One of the few things about me that might make me a wonderful boyfriend is the fact that guilt is a 24/7 element in my life. Even if there's nothing to be guilty about, I create guilty within myself. When someone makes me feel guilty in a relationship, I spend a lot of time trying to make things better. Guilt is a powerful motivator.
Guilt inspires guys to make up for their mistakes, and guilt can help make a guy a better person in some situations. For example, people who feel guilt are probably less prone to do hurtful things like cheating. Even thinking about cheating is enough to get my masochistic, guilt-hungry mind going.
But I admit, in my quest to avoid conflict, I have been guilted out of breaking up. So trying to make someone feel guilty for breaking up with you won't bring them back around. They are probably feeling guilty anyway, considering it's just as tough to break up with someone as it is to be broken up with.
Here is my list of relationship guilt:
Guys are always forgetting things. It's not that we don't care, it's just that we aren't wired to remember things. Women can choose from an entire catalog of things their guy forgot if they want to shovel a little guilt on him and maybe get something out of it.
You Hurt My Feelings
Us guys don't realize the way we say something or what we say might hurt your feelings. Then, women have random days where everything seems to hurt their feelings and we don't get it. Most of my past girlfriends were excellent at referring to the many times I hurt their feelings accidentally to push a little guilt on me when necessary.
Girlfriends yell at me for misbehaving and embarrassing them at a party, or getting too stupid with my friends. Then, when I have time to think about it, I feel guilty that I made my girlfriend feel that way and that I can't figure out how to behave appropriately.
It's scary how those three things above are similar to the infractions I committed as a teenager. Oh well, here are some breakup guilt maneuvers I've seen:
My friend recently explained a pretty good nickname she had for an ex-boyfriend, "Suicide Dave." When my friend attempted to break up with him (in those days he was known simply as "Dave" without the "Suicide"), he blurted out, "Well then, maybe I'll just kill myself if this is how it's going to be."
Whoa, Dave. Really? Of course Dave didn't commit suicide; his "threat" was a lapse in judgment. People might think it's romantic throwing suicide out there in a weird Romeo & Juliet way, but who wants to cause someone to contemplate suicide?
Throwing "I Love You" Back in Their Face
It's hard to stick to promises that are supposed to be eternal. Words like "always" and "forever" aren't easy to follow up on. Many people get caught up in the moment, or simply don't understand the gravity of the phrase "I love you." Also, things change, people change.
Common statements at the time of breakup are: "How could you say you love me and then do this," "You said we'd always be together," etc. Yes, it sucks that they are going back on what they said, but throwing someone's words back in their face is just as unfair unless you've never changed your mind in your life.
Crying Your Eyes Out
This may be tough love, but you should do your best not to cry your eyes out when someone is breaking up with you. My buddy recently spent about five hours at his girlfriend's apartment breaking up with her because she started bawling and he couldn't walk away.
Playing the Victim
Of course you are a victim because you're getting dumped. But the other bad events in your life such as losing a job, family troubles, etc., have nothing to do (most likely) with that person who is dumping you. So why throw it all out there when you're being dumped? "How can you dump me at a time like this," makes the person indirectly responsible for your other problems.
How does guilt play a role in your relationship and dating life? Have you ever tried to make a guy feel guilty for breaking up with you or vice versa? Do you ever take advantage of a guy's guilt to get something in return, or do you feel like guilt is an unhealthy element for any relationship?