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Todd Greene

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Relationship Advice: Don't Get Back Together!

Posted: 12/10/09 11:40 AM ET

All of this Tiger Woods talk reminds me that I'm not good at relationships. I love being with the right person but, problem is I haven't found her just yet.

As of this writing, in baseball terms, I'm "0 for something." What I mean is I've had a certain number of relationships (let's say fifteen) and, since I'm currently single, I'm "0 for 15." Yes, I was married for 7 years but that might be characterized as a long at bat with many foul balls.

Ten years ago I started a business and it definitely hit my entrepreneurial tuning fork. I have had many ideas for other businesses since then; but this one, at a company called HeadBlade keeps me going fulltime. Since people often see or hear about HeadBlade and the fact that I started it myself out of my apartment (while I was still "1 for 13") they like to approach me with their ideas and inventions to see if they have merit. I've had a few ideas myself, and one keeps floating to the top. I can't pursue it so I've decided to outline it here in case someone wants to try their hand. And yes, it has to do with relationships.

My thought about a relationship is when it's done, it's done. Too many times we get back together for no really good reason; afraid to be alone, drunk dialing, the holidays. I learned this the hard way by getting back together with an ex-girlfriend and almost not wanting to live to tell about it. I was residing in Seattle at the time ("1 for 10") and thought I was in love with a girl named Audrey (name changed to protect....me). It was a rocky affair and I wasn't used to the tumultuous relationship so I broke up with her. When I went to her place to collect my belongings she handed me what appeared to be a get well/farewell/graduation card. After loading up the car with items I had since thought lost or misplaced, I decided to read the card while seated in the driver's seat, motor running, almost as to leave the scene of the crime.

It was a beautiful hand-written note from Audrey. She really did love me. And she didn't want it to end. Wow, I thought. Maybe I was too harsh; maybe we just didn't communicate in a way that the other understood was from a place of love. I think I even gave pause and noticed the weight of the paper and the hand-drawn border. It was a quality effort. Looking back up to give a final gaze at her apartment I was surprised to see her standing at the window, having been there the whole time. I got out of the car. She came down. We hugged. She cried. We hugged again. Then we went for some great Thai food, back to her place, had some great sex and then blissfully fell asleep. Next morning I didn't wake slowly. My eyes popped wide open and I thought, "What just happened? What am I doing here again? The car is packed and I almost got away! Did I just practice breaking up with her? And now I need to do it again!? Remember this feeling Todd. You don't want to have it ever again."

Later that day, after not repopulating her apt with my goods, we broke up again. To this day I wish I could remember the name of that Thai restaurant.

My business idea is based on this true episode. It's a book and website called, "Don't Get Back Together." I write about it now because, well, the holidays can be tough for the single person and, without this book in print, I fear a lot of people are going to break their New Year's resolutions before they even get to sing Auld Lang Syne. The following is my one page write-up discussing this idea. I'd love to know your thoughts:

The book, Don't Get Back Together (DGBT), helps you come to terms with unscripted, unrehearsed, and unwanted interruptions in love. It lets you deal in a healthy way with the ending of one chapter, or book, in your life and lets you prepare for life after. DGBT will act as both scrapbook and workbook.

DGBT helps you understand that, although it was for a purpose, that purpose is now gone and the break-up is with proper warrant. The most important thing is that you get on with your life. You should not get back into the same relationship. It is a road that goes nowhere; a tunnel without light at the end; a hole that digs deeper. It's Audrey Part II.

DGBT instructs you to collect stories (recounting an argument or wasted evening), images (photos where your ex made a disgusting gesture), anecdotes (when your ex belittled you in front of others), memorabilia (gifts not worth a dime and have no meaning), and other collectibles from the relationship. To gain perspective the book solicits information from your friends and relatives (what they couldn't stand about youre x!). There are pages that are sent out to others then returned to their respective place in the book. List their bad habits. List things they loved but you hated. List things about you that they didn't appreciate!! And yes, your slip ups too. And the way you were in the relationship ---especially if you acted out your unhappiness on your partner with barbs and cutting remarks. Like I'm sure I've done. Scratch that. Like I know I've done! Net, this book should remind you of the reality of the relationship and why you broke up.

When completed, your personal edition of DGBT provides a nice synopsis on the relationship; it hits the peaks with stories and events that made it special, but more importantly it also serves to remind you why the relationship ended. DGBT will be an essential tool in overcoming those weak moments when the mind plays games and sentimentality sets in. We're all human. We have our weak moments; our hours of insecurity; our times of guilt ("What did I do wrong?"). Our Kryptonite. One perusal of this book during a weak moment will give you strength to gird your loins rather than sewing your seed. It will give renewed independence. It will change Clark Kent back to Superman status. You will not get back together!

We are so sure DGBT will be invaluable the company will offer an archive service. If you do get back together with the subject of your book send it to us with a twenty-dollar deposit. We'll archive and store the book for a year (you don't want your significant other to find this book!). If the relationship should hit hard times again, all you have to do is call us and provide the proper password. And we'll send your personalized edition of DGBT back. You'll need it as much, or more, than you did after the initial break-up.

If we don't hear from you after the year, we'll dispose of the book and all incriminating evidence.

Alfred Lord Tennyson said, "Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all." You'll find it's even better when in book form.

I know. I'm currently "0 for 15." Batter, batter, swing! Or in Tiger's case, "Fore!"

 

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