Have you heard the horror stories about boys breaking up with their girlfriends through text, e-mail, fax (maybe in the olden days), or via someone else relaying the message? There are more versions I’m sure, but you get the picture. Then there are those boys who are able to gather the courage to tell you to your face but give you classic lines like, “It’s not me, it’s you,” or “I’m just really confused,” or “I’m going through a really bad time/phase/mental illness (if he’s truly desperate).”
It will just save everyone time, heartache, and frustration if your man (ex-man?) just manned up and admitted what he was really feeling: that he doesn’t love you anymore. Well, that’s not exactly how guys are programmed.
Avoiding the tears
Herald Cruz, certified life coach and head of the parenting cluster of the Center for Family Ministries (CEFAM) of the Ateneo de Manila University says it is difficult for men to break up face to face or to say that they don’t love you anymore because they struggle when it comes to being vulnerable. They would rather get out of a relationship the way you would rip off a band-aid—fast and painless—so they don’t have to deal with the emotions, theirs or the girl’s.
“Actually, an ideal way to break up with a girl is to just text her so you don’t have to hear her screaming at you,” says 29-year-old Tom (his name has been changed to protect him from the wrath the women in his life will unleash upon him once they read this article). “In the end, she’s going to hate you either way, so why not just avoid the confrontation? If you text her, she can scream and rant on her own. If she calls you, you can choose not to answer or to put the phone down if you don’t like what you’re hearing. You can’t do that in person.”
Since Tom admits there’s really no nice way of breaking up without the girl wanting to string them up from the nearest tree, most guys would rather choose a way that’s the least stressful for them. However, he adds, “If your girlfriend is really nice, but you just feel she isn’t the one for you, then she should be given the opportunity to scream and rant at you in person. But if she was horrible to you during your relationship, then what’s the point of breaking up nicely?”
It’s also possible, though, that if he does break up with you in person because he thinks you’re such a nice girl, he won’t be able to bring himself to tell you the truth. Thus all those “It’s not you, it’s me” lines. Melissa Pizaña-Cruz, Cruz’s wife of 18 years, certified life coach and head of the parenting cluster of the Center for Family Ministries (CEFAM) of the Ateneo de Manila University, says, “They can’t seem to hurt the girl, not knowing that by not talking to her, they hurt her more.”
The male psyche
Cruz explains, “I think men have been raised not to be emotional and not to be totally honest about their emotions. Anger, they are allowed to express, but they struggle with expressing this other kind of emotion.”
So even if women will never accept or even tolerate this kind of behavior, at least we know where it’s coming from and why mature and intelligent guys are reduced to this when it comes to breaking our hearts. Oh well.
Olivia Yao has been writing ever since she can remember. She has written for health, teen, parenting, and children's magazines. Her latest endeavor is being a mom to her three-year-old daughter—her toughest assignment yet. Swap stories with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For counseling and other inquiries, contact: Center for Family Ministries (CeFaM)Spiritual Pastoral CenterAteneo de Manila University CampusLoyola Heights, Quezon CityTelefax: 426-4285Telephone: 426-4289 up to 92 E-mail: email@example.com