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Ask Jono: Getting Dumped, Mysteriously

Ask Jono: Getting Dumped, Mysteriously

Dear Jono,

Thanks for taking the time to read this! I've recently discovered SparkLife and started stalking your posts. I find your witty advice and excessive use of italics quite amusing. Keep up the awesome work!

Anyway, my best friend (male, let's call him Bob) and I have been hanging out for about two years now. We've always been really close. I started to develop a crush on him, but I highly doubted that he would ever fall for me, so I never said anything about it. Then one day Bob confessed that he actually DID like me, and has had a major crush on me for the past six or seven months. Then he asked me out, so he basically eliminated the whole flirting stage and saved us all a lot of potential awkwardness.

Since Bob and I have been friends for so long, I already know all the general stuff about him. So during our relationship, I started asking him more deep, meaningful stuff so I could learn more about him on a personal level. Then, about two months into the relationship, he broke up with me. He claimed that I "wasn't fun anymore." And on top of that, he's starting to avoid me, because I think he's afraid of me confronting him about it.

Okay, I seriously don't understand; I assumed that generally most people enjoy being questioned a bit, because it lets their SO know that they're interested in them. Was I not supposed to ask any of that stuff? Should I confront him about it? And why do guys run away from relationships as soon as the girl gets all touchy-feely? Am I in the wrong here or is he being a jerkface?

Oh man, I've had something like this happen too, Sparkler. You're in a relationship with someone, and you feel like everything is going fine, and then your SO, whom you thought you understood pretty well, suddenly becomes as inexplicable as the Riddler. "Nyah ha ha, riddle me this! Am I breaking up with you??" (s)he says. "...Yes." (s)he adds.  Then you're like "GREAT GOTHAM!" and you lie down and cry on the floor for a while.

Despite the apparent mysteriousness of these situations, though, there always is a motive; it's just not always clear what the motive is. In your case, I think there are three possibilities.

He was afraid of commitment (sort of).
Honestly, I don't think that just being inquisitive would be enough to cause a dude to break up with you, unless he was constantly trying to kiss you and couldn't because your mouth was constantly going "What is your favorite animal?? What is your favorite color?? What is the best-colored animal???" and finally he was like, "AARGH I QUIT."

However, he could have just had an aversion to getting touchy-feely, as you put it. People love it when other people want to know things about them—that's pretty much always a positive thing—but if you were asking him about, like, marriage, and having kids, and stuff like that, I can see him being scared off by that kind of talk. I think there's probably more to it than this, but it's totally possible that you somehow tripped his Commitment Alarm, and he heroically decided to call you boring and run in the opposite direction.

He is a jerkface.
It might be no more complicated than this; perhaps he is just a guy who sucks. If so, then something happened to make him not interested anymore—he expected the relationship to move faster, or he likes someone else, or whatever—and instead of being honest or tactful he decided to blame you, with his big stupid inconsiderate mouth attached to his awful face of a jerk. Again, though, I think that this is probably an oversimplification, because you two have known each other, and enjoyed each other's company, for years; I doubt that he's secretly been an undercover slimeball all this time.

He actually was bored (not of you, of the relationship).
I think this is what happened.

He already knew you and had fun being with you; he assumed that dating you would be that times ten, with you guys always going on sexy adventures and solving sexy mysteries and buying ironic t-shirts at thrift stores, sexily. Maybe he didn't want to talk about deep and meaningful stuff, and had only signed up for the sexy adventures. If you two got along just fine before, and he liked you then, there's a good chance that "deep and meaningful" isn't what he's looking for; he wanted "goofy and not meaningful," or however you guys acted around each other in the past.

Futhermore, there's a thing that happens early in relationships that I call the Groucho Marx Effect (Marx famously left the Friars Club with a telegram that said "Please accept my resignation. I don't want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member"). There's this sinister little voice that says "Dude, if she's willing to date you, you could probably do a little bit better." I'd be lying if I said I'd never felt this impulse, but I never actually acted on it, because I am not literally made out of slime.

I want to stress that none of this is your fault, unless every time your boyfriend was like "Let's do something fun!" you responded with "Yeah, let's quietly knit a sweater and always follow the rules!" His jerkishness notwithstanding, the problem is mostly that his expectations were unrealistic. The fault here is solely his, for not expressing what he actually wanted from you and trying to salvage the relationship (or at least the friendship).

I'm honestly not sure what to tell you to do next. I suspect that I was once dumped for a reason like this, but the girl at least had the decency to be mysterious about it instead of saying "THE PROBLEM IS YOU, BAAARF." If you still want to be friends with this guy, I think the animosity and weirdness will die down eventually, but I'm not sure you'd even want to. If all you want is vindication, then I will happily oblige: You are not in the wrong here, and he is indeed a jerkface with the face of a jerk.

Topics: Life
Tags: relationships, friendships, breakups, advice, ask jono

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