Rules of Relationship Recycling

Angela Manfredi 2005 ©

Angela ManfrediIn the dating world, there’s an age-old ritual known as “recycling”.

Sometimes, singles do this because our torture tank is only ¾ of the way full and we feel compelled to go back one more time to top it off. Or, sheer boredom infused with a niggling need to reopen the cold case file kicks in. Whatever the rationalization, let’s establish a few guidelines for the go-back.

1.) Institute the 3 - day rule. It’s required for the purchase of a gun. Recycling is the relationship equivalent. Before you pick up the phone, send an email, or “coincidentally” run into him on the front porch of his house, notify your support team and give them ample opportunity to talk you out of it. Recycling, after all, is not a victimless act. Your friends and family must bear the brunt of his misdeeds as they listen to you pillory “Mr. He –Was- So- Right- Last- Week- And- Now- He’s-The- Devil- Incarnat ”

2.) Brace yourself for more of the same. I once agreed to be recycled because I thought that the guy and I had lingering emotional embers. The do-over date actually proved to be very helpful. When I got home, I popped in my Chorus Line CD and belted out I Felt Nothing! You see, in the time he and I were apart, I had outgrown his hurtful habit of putting me down while chalking it up his caustic sense of humor. I crossed him off the “what if” list and nestled into bed humming One Singular Sensation

3.) You’ll get nothing (no strange stares or quirky questions) and like it! Dusting off a former flame for the sake of a special occasion could backfire in that nearly everyone present probably remembers the detailed accounts of his foibles as illustrated during your girl’s night out Power Point presentation. Chances are, the room will fall silent as you parade by with the man who lost his job because he would only respond to his boss with lines from Caddyshack. In other words, dateless = humiliate-less.

In short, recycle this newspaper, that Snapple bottle, and the kitty litter containers. The ex, however, may be best left in the buh-bye bin…