There is a sad, but all-too common, story. My dear friend, Tracy met a guy, Tom, who, by all appearances, was her knight in shining armor. Tom was kind, strong, funny and very helpful (he even helped her with her taxes!…Yowza!)
Her romance and relationship were progressing so nicely. They laughed, they enjoyed the same activities like comedy clubs and hiking. More importantly, he seemed interested in increasing the intimacy of their relationship. One clear “sign” Tom made was when he invited her to a family gathering with his siblings and his MOTHER in the first few weeks!
It takes a lot to shock me, but I was very surprised to hear that they broke up just a few days later.
What went wrong?
Who screwed this up?
As the pieces of the puzzle fell into place, the undertones of the relationship became glaringly clear. Tom’s business did take him out of town and when he came back, his mom and the “boys” took a priority. Time with her was squeezed in AFTER he set up time with his friends and family.
At first this wasn’t so bad, but as their relationship deepened, Tracy felt that Tom’s priorities to spend time together fell a distant second or third behind Mommy and his bro’s.
The straw that broke the camel’s back was when Tom called her a few days ago, shared the details of his harmless, but fantastic times he had with his friends.
She was pissed.
The next day she marched straight over to his house and said THE ONE THING you must NEVER say to a man unless you want him to be out of your life FOREVER…
Tracy coldly stated, “I think maybe we should break up.”
Say What You Mean
Now, Tracy didn’t want to break up with Tom; she was heated, angry and quite frankly confused.
Her intent on making that statement was to get him to react. Her intended reaction she wanted from Tom was to say, “Darling, whatever do you mean? Don’t you know that I love you?!”
She jumped the gun, spoke from a place of poor coping skills. In other words, instead of asking questions and sharing her feelings in a non-emotional manner, she forced an issue and reacted.
Tom asked, “Why?”
Tracy went on (rather feverishly) that she thinks she should be a priority. She stated that spending time with her should be placed before spending time with his friends.
What do you think Tom replied?
Did he say, “Oh sure, honey. You’re right. I’ll change my entire lifestyle and 20 years of friendship.” Or did he say, “Well, you know, my friend Bill’s going through a divorce and I hope you’d understand that he needs me right now.”
No. He read between the lines, took about 2 seconds and said, “I think you’re right. We should break up.”
And that was it. No more help with taxes. No more alone time.
Tracy’s situation was salvageable. Her knight most likely would be there today, loving her, laughing with her and building a future with her. Instead, Tracy’s starting over.
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Stay tuned to find out the MEANING behind our words and how to discuss challenging topics from a man’s perspective.