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The Snake in the Basket


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I’ve had a few requests for a new thread, so here it is. I expect this to sink rather quickly as it probably won’t be what most want to hear


Some theorists state that men are more logical creatures, whilst women are more emotional. Some dismiss this as too generalised whilst others can see some credence in such a claim.


I subscribe to a similar generalised theory…but this theory is non gender-specific: Dumpers are more logical, while dumpees are more emotional.


Dumping someone is a decision. It may be a decision that is based on emotion (or lack thereof), but it is a decision nonetheless.

Pros and Cons have been weighed up and a course of action (dumping) has been chosen.

Sure, there may be uncertainty involved and sometimes the actual decision itself is a close-call….just as other times it is not so much of a dilemma.

Rest assured however, that at the end of the day, dumping someone IS a decision. It is based on logic (the dumpers logic)….however hard that logic may be for a dumpee to understand.


It’s this decision that sends dumpees into a tail-spin and heightens emotions. So much so that for the short term at least, logic flies out the window.

Emotions are high, and actions are taken on these emotions.


We always talk about how begging and pleading should be avoided as much as possible…because they are actions based purely on emotion. Those of us who give advice on the boards attempt to get the newly broken-hearted as logical as possible as quickly as possible.


I now want to take that a step further…and encourage people to apply logic not only in the initial stages of a break-up – but to do so long-term.


Think about decisions made and actions taken that are made on emotion and emotion only


Telling someone *exactly* what you think of them.

Physically lashing out when angry.

Buying something you can’t afford.

Staying in a job because of a fear of failing at a potentially better job.


Notice a pattern here?


Decisions made and actions taken on emotion generally run a much higher risk of being regretted than those made with logic.


I’m going to use an analogy that some may find useful when thinking logically about seeking reconciliation with an ex.


I want you to imagine yourself in a room with 100 baskets, none of which you can see into.

You are told that contained within 5 of these baskets are snakes. Each of these snakes will bite you if you poke your hand into its particular basket.


Your task is to poke your hand into 5 of the 100 baskets.


You choose your first basket, gently placing your hand in….when *SNAP!!*, you receive an excruciating bite that has you reeling backwards and tears welling in your eyes.


“Four more attempts left” you are told.


You pick yourself up, and assess your next move.


Now tell me, would you put your hand back into the basket that had just delivered that painful bite?

Or would you choose one of the other 99…knowing that there was a pretty good chance that this time it would be pain-free?


*Now* ask yourself why you are seeking a ‘second chance with your ex.


What does this analogy mean in the big scheme of things?

It means: apply logic to your situation.


Make a list of the things that you would like your ideal partner to possess..

How many of you included: “Has previously broken my heart” on that list?


Emotions are wonderful things when they are healthy and shared. On the downside, they are also capable of tying us to people and situations that make no logical sense and indeed can end up causing us more pain.


I’m not saying that logic should be applied to love. Quite simply, it can’t. No one can control who they love or indeed why they love them.

What I *am* saying is that if someone has ended a relationship and walked away from you…ask yourself *why* you want them back.


Is it because you want what you can’t have?

Is it because they have moved on quicker than you?

Is it because you miss the security of a relationship?

Is it because you are focussing only on the good times and not the bad?


Unless you actually see the snake physically removed from the basket, there is a pretty high probability that it is still there…and that you will get hurt again.


As DN has said before so simply: Make sure that the reasons for the break-up no longer apply.


On/off relationships are called on/off and not off/on – ie “Off” is always the final word – coincidence or not?


The reason I believe this thread won’t possess longevity is because it is based on logic…and in this forum, as I have said….most people are only acting on emotion.

Not a criticism…just an observation


Hang in there guys – logic (and peace) will come.

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I really like that analogy. It DOES make alot of sense. We all want to stick our hands in that same basket, while our hands are still bleeding from the first bite.


I consider myself a well-educated guy, and it baffles me that i am still letting my ex who dumped me 3 months ago for another have a hold on my life. That is not logical at all. I am waiting for the morning i wake up, and the logical thing is to not think of her first thing in the morning!

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Wow, a nice logical post.


I agree most of us make decisions based on emotion when it comes to relationships. However I cannot say that dumpees are always the emotional ones and the dumpers are the logical. In many cases it can be the dumper that becomes emotional and cannot stand life’s stresses. If you are just generalizing, then yes, I would say it is probably and accurate generalization.


For me logic always helps me for an end I can seem coming or dealing with things as the dumpee. I sometimes just don't have the strength to break things off even though I know it must be done, mostly out of fear of loneliness.


Emotions can be quite overpowering though, it's too bad there isn't just a switch. Emotions seem to define human’s best and worst moments. Unfortunately without them relationships would also fail. So I guess the best combination is to use both emotion and logic, as emotion can trigger things in other people, for better or for worse.

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Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!


I hope to God everyone reads this thread. As a person who has made too many mistakes in my life that were feuled by high-octane emotion, I wish I'd read this years ago.


It's not that emotions are bad. But when you figure out how to not be solely ruled by them, you can actually experience them in the positive way they are meant to be experienced. And not to mention, make decisions that have a more lasting positive effect on your life.


Many thanks, Majord. Wonderful, wonderful post.

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I really like this post. A few points you made really hit home for me. I'm a mix of logical and emotional. I generally opt for logic over trusting my emotions, which is why on here I try to get people to trust their feelings more. Logic isn't always the best way to go, especially when your dealing with relationships though. However your post was a nice read with some valid information.

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I don't think you can really make the generalization that dumpers are logical. Just check out these boards and see how many times dumpers have actually acted illogically....logical denotes in control of oneself....many dumpers are not in control of themselves...some have betrayed their partner, some have lied, some have addictions, some have all kinds of emotional problems etc. To put people into tidy groups just does not fly. Of course emotions run high when you are dumped, that is a normal human reaction. That doesn't mean the person is not logical or is not thinking logically. As to wanting the person back, sometimes things do work out when there is reconciliation. In life, you have to have a balance of both logic and emotion. Too much logic and not enough emotion makes a person cold and calculating....too much emotion and not enough logic makes a person a bit unstable.

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Just check out these boards and see how many times dumpers have actually acted illogically....logical denotes in control of oneself....many dumpers are not in control of themselves...some have betrayed their partner, some have lied, some have addictions, some have all kinds of emotional problems etc.


True, but nevertheless...they did the dumping, while, despite all their problems, the dumpees would have stayed in such unhappy relationships against all the logical advice given to them on why they should leave. Their decisions to stick it out are rarely based on logic.


And there are just as many people, if not more, posting on this forum who share at least 50% responsibility for getting dumped. Based on my 3+ years here at eNotalone, I've seen a lot of breakups occur - and reconciliations prevented - because of jealousy, pride, ego, anger, and other negative emotions.

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I also agree it's too easy to conclude that dumpers are logical. We're all ruled by what our hearts tell us to do.


But I think the snakes analogy is a good one. I had another friend about people getting back together that resonated- he said it's like you take a carton of milk out of the refrigerator, take a slug and discovered it's gone sour. Getting back together with an ex is like putting that carton back in the fridge and saying "Hmm- I'll try it in another few days and maybe it won't be sour".


I don't totally agree- I think people can get back together after some soul searching, learning etc and it can be better than the first time around- but it's probably not often the case.

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Thanks for the replies all


Just for a bit of clarification.

I am by no means saying that dumpers are always more logical than dumpees. I am merely saying that at the actual time of the 'decision' to break-up, the dumper was using logic (generally speaking).


Yes, there are 'snap' decisions made by 'emotional dumpers'...just as there are 'logical dumpees' who walk away from a broken relationship with nothing but almost immediate acceptance.


I really don't want this thread to become a debate about whether dumpers are always logical - I just want dumpees to apply more logic to their own lives and decisions....and perhaps by doing so, avoid alot of hurt.

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"I am merely saying that at the actual time of the 'decision' to break-up, the dumper was using logic (generally speaking)."


I've dumped a person or two and it seemed to me I was being logical at the time. In hindsight, I realized basically I was running scared about where the relationship was going- but I kidded myself into thinking I was making a non-emotional logical choice. To look at it at an absurd level, think of Seinfeld breaking up with a woman because when she eats peas, she spears then rather than scoops them. He'd probably tell you he was being logical, cause 'who can date someone that spears their peas?"

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Good to see you back Maj,


I was told in my last conversation with my ex gf (more than a year ago) that she made a mistake. As I have posted in other threads, I told her "You made a decision. Not a mistake." She was floored by my response.


I guess that she thought that I wouldn't think of the breakup that way, who knows. I can only say that is how I feel. She made the decision, now I will live with it. I can honestly say that it has been the best decision she has ever made. I am so much better off now than I was with her. It's tough, but when it sinks in, it's all good!!





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Very interesting. I think if all dumpees thought logically, we would not want our exes back. After all, it is not logical to want to be with someone who has told you they do not want to be with you. Yet, I don't think most people think in those terms because when it comes to relationships, people make decisions based on emotions, not logic. I think if my ex decided based on logic, we would never have broken up (he could not come up with a logical reason) but since his decision was based purely on feeling (or lack of some elusive feeling he wanted to have) then it lead to a breakup. That's my theory on the breakup anyway, I could be wrong.

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Majord, simply a masterpiece. You are dead on right with your logic versus emotion theory. Many, many or our decisions in love and our everyday lives are based solely on emotions and not logic. If we took a moment to "look at the big picture", as we say here in the States, thus applying logic, we will quickly revamp many of our decisions, which just a minute ago, seemed like brilliant ideas.


No one can roll them out they way you do Majord/Psychiatrist.


Thanks for your logical point of view (LOL).

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Here is an example of what people are meaning when a dumper is not using logic:


When my ex and I were going through the break up, I came over to say "I can't take this torture anymore, you pick me or him" She couldn't make a decision so I said "Don't talk to me again until he is out of the picture."


As I was walking out I told her to follow her heart. That's when she said, "That's the problem. My heart is saying to go with him, and my head is saying to be with you."


Her logic to finally end things is that she messed around with him one night when they got drunk, (this is during the same time we were in counseling to fix things) and knew I wouldn't forgive her. It was easier to end things than to admit what she had done.



So dumpers do use logic, just not always the best logic.

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I appreciate the nature of this thread and don't want to pick at the whole logic thing too much. However, I just wanted to note that I tend to think that it's not only a matter of one person perhaps seeing the writing on the wall that the other refuses to, or did not, see. It's timing also. I think that for many breakups one person gets blindsided, they get surprised. Many partners are just not honest about what their problems are, they say it's work, it's something else, and their SOs believe that until the guillotine finally falls on the relationship.


So the dreadful emotions the "dumpee" feels are the reaction to what they see as betrayal. They often just playing catchup to the other person, who most probably knew for a while that they were unhappy.


I agree that the logic is there about not wanting to take on the snake again, but for many people there never was a snake there, it's just a misunderstanding, the other person didn't really mean it, did they?....It takes a while to objectively see the pain that comes from pursuing something that is not "right".

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Wow I never thought of it like that. Great analogy about the snake, and very true, I know logically I wouldn't want to put my hand back in that basket, but emotionally I have tried and tried and wished I could... everything everyone has said has made me see things in a different way, a more helpful way. Thanks everyone

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Unless you actually see the snake physically removed from the basket, there is a pretty high probability that it is still there…and that you will get hurt again.


Thanks MajorD. I still read all your old posts in times when my logic is faltering. Thanks again.

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I am a new member and was browsing this morning to come accross something that really makes sense to me. I really like the snake analogy. I have been fighting to keep a 20 year old marriage together for two years now and am almost at the end of my tether - it is a long and complicated story that started with my husband having an affair.


No, I dont want to get bitten again and it appears that is exactly what I am doing! Trouble is, he keeps putting the same basket there for me to put my hand in by telling me he wants us to stay together but treating me very poorly.


I have copied your post into a word doc and will use it to give me strength.


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