Join Pam for a free, lively relationship discussion on May 9th at East West Bookshop in Mountain View.
The Perfectionist is one of the nine personality types. Also called the Reformer, Perfectionists are rational and principled, as well as purposeful and self-controlled, often to the point of being overly critical of themselves and others. Learn more about this personality type and their impact in a relationship.
I recently received an inquiry on my Facebook page from a woman who had a question about her response to a recent break up. Below is her question and my advice.
"I had been dating this guy for the past six months and he decided to drop the bomb in the middle of a dinner date at a fine dining restaurant. I really felt blind-sided and was so upset he didn't deliver the news in a more thoughtful, intimate and sensitive manner. My emotions got the best of me and I landed a stinging slap across his face and walked out. It was in the city so I took a cab home. While I'ms till resentful of how he handled it, I feel like I should do the mature and responsible thing and apologize for the slap. I don't really feel like calling him so would an apology note via email or regular mail be appropriate?" ~Erika P.
Here is my advice: Closure is always good, so sending an email (not a text), is a good idea. With that said, your immediate reaction was understandable, particularly when the news was unexpected and delivered in a public venue and in a very impersonal way. Interestingly enough, guys often think the way to let someone down is over dinner. Perhaps, that seems easiest and best for them, but it's a horrible experience for the receiver. It is, quite frankly, in poor taste. So, I think it is fine for you to write a nice email, explaining that you are truly sorry for your physical reaction to the way in which he chose to announce he was ending your relationship, but that had he been in your situation, he might have acted similarly. Thank him for the good times you have shared over the past six months, wish him well and educate him that for future, when he is wanting to exit a relationship to give the other party the courtesy and respect of doing it in a private place where there can be civil conversation and both persons can part with a better understanding of all of the pros and cons about the relationship, so your next relationships will be better for each of you.
Forgive and move on with three things in mind:
1) Be prepared to go into the next relationship when you feel strong and happy with yourself
2) Watch for red flags early when dating, so they can be addressed.
3) Vet your partner thoroughly for lifestyle similarities, interests, passions and pay close attention to how they treat you and others with whom they come across as your relationship is progressing.