December 1, 2009

The ex-boyfriend came to visit (not me, but the friend I now live with). As luck would have it, the boyfriend wasn’t visiting until later. Extremely awkward situation averted. In fact, due to working in L.A over the weekend, I wasn’t even around for most of the visit. Slightly awkward situation also avoided.

I’m fully accepting of the fact that I do not speak with my ex-boyfriends. I don’t really hold any bad feelings. And I do keep tabs on their general activities through mutual friends and my wonderful Internet stalking. But it always seems like everyone else is on such good terms with their former significant others. I thought I must be doing something wrong. If you got along well enough to be in a relationship, it should be enough to stay in a friendship, right?

Then I was told the McDonald’s Analogy (also below). And it suddenly all made sense. There’s just no reason why any guy or girl should stick around only to realize – again and again – that you’re not the one. It doesn’t matter if the dumper wants to stay friends – s/he’s also the one that doesn’t want to be in a relationship anymore. And I’m very against people acting as a boyfriend or girlfriend without getting the full benefits.

I know a girl who broke up with a guy and she told him she wanted to “still be friends.”  He said, “No thanks.”  She wondered why he couldn’t fall back to being just friends after they had a romantic relationship.  I came up with the “McDonalds Analogy” to try and explain it in a simple way that would help all women understand this tough question.

Imagine if you went to McDonalds a lot and ordered a Big Mac Combo meal.  A Big Mac, Large Fries and a Coke.  You really like this meal.  One day, you pull up to the drivethrough and order the Big Mac Combo meal and the girl tells you, “I’m sorry – you can have the Big Mac and the Coke, but you can’t get fries with that anymore.”  You think about this for a moment, and sure – the Big Mac is the centerpiece of the meal, but McDonalds has some really good fries and you like their fries with your meal.  So you say, “I’ve been able to get fries with that before, why can’t I have fries with my Big Mac combo anymore?”  The girls says, “Well, I just think it is better if you only have the Big Mac and the Coke from here on out.”

At this point, a lot of guys are going to go to Wendy’s or BK and see if they can get fries with their combo at that drivethrough window.  But there are some guys who REALLY like McDonalds Big Macs and they might think, “If I keep coming here and ordering the Big Mac and Coke, maybe she’ll change her mind and give me some fries with that later.”  So they will keep on getting the combo without the fries until the deal breaker happens: One day that guy is going to order the Big Mac and Coke and then he’s going to pull up a little bit to pay, and someone else is going to pull up to the drivethrough speaker and order the “Big Mac Combo” and he is going to hear the girl say, “Would you like fries with that?”

That’s why guys don’t like to be friends with a girl who breaks up with them.



  1. I was actually wondering about that when I heard he was going up there while playing L4D2 with Nolan the other day since I know that you two don’t really interact.

    The McDonald’s analogy applies to more than just ex-gfs, you know. Imagine if you were never allowed to get fries, but you really wanted fries and you saw another guy get fries.

    Beyond that, interaction with my exes has always, no matter what, ended up bringing me plenty of stress/grief beyond what it was worth. I’d say that I only get along with one of them and, even then, sometimes I wish she weren’t so ingrained with my family.

  2. Haha very interesting. This reminds me of the “Ladder Theory” that I read somewhere (maybe redirected from your twitter). Guys who decline to “be friends” know better.

    • Ah, but per the Ladder Theory, guys can’t really ever “just” be friends. So maybe they’re just declining because they can’t?

  3. I think it’s affected by a lot of things. For me, most of the time hanging out resulted in lapses. We’d started making out or something and forget we broke up because there’s nothing in common between us other than our appreciation of each other’s bodies. We’d date again for a few weeks and then remember we hate talking and break up. I think it takes time. But once you allow time to pass, you’ve moved on to other relationships. Eventually the cost of catching up with someone is just too big.

    There’s also something that happens to me in that when I see an ex (only some of them, depending on the circumstances) with someone else, I feel like something of mine was stolen. Here’s my analogy. Let’s say you’re a pack rat so you have tons of stuff in your attic and basement. You never end up touching that stuff. It’s a fact – you don’t need it, but it’s there and you like that it’s there. Then someone breaks into your house and steals only what’s in your basement from this pack rat stash. They don’t touch your tv, computer, photo albums, or anything you will actually use in the future. You (or I, in this case) would still be mad that this was stolen even if you will never use it again. And that’s how I sometimes feel. (Again, it depends on the type of relationship I had with the girl.)

    • I see what you’re saying with your analogy. But my problem with it is that in your story, the stuff’s mine – whether I use it or not. If I’m the dumper, I have absolutely no right to try to have a claim to someone I don’t want. The dumpee has it a bit different. They have every right to feel like something was taken from them if the dumper gets another relationship – because technically there’s the chance that’s how it happened.

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