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Your Move, Stud: A Woman's Perspective

You creep. You complete and utter liar. That's it. It's over. Get out. Don't bother coming back. As soon as you're gone, I'm changing all the locks and you will not have a key. You thought, what? That you were some stud that could just walk into that fancy party and impress everyone without earning the right?  That I would swoon and fall all over myself just because I was with you regardless of your performance? I hate to break it to you, but our relationship doesn't work like that. In fact, after last night, I don't know if we even have a relationship at all.

I don't resent the fact that life often separates us for months on end. While I wish that were not so, I realize that we need time to recuperate from those passionate, intense months when we are together. Your dad's a well-known smooth operator himself with quite a reputation amongst women like me. He's taught a few men how to be real studs, but his reputation has taken a hit in recent years because his students have mostly turned out to be, well, like you. They show up at big parties expecting the ladies to flock to them and the men to let the ladies do so uncontested. They talk about how great they are at dancing yet smaller and less-talented guys periodically out-dance them-not to mention bigger and more-talented guys. And now you're just like the others. What hurts the most is that I can remember a time when things were different, when you were different.

I'll never forget the first time I saw you dressed in black. You asked me to wear black, too, which was unusual since we almost always wear red. I've long loved you in your red shirt with your silver britches and red hat...focus, woman. But I wore black because you asked me to, and when have I ever been able to say no to you? You knocked on my door, and when I opened it and saw your black-clad body silhouetted in the doorframe, I went weak at the knees. Fortunately you kept me from falling, because that's the kind of man you were. Your rakish grin told me that you knew exactly what effect you were having on me and that you liked it. We went to our favorite club and danced the night away. Your black suit fit you like Pro Combat gloves, and you danced like Superman. The best part, though, was that you brought me along for the ride. I was your Lois Lane, and you made sure I had just as good a time as you did that night. Your defensive, protective nature that had put off a few women made my blood run hot, and your domination of everyone on the floor was a real turn-on. Your repeat performance to end that year was equally stimulating. Oh, the things we did in New Orleans...

But then you changed. Everyone changes, and Shakespeare said that, "love does not alter when it alteration finds." I swore to love you no matter how much you changed-and at that point, only those who knew you well noticed anything different. The signs were all there, but like most people do when they're in love, I rationalized them away. Then you asked me to wear black again, and I, of course, complied. To me, this verged on hubris, yet I did what you asked of me anyway because I loved you. You looked as handsome as ever, but that didn't help you on the dance floor. The other guy vying for the title of alpha male bested you in every way possible, although you did pull yourself together and at least put on a bit of a show near the end. But it was too late. The damage had been done. I did not enjoy myself at all, and I had to put up with his slutty girlfriend making fun of me and my man. While I tried to console you, to convince you that I still loved you and that we could make it through this, I could tell that you were humiliated. We had some good times that year, but nothing could make up for that experience-not to mention a few other bad dates.

The next two years continued this downward trend in our relationship. Each consecutive year produced more bad dates, more lousy experiences. When I tried to get you to open up to me, to tell me what was bothering you, you always had a different excuse. You told me one of your dad's assistants had not taught you how to properly defend yourself and that this had led to a lack of confidence. But your dad replaced that assistant with a more competent one, so you had to find a new excuse. Then you said that the assistant in charge of training was not helping you get stronger, so your dad hired a new personal trainer. Now, you claim that the assistant in charge of teaching you to dance is not teaching you the proper steps in the proper order. Given your performance last night...but I'm getting ahead of myself, rather like you've done on the majority of dates we've had the past few years.

During this latest time apart, you reassured me on facebook, Twitter, and message boards that you were working hard. You were exercising more so that you'd be able to dance long and hard like you used to when we were younger. You were paying attention to the tips your father was giving you about how to be a better man-not to mention a better dancer. You had ditched your troublemaking friends that were draining your energy and dragging you down. Given the way you'd behaved these past few years after saying similar things, I was reluctant to believe you. I mean, I'd heard it all before. But you used that tone of voice I love so much and other people whose info I trusted started telling me things and before I knew it, I was starting to believe that this time, you were telling the truth. This year would be the year you proved me that you still had it in you to be the man I wanted you to be, the man I knew you to be.

So you showed up on my doorstep last evening with a dozen red roses and a box of Godiva chocolates. I would assume those gifts were to make up for your hideous all-red outfit, although I have to admit you were absolutely adorable while you tried to explain to me with a sort of embarrassed shuffle that your dad's boss had made the suit just for you and that you never argued with your dad's boss. Not wanting to hurt your feelings and so happy to see you again after so long apart, I held you close and assured you that the man inside the outfit was more important to me than the outfit itself-and that I wouldn't be caught dead on the arm of any other man. You told me I looked beautiful in my little red dress, and we were off on our first date of the year.

The first thing I noticed when we arrived at the big party was how excited everyone was to be there. Most people there were friends who wanted to see my man do well, although a few were hoping he would fail. The atmosphere was electric, and before long, I was euphoric. All these months of loneliness were about to pay off. You were going to sweep me into your arms and we were going to dance the night away in a manner that would have people talking for years. Those bad memories would truly belong to the past; we would look back on them and smile, celebrating how far we'd come. The band started warming up and a group of us started dancing, unwilling to wait for the party to officially begin. I was giddy, and I wasn't the only one. Before long, I was wrapped up in the music, wanting nothing more than to be wrapped up in your arms as well. However, I knew that once you had gotten a few last-minute tips from your dad, you'd be all mine. My body tensed in anticipation, waiting for the moment when the party would officially kick off and you would finally show me how much you had improved since last year, how much harder you'd worked.

Our eyes connected, and I tuned out the opening words of the MC. I had eyes only for you; I couldn't wait for you to show all our friends and acquaintances-not to mention, our enemies-how much you'd improved since last year. My heart skipped several beats, and before I knew it, you strode confidently across the floor to me and took me in your arms for the first dance. The Grinch had nothing on me as my heart expanded to near bursting, grateful to be in your arms again after so long a separation. Those sexy gloves rested possessively against my skin, and I knew that this was going to be one of the greatest nights of my life.

Until you trod on my foot. Then bumped into the couple dancing beside us. And then fell on your butt. You stared at me in bewilderment, unable to comprehend why you were on the floor and why the whole room was suddenly staring at you. I wanted to shrink away in embarrassment, but I would never give up on you that easily. So I helped you up and dusted you off, determined to help you regain your confidence and get rid of those big-party jitters. I whirled and twirled and curled, dancing my hardest for you. I tried to help you, but you always did the most inexplicable things at the worst times. Occasionally, we would be in sync, but those times always seemed accidental, as if you were just busting moves at random to see if one of them would work on me. In your defense, you did hold me closer than you had in recent years, so maybe your new defense instructor taught you a few new tricks. As the night wore on, however, it became apparent to me and everyone else that not only were you incapable of dancing with me, but that you had no desire to do so.

Do you know how much that hurt me? I'd looked forward to this date for months, and until last night, I thought you had too. All that talk about how much stronger and more skilled you were seemed like so much foolishness, although not as foolish as my belief in your claims. I believed in you even when I had no real reason to do so, and it cost me-again. Part of me wanted to lash out at you, to ridicule you in front of our peers. But I didn't. I couldn't. Not everyone at the party showed similar restraint, although I felt that much of their anger was directed at your dad and his assistants rather than at you. When I realized near the end of the evening that you were too tired to stay all night, that you were going to let these smaller, less talented, yet better-instructed guys out-dance you, I did the only thing I could think of that could prevent the utter destruction of our relationship: I walked away.

Not that I've never walked away from you before; you've made me angry on numerous occasions. This time was different, though. For the first time, I finally realized that your problems went deeper than I wanted to acknowledge. You and our friends always claimed that fixing this, that, or the other would solve the problem, but the same problems persist year in and year out. You say the same things every year during our time apart, and you fall apart the same way every time when we're together. I just can't take it anymore, and I don't feel that I deserve to.

So here you are, standing outside my door tonight with your garish hat in hand. Not that I care, because I've had it with you. We're through. We're over. Finished. Done. What's that? You said you're sorry? Well, that's nice. What does that mean? What are you going to do? Because from what your dad said earlier, nothing is going to change. Not your lack of stamina, nor your poor technique, nor your lack of discipline. If that's the case, why bother to continue this relationship? We're at an impasse. You're never going to change, and I'm through making allowances for you.

In case you failed to comprehend this the first time, get out. Leave. Go away. I've had it with your lies and rationalizations. If you ever dare show your face here again, you will find the locks changed and you will not have a key. Never again will I give you the ability to hurt me the way you've done over the past several years, the way you did last night.

Except we both know how this is going to end, don't we? Sure, I'll change the locks on the doors. And I'll leave a spare key for you under the welcome mat outside my front door. You know, the one that has your logo on it that tells the whole neighborhood I'm your girl. You'll show up on Saturday, dressed in your red, black, and silver suit I love so much. I'll be unable to resist you, and I'll throw on my red dress and accompany you to our favorite club again because I can't imagine a life in which I do not do so.

  I'll forgive you, although I'll tell you that you'd best dance the funky chicken with gusto if you want to hold onto me. You'll promise to do so, and maybe you will, and maybe you won't. Relationships require work, and if I see no evidence that you're willing to work to save our relationship, then I will have to draw the conclusion that our relationship means nothing and will act accordingly. I've made my choice; I've told you where I stand. But you have to be the one to decide, to choose.

Your move, stud.

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