Emma once told me, “You’re the first one to want me for me,” but her abrupt about-face might make you think I ran off with her best friend or boiled her rabbit … In fact, to this day, I have only guesses to make sense of her hostility to me.Because Emma’s withdrawal and eventual cutoff surprised me so much, I had a lot of intense emotions and questions about what she’d experienced and the choices she’d made.Break-ups are the ending of relationships, the cutting of ties.
Evidently, Reifman’s heart was broken by “Emma” when she not only callously dumped him but engaged in what I call “The Nuclear Option” and he never got the closure he was hoping for. To him, “cutoff culture” is a horrendous violation of the rules of love, a callous disregard for the emotional well-being of another person (specifically…
him) and should never be performed except under stringent circumstances. Reifman’s rant about Emma’s cruelty is something I see fairly often from guys – and it’s almost always guys – who rant about how women owe them an explanation and why they need “closure” on the relationship. Let’s take a look at what Reifman had to say, in his own words.
One of her friends chose to have sex with a lover after breaking up with him; she said even in the midst of ending the relationship, she wanted to “be generous in spirit.” While I don’t necessarily advocate taking things that far (in part because it can create confusion), I embrace the sentiment. Now, as tempted as I am to just repost his article and comment line by line, I want to get down into the meat of some of what he’s talking about here with regards to “cutoff culture”, closure and the psychic toll of breaking up with someone.
One thing that’s impossible to miss – as the always-excellent Captain Awkward points out – is that this entire rant is dripping with entitlement.
Saying “I want to stay friends” ((In those moments where they’re being serious rather than trying to make the break-up less awkward)) is a someone wants to make an effort to make sure you’re ok afterwards, that’s very sweet of them. I consider not causing someone unnecessary pain to be key part of being a good man rather than an asshole.
Now stop trying to out-clever me and pay attention.) And – importantly – you’re owed an explanation and you’re not owned a “resolution”. Well that’s because: Over and over again, Reifman insists that everything happened without explanation and that he needs “closure” and that he deserves some sort of “resolution” to the end of their (again: ) relationship.
As they were ending things, Emma gave him the traditional softening-the-breakup line: “we can still be friends.” .
Following our breakup, she continued to say she wanted to be friends.
Every once in a while, the universe likes to drop a subject in my lap.