I’m allowing myself a blog post because I just finished a massive project (Bread for the City’s summer newsletter, also known as the greatest newsletter I’ve ever written… of two newsletters, including this one).
I just read this interesting article on TIME’s blog, “7 Employees You Should Fire Now,” and I just feel like it can be nearly replicated in a blog post entitled “7 Boyfriends You Should Dump Right Now.” Thus, the title of this post. And bee tee dubz, I am fully aware that this is a sign that I’ve been reading the Thought Catalog WAY too much. This is so Thought Catalogesque. I can’t help it; it’s addictive. I should probs even submit this one. I haven’t gotten that bad yet though. Probs one day.
Anyway. Here are the seven employees, erm, boyfriends that need to be fired:
1. They’re a Troublemaker. When
employees boyfriends create more problems than they’re worth, when the damage they do the organization weighs more heavily than their achievements outweighs the happiness they bring, then it’s time to cut them loose. This is plain and simple. Make a pros and cons list if that’s what you need to do a cost-benefit analysis. I actually did this with my ex-boyfriend, and it was clear to me at least six months before I dumped him that his flaws outweighed his redeeming qualities. If I’d ever made a list about whether the damage he’d done outweighed the perks of the relationship, then it would’ve been clear as the air in Portland, Oregon (and, oh em gee, if you’ve ever been to Portland, you know that you can smell someone smoking from two blocks away because the air is that clear). Mind you, the perks were good; nonetheless, the trouble wasn’t worth it. Trust your CBA. It’s science.
2. They Overpromise and Underdeliver. Some people have such overly inflated self-images that they either think they can do anything or crave the attention they get by making big boastful promises. But when their egos consistently write checks their capabilities can’t cash, that’s a real problem that’s not likely to be resolvable without a good shrink. Also, a given. My best friend and I drew up “Golden Rules of Dating” back when we were in 7th grade, and we knew even back then that this was an important rule: “Don’t make promises you can’t keep.” Whether it’s because you’re not capable or because you’re not willing, I don’t care. Your promises create expectations. I’m going to have expectations anyway, might as well not make the burden heavier on yourself. Further, actions speak louder than words, so if it’s not something that you can do then you might as well save us both the time and energy by recognizing it early and accepting that it’s just not going to work. Then we can both be on our way. Everybody wins.
3. They Act Out With Your Friends. Friends are hard to gain and easy to lose. Does he spit on you in front of your friends and tell you that you’re worthless? No? Just my ex? Alright, but still. You want to be with someone who gets along with your friends. Part of the reason is because you want to be with someone who is your friend — someone you trust and rely on, someone who makes you laugh and feel comfortable. A good way to tell that you’re with the right person is that he fits into your group of friends (assuming you surround yourself by people you like), and, while I never thought I’d say this, your friends should like him. I am the first person to say that you don’t need anyone’s approval for any of your life choices or partner picks, but hey – you’ve surrounded yourself by these people. Chances are that you respect their opinions and they know you well, and when you’re getting overly excited about some new guy you met, your friends are able to look at the situation a little more clearly than you. What I can tell you for sure is that if he doesn’t get along with your friends, something is wrong. Maybe you need to find new friends, but you probably just need to find a new boyfriend.
4. They Can’t or Won’t Do the Job. You hire
and pay people to do a job… Their job is then to do it. If they either can’t or won’t after a few chances, then you’ve probably given them one chance too many. Communicate what you want. If he’s doing something that’s bothering you, talk to him about it. I’m not saying just up and leave the second he does something that you consider wrong. For example, real conversation that I had with my ex-boyfriend: “It really hurts my feelings when you get drunk and call transsexual prostitutes.” His response? “That’s something I can cut out of my life easily.” However, after plenty of chances, he failed to cease the behavior. Sorry for all the ex-boyfriend references, but this is the relationship — if you can call it that — that’s most fresh in my mind. You will never have examples this bad, and I’m surely not telling you to wait until it’s this bad to dump him. However, substitute it with something a little more normal, and apply the same advice. I had a friend, for example, who just wasn’t getting enough attention from her boyfriend when they went out together. She talked to him about it, he said he understood and that he’d make an effort to be more attentive, but then they went out together and nothing changed. It’s just like any job. If he doesn’t respond to a first, second, and maybe even a third warning, it’s time to cut him loose. (She did – woot!)
5. They Flake. Some people look the part but, when push comes to shove, you can’t count on them to get the job done or even to show up on a regular basis. Whatever the specifics, you can never tell when they’re going to flake and you just can’t trust them. Life is too short to have boyfriends like that. Srsly. Just to reiterate one of my initial points – you want to be with someone you can trust and count on. There are way too many people who will care enough about you to be there when you need them, or even just want them, to be there. So, don’t waste your time on someone who flakes. This can also be applied to sex. You just don’t want to be with someone who can’t get the job done.
6. They’re Entitled. Don’t give in to that kind of behavior. Cut them loose. He should always be working for you. The chase is ongoing. Forever. Just because he’s got you now doesn’t mean that you’re always going to be around. If he starts slacking off and feeling entitled to your companionship, remind him that there are plenty of fish in the sea. Don’t forget that: THERE ARE SO MANY FISH.
7. They Ignore the Rules. Whatever the rules of conduct are for your
company and its culture companionship, you’ve got to uphold them fairly and consistently across the board. First of all, set rules. Set boundaries. Set a code of conduct. You know what you want; let him know. And, if he breaks the rules, you know the drill: throw that fish back in the water.
So Thought Catalogesque. DAMN YOU, THOUGHT CATALOG.
But, for serious, if you’re dealing with one — or more — of these seven boyfriends, just walk away. Life is too short to waste with someone who is dragging you down. You’re better off alone. And, if you get lonely, my ex recommends backpage.com. I won’t link to that though; that’s gross.