I have a question: how do you NOT know someone is unhappy and wants to break up with you…while you simultaneously think everything is going so well that you suggest moving in and/or getting a dog together??
Aren’t there usually “I don’t like you” clues??
Unfortunately, not always.
As it turns out, everyday people can be really good actors, pretending like everything is GREAT when they’re really plotting their escape.
Like, Oscar-worthy shit.
I remember when I was just out of college, my then-boyfriend’s roommate asked us if we could leave their apartment for a few hours because his girlfriend was coming over and he was going to break up with her.
We did, and when we came back, we saw him on the living room couch holding a tiny, black kitten.
“She brought over a kitten!” he wailed, holding up the tiny thing. “She wanted us to ‘raise it’ together. And then I broke up with her. And she LEFT the kitten.”
“Talk about being on different pages, am I right??” I joked, to no one’s amusement.
(He ended up keeping the kitten and I had the privilege of naming it “Spinach,” because I figured spinach is good for you, even if you don’t really want it.)
What was going on where SHE thought it was a good idea to CO-PARENT a kitten and he wanted to end things completely???
How does that happen???
But then I kept hearing about this over and over…blind sighted breakups…and came to the reasonable conclusion: people are really good actors.
And this week’s OSCAR goes to….Oscar, this guy who dumped my friend Rachel last night (!!!!!!) totally out of the blue.
They were both in their 30s, had dated for almost two years (!!!) and Rachel thought they would get married. (and maybe get a kitten together.)
Now, I know what you’re thinking: You’re thinking that it can’t possibly have been out of the blue. Rachel must have ignored signs and warnings, blah blah blah.
No, she didn’t.
She said Oscar gave her no indication that he was unhappy. They never fought, they never argued, they had the same taste in everything. They would say love-y things to one another and go on trips.
They were both ambitious in their careers. He spent the night so often he had a drawer full of stuff in her apartment (that she now has the awkward task of returning to him somehow), they had mutual friends who they both adored and adored them (and were equally as surprised) by the news.
I mean…TWO YEARS!
Now, I understand the whole, “I’m just not that into you” thing.
Except that Oscar WAS.
She wasn’t delusional about it!
Every single thing he did and said indicated that he was happy, and happy with her.
When the knife came down, he explained simply: “I’ve changed my mind about us and I haven’t been happy for the past month.”
The past month!??
Rachel began reeling.
What do you mean the past MONTH??
The past month that, for her birthday, Oscar drove with her to her parent’s house hours away and spent the entire weekend with them???
That same month that, as a gift to her parents, HE BROUGHT THEM A FRAMED PHOTO OF THE FOUR OF THEM STANDING TOGETHER LIKE A BIG, HAPPY FAMILY???
To add further insult, this “mind change” also happened TWO months after he went with her to a family members’ wedding in Costa Rica.
Where they posed together in ALL THE PHOTOS in the sunset.
…WHILE SAYING I LOVE YOU.
(I guess you should always change your mind AFTER a destination wedding trip.)
Why would someone continue to go through all the motions of being happy and in love when they’ve already, secretly decided it was over???
Do you know how much that screws people up??
You think Rachel is going to NOT be terrified of this B.S. happening again???
“Oh, yes, I know you tell me you love me and give my parents sentimental crap and do every single thing as if I’m your one and only, but ONE DAY you will ‘be unhappy’ for no specific reason and leave.”
And, can we address the fact that it only took a month of him being unhappy to peace out on a two-year relationship??
I’ve had bags of spinach last longer than that.