Broken Heart, PRR-style

Par un bizarre coincidence, as Pynchon puts it, in this thread where Even Sven tells her sad tale of heartbreak, and where I offer sage counsel informed by many another such sad tale of my own, I got my own heart stomped a few hours after posting my advice to her. My new GF, of about a month, whom I had completely flipped over in that month, phoned me up to say she wasn’t feeling what I felt for her. We hung up and I felt just god-awful.

I spoke to two of my exes, who (obviously) have stayed on friendly terms with me, and they both offered the same advice: DON’T call her up again, DON’T try to re-kindle this thing, it’s gone and all you have to lose is your dignity. Pretty good advice, huh? I agreed: No calling-up, no bargaining, no negotiating. Just suffer in silence like a man.

Like a man, I took to bed. And dozed a little bit, but mostly tossed and turned–and then it struck me: I had something I wanted to negotiate!

I leaped from bed, and drafted a note to my now-ex-GF, offering her a different transition from our failed relationship (she had written me a brief note of regret as I lay tossing and turning): instead of a romantic affair in which one of us (her) wasn’t feeling the emotional charge the other (me) was, how about we try a purely sexual arrangement, at least for the short term? I would totally shut up about all the romantic stuff I was spouting (and feeling) and we could continue to have sex (which was out of this world, for the both of us–she specifically noted that as the one factor that totally worked for her, in her phone call and her note) as we began dating other people. If anything sexual started with one of these people, we will inform each other, but until then, we can have our sexual needs met (and rather well, if I say so myself) and avoid the romantic stuff that made her feel uncomfortable.

I can totally do this–the question is, Can she?

Anyone care to make this interesting by speculating on her probable response? I figure I can expect, in the following order of probability, from most probable to least probable:

  1. She writes me back tomorrow (today, actually–the sun is only an hour away) “No, Thanks” (or “No, thanks, asshole”)

  2. She doesn’t respond at all–and is annoyed that I propositioned her.

  3. She agrees, but after a try or two, it feels lousier than I anticipate and we end it.

  4. She agrees, and we have a purely sexual affair for a few months until one of us gets involved with somebody else, and we stay friends

  5. She agrees, and we have a purely sexual affair for a few months, but I continue to have feelings for her and the problem just gets worse instead of better for me, and we break up again and don’t stay friends.

Not a good idea.

Don’t post that note. Don’t contact her.

Our brains tell us weird, addict-like things at these times; they think she did it because she’s looking for a grand gesture; or that not contacting her will make her think you were only in it for one thing; or we latch onto the outcomes of romantic comedies; or we think we can negotiate affairs of the heart.

I speak from painful experience when I say that truly, dignified silence is more attractive than wheedling attempts to regain her affections or body.

Truth of the matter is, she knows where to find you. If she wants to speak to you, she’ll get in touch; if she wants you back, she’ll ask. Otherwise, there’s a high possibility that you getting in touch is going to bug her.

Bear in mind, too, that many of the reasons given in a breakup are spurious, designed to cushion the blow for the other person. I certainly did this with the ex-before-last. There’s no way I’d have told her the actual reason, which would have hurt her badly.

Thus, your new ex may have enjoyed fucking you to within an inch of her life and would be prepared to put up with that alone despite your feelings; OR she may have hated it. Or more realistically, she may have enjoyed it plenty but will think that there is way too much emotional investment on your part to make it work.

Your likely outcomes need to be weighted. They’re not all equal. 1 and 2 will be heavy heavy. 3, 4 and 5 are pretty unlikely. Go and buy “It’s called a breakup because it’s broken” (it’s aimed mostly at women, but the message is the same).

Don’t take what people say at face value: judge them on what they do.

Sorry, man. Getting to acceptance hurts, but it allows you to heal.

Heh. I pulled this one too, but with more tears and less dignity than a note.

She’s gonna shoot you down. You’ll lose one more shred of dignity. I think I was one my way to the possibility of some sort of reconciliation, but ruined it by showing how desperate I really was for him. Now he’s seen my weakness and hardend his heart. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to change that.

Leave it be. If the possibility is still there, she’ll pursue it. By pursuing it yourself, you can only lose more than you’ve already lost. You can only make her quickly close doors if one was left just a tiny bit open.

We’ve all got to move on.

Don’t do it! My best guess is she’s either going to see you as a “pig” (‘He just wants someone to screw!’) or figure it’s out of desperation and try even harder to push you away.

I’m not an expert on relationships.

But I would strongly suggest you don’t contact her for a while.
You’re feeling miserable (and no doubt she is too) and that’s the worst time to try and set up a sexual relationship (let alone a ‘no-strings’ one).

If time heals the wounds a bit and you meet up again in a civil way, you can then consider whether to mention your idea.

Sorry, folks, that note went out almost as soon as I finished writing it. Now, it just remains to speculate, as I check my incoming e-mail every hour or so. I know, it made me sound like a pig and had very little chance of getting the response I want, but I’d pretty much lost her entirely anyway, and this way, there’s still a chance I could get some of what I want. But as I’m hearing you all, no one else believes this has the slightest chance of working out? It would be sad if I were totally delusional–I give it maybe a 10%, 20% shot, something on that order.

Why are you so sure you can handle a FWB relationship with her? She’s the one who broke up with you, and therefore is less likely to have the emotional attachments that tends to get in the way of these things. You, as the person who was dumped, are basically begging to be put in a disadvantaged position.

In my opinion, FWB’s between two people who used to date each other only works if both recognize and agree that a full blown relationship is not workable with that other person. This does not appear to be the case in your relationship, given the amount of pain associated with her breaking up with you.

If she’s got any sense, she will recognize your request as a deluded manuever to get back into her life and be a part-time boyfriend who’s trying to work his way back to full-time status. If you got any sense, you will recognize that this idea has doom written all over it and will reconsider it. Think of your pride as well.

Ain’t got none. I actually think I’m rational enough to deal with my emotional issues okay–it’s going to be painful, either way, in a FWB relationship or all by myself, to adjust to the news that she isn’t all gaga over me and never will be. But I’ll at least have the consolation, when I’m making the adjustment, of knowing that my life is pretty damned good, in some parts.

Did I mention that the sex qua sex was fabulous? This isn’t just sex I’m talking about here, it’s far and away the best sex I’ve ever imagined, and that had very little to do with how I felt about her emotionally–I know this, because she expressed the same thought and she was, obviously, not feeling what I was on an emotional level.

So, YWTF, I think I can handle it, and I’d like to try. You’re right, this is riskier for me than for her, which is why I think she might be interested. Still 4-to-1 against, at best, though.

Great sex isn’t all that great when you’re in an unrequited love situation. You may be able to ride the orgasmatron for a while, but sooner or later, you’re going to want more, and you’ll probably say so, which will put the orgasmatron into a tail-spin. Worlds will collide. Good luck though…gotta hand it to you for following your…heart.

That’s certainly true. The last woman I broke up with (a short while ago, to clear my decks for my latest ex-GF) I had all sorts of bedroom issues with–she didn’t know how to do this, she refused to do that, she had bad associations with this–none of which was her fault, all of which bugged me no end. When I was breaking up with her, she asked me repeatedly to tell her specifics and she would have had to waterboard me to get me to tell her any of this. I told her the truth, just not all the uglier sections of the truth, and I definitely couldn;t have been talked out of my position by her, no matter what she offered me. So I may be investing good effort after bad here–if my new ex-GF is simply determined to end it, she will–and I’ll try to move on, as best as I can. I think I had to try this, though–it was the kind of idea that usually occurs to me weeks too late. This time, I tried it while it still might work (she certainly doesn’t have a new boyfriend yet) and if she rejects me, I’m only exactly where I was.

Consider that part of why it was great was because you thought yall were on the same page mentally, emotional, and physically. Now that you know that there is a discordance, it’s not going to be the same. The sex itself may be good, but expect to feel depressed post-coitus. The good and the bad will cancel each other out, leaving you at best with zero. At worse, you’ll be in the hole emotionally.

The math doesn’t work in your favor, IMO.

At this point, your best strategy is to just try to get over the heartbreak and move on. Continuing to have any kind of physical contact with her will only prolong this process and make it harder. Let’s face it, the sex sounds like fun to you but it’s really just a way to keep her closer to you and keep her in your life. Unfortunately, the hard truth is this: It’s pretty much over. Find a new girl with whom you can have both fabulous sex AND a loving relationship. It will make you 100x happier than the arrangement you’re seeking now, which only put you into a downward spiral that will make you feel lower than you ever thought was possible.

No good advice to offer (except running, which seems to help at least while you’re running) but I have plenty of sympathy.

It’s not gonna work. She already knows the sex was mindblowing, and factored that into her decision not to see you any more.

Sorry, hon, know it hurts.

twicks, who’s currently pining after a guy who’s totally out of her league, but who seems to enjoy spending time with her as friends … sigh …

Even if she goes for a FWB thing, you shouldn’t. You want more than that from her - more than that from SOMEONE, you deserve more than that from someone. Since you are emotionally invested, a FWB relationship will leave you emotionally attached - and therefore unavailable to find that someone.

A story. I have a friend - Tish. Tish had the hots for Greg. Greg and Tish began a friends with benefits relationship. They were just friends, right. No harm, no foul. Greg then fell hard for Tish’s friend - and they started dating - moving in together shortly thereafter. Greg felt that the arrangement they had let him pursue a romantic monogomous relationship - after all, they were only FWB. Tish really didn’t buy into the FWB - not emotionally.

Go through the pain now. Its like ripping off a band aid. Because if you are emotionally invested and she isn’t, its only going to hurt more when she becomes emotionally invested in someone who isn’t you.

I like you, prr, and I don’t want to kick you when you’re down, but that was dumb. You deserve better, and it’s over. Rip off the band-aid and don’t contact her again - it’ll hurt a ton, but you’ll live. You gotta move on, man. This sort of FWB arrangement can’t end well.

Do you guys just disapprove of FWB generally? I think this might be why FWB was invented–I get to gradually work on recognizing the reality that she just ain’t THAT into me, meanwhile I get laid rather sublimely, until she takes up with a new guy, and I go, “Okay, I can deal with that at this point” instead of staying up all night thinking about her with a new guy while I’m still in this state. And for her part, she gets her physical needs met (rather sublimely) until she can line up a new guy, when I will depart with nary a protesting syllable.

She claims she wants to protect my tender feelings, but I’m all “I ain’t got none. Let ME worry about my tender feelings, okay? If I am able to keep my emotions and my feelings to myself, and deal, why are you so concerned?”

I’m about a day away from ending this rather one-sided conversation, but I think has got to be worth a day or two of effort on my part.

I agree with all the other posters, and no, I’m not particularly against FWB in general. What I am against is the following:

Here, I think you are totally fooling yourself. Do you really think that sex with her will help you out in “gradually work[ing] on recognizing the reality”? What I am betting it will do is lull you into a sense of complacency that you’re still in a de facto relationship, thus setting you up for an even worse fall when she does get a new guy. Heck, I can say through experience that just seeing her, or talking to her, on a regular basis will lull you into this sense of complacency. Oh, you will think you are over her – my ex-boyfriend thought he was over me; my sister thought she was over her ex-boyfriend – and that you are just talking to her/having sex with her because it’s enjoyable – and then, bam! have it hit twice as hard when she actually finds someone.

I suppose, to play devil’s advocate, that maybe it could work if she immediately started dating people, even before you began the FWB, and was very open about that. Then you’d be forced to confront whether you could deal with it now instead of later.

PRR. Dude. You know you’re my buddy, so I hope you don’t take this the wrong way when I say worst. idea. ever.

I agree with what raspberry hunter said…what your’re really going to end up doing is pretending that you’re still in a relationship with her. The pain of getting re-dumped for some other guy is going to suck worse than the pain you’re feeling right now. Forget about being friends, forget about being FWB…just move on.