Desperately Dating: Why Do My Friends Break Up When I’m in a Relationship?
Is this some cosmic joke? No sooner do I start dating a guy, when all my friends become single and want to go out!
Okay, so here’s one incredible irony that has presented itself repeatedly throughout my adult life: Every time I start a new relationship, my once very much taken friends suddenly become single.
This is the main reason why I never get to double date. It’s sort of like the old theory of one door opening, while another closes. Except instead of closing, the door is usually slammed in some lying schmuck’s face.
I have been with my boyfriend, whom I affectionately refer to as Tank, for almost two months now, so I predicted that the calls would start pouring in any minute from my girlfriends about their latest break-ups. Based on previous experiences, I know the standard protocol I am expected to follow when receiving these calls. I supply many motivational speeches, provide a good amount of male bashing and plead with my girlfriends not to get a tattoo of a Praying Mantis on their asses. Typically, the process takes quite a bit of time, so I already informed Tank that he might have to sleep alone a few nights.
To my surprise, I only received one break-up call. It was from Tammy, one of my ex’s sisters. Her brother dumped me because I wouldn’t walk on him in red heels before we did the deed. Freakishness didn’t run in the family, therefore Tammy and I remained close. Her recent heartbreak was way too hard for her to explain via phone, so she asked me to meet her at Applebee’s. I was in the mood for spinach dip and a daiquiri served in a fish bowl so I agreed without any hesitation.
Tammy was one hot mess. It turns out that Derek, her now ex-boyfriend, had a total mid-life crisis. He quit his managerial job at Pet Smart, sold all his stuff, then moved to Costa Rica. He left a farewell note on Tammy’s windshield.
The news completely shocked me. I liked Derek. He used to hook me up with chew toys and dog food for my Beagle, Slugger (his crisis is going to cost me a pedicure every month). I was pissed. However, I had to keep my emotions in check because Tammy needed me. I ordered her to dry her tears, told her that time will heal all wounds, and that she can come over to my place anytime to watch Bridesmaids while eating limitless pints of Rocky Road.
The whole next day I couldn’t stop thinking about Tammy and Derek’s demise. I never saw that coming and I know Tammy sure didn’t, or she would have insisted he just buy a motorcycle and have a fling with a 22-year-old waitress rather than leave the frigging country!
It made me realize how quick things can change. One day you’re with someone who you think adores you, then the next you’re crying into your fully loaded nachos while he’s in Costa Rica wearing a Speedo. Okay, maybe he isn’t wearing a Speedo, but you catch my drift. All of it was so disheartening. Quite frankly, this latest break-up saga made me more skeptical about handing my heart out so easily to Tank, or any man.
The following night I saw Tank. I wanted to look through his stuff to see if he had bought a passport or had any airplane tickets lying around so I made the ultimate sacrifice: I offered to clean his apartment.
Let’s say that he immediately knew something was wrong with me. My idea of being active is roasting marshmallows over a gas stove. Therefore, showing any desire for cleaning anything was as about as out of character for me as expressing an interest in rock climbing or hiking or wind surfing or … well you get the point.
Once Tank questioned my motives I confessed what happened with Tammy and Derek. I explained how these tales of heartbreak (both mine and that of my friends) stop me from falling into the big fiery pit of love. Tank understood and assured me that since he was only 35 years old, he wasn’t due for that kind of crisis anytime soon, and if he ever wanted to leave the country, he would want me to join him. He also then admitted to looking through my text messages one day while I was showering because of his own insecurities after being burned so many times. We both laughed about our foolishness and total paranoia. I then drove home praying he didn’t see the text I wrote my sister comparing his penis size to the chocolate covered bananas we used to eat at our town fair.
A few weeks later, I met Tammy after work for a drink and an update on her broken heart. She looked great and only got a tattoo of sparrow on her ankle, thank God. She told me that her newly inked skin represented how she feels lately, like a bird, flying free with endless possibilities. She said that the recent break-up helped her to realize that she too needed to “find herself.” She didn’t want to be in a relationship for awhile. She is a content single woman now. I was so proud of her.
Just as I was about to buy us a round of celebratory cocktails, two were already being placed on our table by the waitress. They were purchased by a Tom Hanks lookalike at the bar who had a huge interest in my newly liberated friend. We politely accepted and Tammy politely ditched me to go sit with her new admirer for the remainder of happy hour. I guessed she was just going to throw out the whole flying solo idea, at least for that moment. Tammy’s new door had swung wide open and I had a feeling all was going to be okay.
In a previous life, Gianine Nelson was a college student studying nutrition and working in the medical field. After spending time contemplating the human condition, she decided her addiction to donuts and writing about the crazy world of dating was her true passion.