Dealing with break-up season: He Says, She Says

He says

Use break-up season to your advantage and look to be the rebound guy.

Recently I was alerted to the fact that we are apparently in the middle of break-up season. I was shocked, genuinely and severely, to hear there is a recognized portion of the year during which break-ups happen.

The reason for my shock is I break up with girls almost every month, sometimes two or three times. And, even more often than that, girls break up with me.

But, when I think about it, it might be true. I can see some evidence for a rise in the break-up numbers. For instance, these next few months traditionally see a dramatic upturn in the number of new relationships I start.

See, I don’t like to use terms that make me sound creepy, but I definitely prey on newly single girls. They are ideal girlfriends. A lot of guys don’t like to be the “rebound” guy. I do.

So, I guess my first word of advice to you Linfield men is to be on the lookout for vulnerable, lonely girls who think they need boyfriends. They will be
everywhere.

If you are already in too many relationships, you might take advantage of this period to “thin the stock.”

If your girlfriend starts to stress about schoolwork as the semester moves along, try to bully some nerdy high school kids into doing it for her. Ideally, and I’ll admit this takes a lot of planning, you might be able to get your smarter girlfriend to take on the academic load for your dumber one. Tricky, to say the least.

You have to be careful during springtime. As you know, spring is a time of rejuvenation and change, a sense of enjoying life. All of these things mean she’s going to leave you.

If you sense she’s pulling away from you, try something I’ve only just now discovered: Remind her it is break-up season it makes girls think that they are behaving irrationally and just reacting to the season, not to the way they actually feel about you.

I have also been considering a more drastic solution. I admit I haven’t quite figured out how to pull this one off, but it seems like it will work. It is the only way I can think of to avoid the problem entirely.

Make her think it is winter again. Right now I am on eBay, searching for cheap snow machines or old Soviet weather-control devices.

With any luck, I’ll have a permanent snowstorm around my girlfriends until summer comes.

She says

Try to maintain relationships despite the looming threat of distance over the summer.

“I’m supposed to write a column about ‘breakup season.’”

“Oh, yeah?”

“What am I supposed to say about that?”

“That there isn’t one.”

My roommate is somewhat of a grump on the subject of breakups, I’ll admit that, but honestly? Once I really considered the topic for this week, namely, the period shortly before summer when the decision whether to continue your college flirtations rears its head, it really seemed like a rather silly question.

I understand the appeal of “summer love.” The idea of a quick, no-strings-attached relationship is painfully romantic and the subject of chick flick after chick flick.

There’s something about warm sunsets, beaches and the twilight between school years that brings out the fanciful in everybody. The summer increase of dudes without shirts and heat-induced cleavage doesn’t hurt either.

Actually, that’s sort of the cornerstone of summer romances. They’re less about lasting connection and more about speedy infatuation. They’re usually spurred on by appearance and maintained by sex and the dreamlike appeal of the vacation holidays. The sad thing about them is that once you transfer the relationship to another context, say a long distance relationship from separate college campuses, or even the reality of the standard school year, both partners find themselves disappointed.

Key point: Summer relationships don’t involve real people; they involve the ideas of people that one initially perceives and attaches to over a period of a few months.

This is where college relationships are different. In college, you’re constantly exposed to the worst of people. You see your girlfriend in sweatpants after she’s avoided showers for two days in favor of studying. You see your boyfriend stressed about finals, piss-drunk first thing in the morning. True, college involves the delirious joy of being on your own without your parents for the first time, and that can lead to some poor relationship decisions, but ultimately the people you meet and decide to be around are real people.

This turned into a column about the difference between infatuations and a lasting relationship, rather than the break-up season, so I’ll make this quick.

Guess what? It’s not worth it to dump somebody you know and like in favor of a fleeting summer romance, unless that’s where you want to be in your life right now. You’re not going to find somebody for forever on the beaches.

Done and done.

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