass, I told her to let it go and forget about him again.  And she did (as soon as she'd hit send for she knew that his weak reply meant that she would never hear from him again.)

Paul Simon's ditty reminded me of her experience and, in her case, she did not need fifty reasons to leave this dud in the dust, but only one: untrustworthiness.  All we have in this life is our word and if you don't have that, you have nothing.

The lesson?  When someone shows you who they are, listen.  The first time.  As forgiving and nice as we women tend to be, perhaps it's time to be less so the first time you are treated with disrespect.  When someone does wrong by you, you can forgive in your heart and move on, but you do not need to let that person back into your life.  People sometimes exhibit patterns of behavior that can be unhealthy when unleashed on others, and you do not have to create your own pattern by letting someone back in who is not worthy.