Eliminating the Minimum Man*

* or woman...but since I only date men...ok, you get it...

Sooooo, it's that time of year again!!! Break-ups are running rampant. Call it spring cleaning or what have you, but it seems that many of my friends (heck, me too) are dealing with the emotional baggage left by the Minimum Man. Yes, you know him. One of my favorite blogs, Baggage Reclaim (it's on my blogroll), talks all about dealing with Mr. Unavailable and Emotionally Unavailable Men. Well I call him the Minimum Man because he will do exactly the bare minimum to sustain a "relationship" with you. That random text message that says, "I miss you..." or "Thinking about you..." is only a ploy, ladies. Because if he REALLY missed you, I'm pretty sure it's 2008 and phones are available. But MM realizes that is too much like EFFORT and hence too much work. So he won't...but he'll shoot you a quick text to make sure you're dragged back into that emotional vortex of ambiguity. It's amazing how your brain is able to recognize this BS, but your heart still clings onto the possibility that he'll come around and "be a man".

If we try to look at love rationally, which is a feat in and of itself, we'd notice the sheer insanity of our behavior. I can't name one person since the beginning of time who hasn't wilted under love's incessant, sharp arrows. Little pinpricks to your heart and soul leaving trails of blood and tears. I've had my heart split into pieces two real times. One was a two-year ordeal and the other one lasted nearly 5 years. That's a long ass rollercoaster. But the one tried and true method of getting over that heartbreak is the No-Contact Rule. For me, the Queen of the Drunk Dial, I've found the No-Contact Rule amazingly effective. Effective for moving on and getting on with your life. I also like to draft emails and then not actually send them to the guy. It's a way to get my feelings out and yet maintain my NCR.

Once I get past the sobbing, balled-up tissue throwing, crying-myself-to-sleep, sappy-movie watching, borderline-alcoholic phase (oh wait, is that just me???), I start to rebuild myself bit by bit. Sure, I have my angry breakup playlist on my iPod (Nikka Costa's Hope It Felt Good and Mary J's Not Lookin' included). But there are certain songs that kick my butt to get back on the horse. Once the hurt and resentment have started to fade, I'm left with just a skeleton of myself. And certain songs help put the meat back on my bones. Two of my favorite songs are India Arie's Strength, Courage, and Wisdom and Back to the Middle. These songs represent everything I am and everything I want to be. It works not only for break-ups but for anytime things aren't really going my way in life. So many of us cling to bad situations out of an irrational fear of the unknown and we're consumed by what if's. But these are not productive what if's. They're more like, "Well, what if I stop talking to him and then he never calls me again?? What if I don't respond to that text message and he's in trouble?" And my answer is, "So what?"



Can we please take a moment to say, "So what??" You know, if you say it enough, it starts to feel kinda nice. :) But my point is that even if you DO still care, you have to at least give the illusion that you do not. You have to be a ballbreaker. And I know this idea is counterintuitive because as a woman, nurturing anything and everything is second nature. You can call it a game but I call it survival. After my 15th drunk dial to an ex where I screamed and yelled at him for "screwing me over YET AGAIN", I think my friends had had just about enough. And I wanted my dignity back. I'm sure they kept thinking, "Damn, when is she gonna stop talking about this fool??" And I truly thank all my friends for listening to me whine for 5 years. When I look back, every break-up has led me to a breakthrough. In different parts of the world. Not that I need a reason to travel, but seeing a new crop of available men is more than enough motivation for me to hop on a plane. I don't know about you, but I like traveling for the constant reminder that there is life outside of my world. There are millions of potential mates out there, but it's difficult to believe that within your own walls of misery. Look, it's hard...I know. So much history with that person, so many promises and plans and visions for the future, so many good and bad memories. If you can stop cold turkey, you deserve an award! My supremely novice advice (since I'm practically still a chrysalis in the life cycle of love) is to just --- open the window. Let some fresh air in. You'd be surprised what happens when you finally are able to close the door on a past relationship. After all, it is Springtime...get cleaning! Until then, J


Reasonably Happy Gal said...

Great post.

My best friend is dating the Minimum Man. I've been telling her this for months. I even told her about you post today. But she admits, she'd rather be miserable with someone than alone. What can ya do?

Ms. Rolling stone said...

Oh boy... a close friend is dealing with a well-deserved break from her MM.. He is working overtime to get back in the fold and her fortress is breaking down. None of us know what else to say to let her know it will be fine if she stays away from him... I'm forwarding this entry..hopefully it helps.

Vakker Kvinne said...

This speaks to me for the obvious reasons. Breaking up is hard to do, but worth it if it makes you better.


Sunshine said...

Preach Sista! MM is a bitch, I swear! (I'm glad I'm not the only fool) I'm on the "I'm not returning your text any more" phase. He is trying hard but I'm done!

BlackGirl said...

"Minimum Man". I like that moniker. Been there. Now trying to reinstate NCR a second time around. Sigh.