“Zack,” it read, “do you have a few min to chat tonight?”
The text seemed to open a trap door of rocks into my stomach.
It was from the girl I was dating at the time.
She had been waffling over some doubts about her feelings for me, and while it had been frustrating, I loved her, so I was willing to see where things would go.
I tried to keep it casual.
“For you? How could I not???”
(I tried too hard. One question mark would have sufficed.)
My mind raced with all the things I’d rather be doing than getting dumped (eating bees, pouring salt in my eye, roll down a hill of porcupines…); but sadly, life isn’t always either/or.
When we met up that night she dropped this confusing line on me:
“I don’t think this is going to work out because I’m still unsure if I love you and I don’t want you to wait for me to decide. I don’t like that you are hurting.”
“Whoah, whoah, whoah…you are dumping me because you DON’T love me or because you aren’t sure IF you love me?”
She thought for a second. “Well…what do you mean?”
“Look, if you are dumping me because you know that you don’t love me or are tired of trying to figure it out, that is fine—but if you are dumping me because you don’t want to hurt me feelings IF you decide that you don’t love me, well, I’m sorry, but that just doesn’t work. I’m a big boy and can make my own decisions. You are worth the risk to me.”
And so it is!
Discovering love is a risk—on both ends.
One must take the risk AND be the risk.
We all risk getting burned for the chance to have that fire of love ignite.
The dumbest reason to dump someone (aside from these 10), is because you are afraid of hurting their feelings.
Dump them because you don’t love/like them, not because you might not in the future.
See, the other person has complete agency and can make the decision of you being a worthwhile risk or not.
But be honest with them, of course.
Give them the data they need (your feelings) to calculate their risk tolerance for you based on how they feel, but never ever ever ever run away just because you don’t want to be the “bad guy” and hurt the other person if there is a chance that you won’t love them.
That is cowardly.
That is foolish.
That is a great way to stay single. (trust me…I’ve been on both ends of this advice and look at me now.)
Because guess what?
Dating never works…until it does.
And by then, there will be a battlefield of hearts a litany of scars…and that is okay. That is what we signed up for to avoid living out a life of cat-filled solitude.
So don’t take away the agency of another because of your fears.
Oh, and as for that girl and I?
Well…she saw my point…and then went on a mission.
But as I say, if I am going to be dumped for another man, I’m okay if that man is God.