I truly, truly, truly hate confrontation. Cannot abide it. Just typing about it is making me nervous.
However, and as my wife can sadly attest, I've gotten better at confrontation as I've attempted adulthood. But deep down in my core, I've been conflict-averse since I was a little kid. Rodney King and I are much happier when everyone just gets along.
In my young adulthood I found myself dating a girl that things just weren't working out with. We didn't laugh at the same jokes, we didn't hang out with the same types of people, she thought most of my artsy-fartsy-ness was dumb and childish, and I often found myself apologizing for traumas which I had been wholly unaware I inflicted. Even to a post-teen boy, the upside (sex, dates, social) wasn't good enough to make up for the rest of that abridged list. Something had to give. Belatedy, I decided it was time for us to call it quits.
Driving over to her place, I was nervous as hell about whichever negative direction the evening might take. I rehearsed my spiel, going through all the reasons she was going to be better off without me.
Turned out she was in complete agreement.
When I walked in the door, she explained we needed to talk. Five minutes later she was breaking up with me. This was literally a golden opportunity to get every last thing I wanted out of the night without a hitch. No confrontation, not my idea, and I was going to walk away the good guy.
Except I couldn't.
The second she started the breakup song, all I wanted was her. I realized that I'd been wrong all along. She was AMAZING. Our differences were minor. I probably was kind of childish. And on... and on... Just whatever you do, 20-something soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend, PLEASE DON'T BREAK UP WITH ME. Gone were my hopes to be out of the situation, replaced with desperation and angst. Fortunately, she held her ground and showed me the door. I was crushed. What was wrong with me that she'd want it to be over?
Over the next three days, I vacillated between sadness and anger, alternating the two ad nauseam until my best friend finally sat me down to say, "weren't you going over to break up with her?"
I laughed at myself for the better part of an hour. I realized I'd been desperate to have her back because the second she initiated the breakup, the referendum was on ME.
Human beings are funny creatures. My response is pretty typical of most, as our usual response to being jilted begins with heartache and self-recrimination, followed by feelings of anger and doubt, as shown in psychology and neurology studies galore. We don't like being told we're not good enough to stay with.
No wonder it's been such a roller coaster ride with a few Denver Nuggets, the current jilter being one Ty Lawson. And the referendum being on our dear Denver Nuggets. Especially when a Lawson/Carmelo Anthony/Andre Iguodala/etc. seem so very happy to depart.
For those who did not see yesterday's news, Lawson let drop that he'd been thinking of joining Houston for quite some time, even conversing with James Harden about it pre-trade. (though he'd also made comments about hoping to join Dallas and Sacramento in the offseason as well)
It was pretty plain to see that Ty had been wanting out of the relationship for a long time. He just kept looking for ways to force the breakup. When he said so in print, it continued a lengthy history of passive-aggressively saying things that didn't paint a rosy picture of his feelings about Denver or the Nuggets.
In either relationship example - NBA player or 20-something doofus - there comes a point when it's become obvious that your significant other wants out of the relationship. Some even go so far as to chat up other guys in front of you at the bar. (Iguodala) It's hard not to be angry or hurt or wonder what is wrong with you. Is it something I did? Maybe if I'd just paid a little more attention.
It's natural to be angry and hurt by the person who finds you not good enough to stay with (even when you don't really want to be with them, either). It's easy to pounce on the faults on both sides of the equation and to say hard things about the person who left you behind.
But when push comes to shove, no matter how beautiful she was, how much she boosted your ego, how well she could dribble or split a double team... you know what I mean...
At the end of the day, if the other person doesn't want to be with you, you're better off moving on. If they end up in a bright shiny new Rocket... er, relationship... the best thing that can happen to you is to find the girl who wants to be with you for a long, long time. Like this (Emmanuel Mudiay). Or this (Wilson Chandler). Or this (Danilo Gallinari). Or even this (Gary Harris).
Don't worry, Nuggets Nation. The person who wanted out of this particular affair might have been partying a bit too much to sustain a long-term relationship with, anyway. And as you can see, there's a lot of pretty girls who still want to date you.