Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Heartless and Unreasonable

Sometimes I am truly shocked by the sort of behavior that people are allowed to get away with. Recently something happened to a friend that I consider completely heartless and unreasonable. In his own words:

So, I just got dumped by my girlfriend of two years... I'm really not sure why. I just got an email yesterday saying that 'she couldn't do this anymore' and that I'd better not be at the house when she got home. I have no idea what brought it on... we had some problems earlier on, but we hadn't really fought in like a month or two. It just seemed like she had her mind set on it not working, so she wouldn't let it... and things seemed really calm and normal between us. She left for work yesterday morning and told me she loved me as she did...

So, aside from the normal heartbreak of losing a serious lover of two years, there was also the latter part of them email. I had been living with her for over a year at this point, and since I apparently had no idea this was coming, that leaves me homeless. Like, very literally, I slept on an acquaintance's couch last night, and I have no idea where I'm going to be in a few hours from now or any following night. I lack any real close friends in Boston - she was pretty much my only one. So, it's not like I really have anywhere to turn.

So, here I am: heartbroken, friendless, and homeless.
There are two major things wrong with this. First of all, the breakup itself sounds completely ludicrous and unwarranted. As with most breakups, it was female-instigated and apparently done for typical female reasons. By typical female reasons, I mean vague, undisclosed and trivial reasons typically accompanied with words such as, "Of course, I still love you, but..." "I can't do this," "We're just not compatible," or other similar vacuous phrases that convey nothing of truth or practical pertinence. While there might be some legitmate reasons for breakups, this instance does not seem to be such a case. Even supposing that there were legitimate cause for a breakup, this one is a textbook example of an immature breakup. It was instigated by e-mail, rather than in person, which is a sure sign of cowardice. There obviously has been some pre-breakup deception and/or lying on her part, otherwise there would be clear indicators of relational issues and she wouldn't have acted as if everything was alright in the morning, when it clearly wasn't. Additionally, if she really cared about him after dating for two years, then she would be willing to have a mature conversation regarding the reasons for the breakup, rather than offering vacuous phrases and leaving him completely confused and clueless about the whole ordeal. The breakup, even supposing that it might be warranted in some small measure, was clearly instigated in a cowardly, immature and deceptive manner. That is utterly reprehensible and should be socially unacceptable.

But, as horrible as that is, that's not the worst part. While it might possibly be understandable to breakup with someone on a capricious whim, and while perhaps there may be a few unique excuses for why a relatively mature person might behave in a immature and cowardly manner, for the second part of her behavior there can be no possible excuse. When people are living together, and when one or more of them is away from their hometown and natural support network, outside of extreme violence or majorly destructive behavior, there is no humane reason to forcibly evict someone who has done nothing wrong without warning. To kick someone out with zero warning is downright cruel, heartless and ruthless. She should be ashamed of herself!

But, given the moral depravity of today's society and the lack of even common decency, I'm sure that right now some of her girlfriends are consoling her and telling her that she did the right thing. If we, as a society, view this sort of behavior as a normal part of adolescence or as a morally neutral action that is simply part of the game of "love and war," then we are complicit in her actions. Personally, I believe there are moral and social lines that should not be crossed. I see this sort of behavior as outrageous and inhumane. While modern combat dating has conditioned people to behave like horrible people in order to achieve romantic success, people of integrity and character need to stand up against the tides of cruelty and dishonesty that permeate the dating world and refuse to accept or approve of any sort of behavior that is cowardly, immature or dishonest. As Cless Alvein insightfully writes, "In truth, the single most important aspect of being a great girlfriend is being a great friend, and more important to being a great friend is being a great person. Only if people are held accountable for their actions will they choose to behave honorably. We need to set high personal and moral standards and verbally stand against such atrocious behavior.


  1. In all good faith, he should have trashed her house before he left. And he should be sending stones through her windows everyday now. He is obviously a nice guy, which only seems to encourage women to behave this way.

    It is a cruel truth of life that the weak get trampled. You will perhaps recognize this idea: to he who has much, much is given; to he who has little, even what little he has will be taken away.

  2. Then again, "If a break up is 'out of the blue,' it's only 'out of the blue' from one point of view."

    From my experience, you absolutely must hear both sides of the story before coming to conclusion that the person is actually being unreasonable.

  3. It is a cruel truth of life that the weak get trampled. You will perhaps recognize this idea: to he who has much, much is given; to he who has little, even what little he has will be taken away.

    Quite so. For this reason it is vital to demand respect from others and stand up for yourself. If I were him and had been told to leave, I would say, "Heck no," and stay there until she arrived.

    Vindictive behavior, however, is both counterproductive and character-compromising.

    From my experience, you absolutely must hear both sides of the story before coming to conclusion that the person is actually being unreasonable.

    With some things, yes. With certain behaviors that are objectively unreasonable or unethical, no. In the case of a murder, does the reason for the murder provide justification? How about adultery? Does it really matter why the infidelity occured?

    For that reason, I did intentionally treat the breakup less harshly than the eviction. For an eviction without warning, there can be no story that would provide reasonable justification. Not legally, and not socially.

    1. If this ever happens to one of your friends again, please be very, very careful before telling he should try to stand up for himself be not leaving; even if he owns the property.

      By the description of the event she is deceitful and has little regard for his welfare when compared to her own whims. If he refuses to go things will inevitably get heat and she is likely to call the police to have him removed. If she makes any allegations against him it will most likely be assumed true or at least the risks of proceeding on the assumption they are true are less than that of taking them as false. She may even believe them true, as she may genuinely feel threatened if he even matches her vocal anger to a lesser extent.

      Even if, as is will most likely be the case (but not worth risking), she makes no unfounded allegations, if things remain heated the police would still tell him to leave and seek legal advice.

      Far better to leave any discussion to a meeting in a very public place and reduce the risk of any legal costs/issues.

  4. I would say that it isn't a great idea to live with someone, especially to move into *their* place, precisely for this reason, regardless of any moral qualms about it. It puts you in a real pickle when the breakup happens, in brass tacks/real life ways.

    It's true that there are two sides to every story, but frankly kicking someone out on short notice is just very bad form.

  5. It sounds very typical. Every time I've been dumped it has been cowardly and deceptive. There is nothing so cold, cruel, and ruthless than a woman whose gina has ceased to tingle for you.

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