My very first column for Lemondrop was about the various methods I've used to reject women over the course of my adult lifetime. I've used carefully nicknamed techniques and others over the years (perhaps in a later column I'll divulge my patented "It's Not You, It's Carl Weathers" brush off), and I've also been rejected by countless women in countless ways in turn. Really, there's no good way to dump somebody.

But as I've gotten older? I've realized there are ways to be a good dumpee.

We all have a touch of "Single White Female" about us, that desire to say, "No, Bridget Fonda, you will love me!" Acting like a psychopath from time to time is pretty much unavoidable when it comes to trying to get in the pants and heart of another human. The thing is, it actually hurts worse when you do nutty things in the name of love and get rejected anyway.

So now -- in this season of heat-induced romances that flame out as intensely as they once flamed -- here are some mistakes to avoid to help you become the Jennifer Jason Leigh of your breakups and achieve a little Rejection Grace:

Mistake #1: Believing You Just Lost The One

You know how I know that dude who hasn't called you in a week wasn't The One? Because The One would really like you, which means not losing your cell phone number or making some vague catchall excuse about being "out of town a lot this summer." Look, it's over, and this person who you had an amazing connection with is just no longer interested. I know that sometimes things feel so right and you just can't accept that it's one-sided, because you both cried during "How to Disappear Completely" at the outdoor Radiohead concert.

I know because I've been there! I've had what I believed to be incredible origin stories with a girl, perfect beginnings that lead to laugh-filled dates that led to me believe that finally, finally, I had made a real connection. Then soon I was involved in the slow-mo same car crash I'm always in, the shorter and shorter texts, the unanswered calls, the sudden, inexplicable belief that maybe I erased the voicemail I had left somehow by pressing a button with my cheek despite the fact that I have an iPhone. Ah yes, I've been here before, this place where I thought I had met a someone special only to find out they had just met some dude.
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The right person, the one that will like you for the right reasons, nine-hundred times out of a thousand will still call you from Jacksonville.

Mistake #2: Believing Persistence Will Win the Day

For every story about how some persistent bugger just kept at it and eventually landed the love interest of their dreams, there are a thousand stories about actionable restraining orders.

Look, the sad truth is that meaningful connections are hard to find, it's why so many people settle for lukewarm ones and go on to enjoy marriages with all the joy of a toddler at a cat funeral. Being and staying single until you really find someone that you click with takes balls, so remember this when you keep insisting that he or she will eventually "get" that you're great.

Mistake # 3: Believing Your Family and Friends Have Endless Patience

Family and friends are the best. Unconditional love is a rare thing, and although you can never replicate the specific way in which a One-and-Only loves you, we often fail to recognize or simply forget that it's our family and friends who offer us the ceaseless love promised in marriage vows.

It's important to talk about your feelings. Airing them with someone you trust and respect can offer you important insights and calming reassurances that you're not crazy. But, there is a line. If you're one of those people who reacts to every breakup and rejection by rushing to your friends and crying like the "it's not your fault" scene in "Good Will Hunting," you're going to annoy the hell out of them and you're going to feel worse later. Haven't you ever listened patiently to a friend bemoaning their love life and gone from "genuine compassion and empathy" to "disbelief that months later they're still talking about that stupid dude they met at RiteAid?" Don't be that girl.

Mistake # 4: Replaying Your Dates Like the Damn Zapruder Film

I do this a lot. I go back over every memorized detail and try to pinpoint exactly where I became Booger from "ROTN" (ha ha, maybe when I started using acronyms for movies like "Revenge of the Nerds"). Was it that "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" joke? Oh God, why did I order mussels? And on and on it goes. You know what? Most of the time it's nothing you said or did but rather the unbridgeable distance between You and What the Other Person is Looking For.

The truth is, despite a few dates where I totally self destructed, 99 percent of the time it was never going to work, even had I never riffed on the impossibility of long-term monogamy (next week's column!).

So go forth, my fellow single people, and do your best to avoid these common traps. As they say, the best revenge is living well. The next time someone sends you packing, shoulder your bags with dignity, grab a friend, laugh about what a huge loser your dumper was. Let me know where you are -- if I can't be there in person, maybe I can be there in spirit. Or I'll send some seasonal fruit.


[Redacted] Guy is the resident Single Guy writer for Lemondrop. Yeah, he's single. Yeah, like, no girlfriend. No, he's not ugly, he's a funny guy and goes on a lot of dates. So, why is he still writing the single column for us, months later, you ask? The answer is simple: He has lobster hands. Also, he sort of smells like Chinese soup.

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