Love & Sex

The New York Fizzle: How to Exit Your Relationship without Conflict

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The New York Fizzle is a set of circumstances that are artificially constructed and enacted by two people when they are in a mediocre relationship and want to get out of it.

I'm Jeremy. I'm a 26-year-old human who lives in New York. I love women. The only thing I love more than dating women is eating Taco Bell. Realistically, I can't run a column about eating Taco Bell. So here's my column about women and not Taco Bell.

The New York Fizzle has claimed yet another set of victims. One of which being a beautiful, charming, successful woman by the fake name of, um, Valerie and the other being me–not as successful, probably a little less beautiful.

In layman’s terms, The New York Fizzle is a set of circumstances that are artificially constructed and enacted by two people when they are in a mediocre relationship and want to get out of it without conflict. Through a series of manmade circumstances coupled with outside forces, they decide they no longer want to sleep together and simply stop talking and fizzle out. This phenomenon, found in each and every borough in New York City, claims thousands of twenty-somethings, thirty-somethings, and something-somethings every year. There’s probably a statistic about it somewhere, but it’s probably made up. And I’m the one who probably made it up.

It starts when you combine one attention-starved male with an equally attention-starved female. Both need to be marginally attractive, easily distractible, and compatible on a very superficial level. Let’s take me, for example: When I moved to New York, I was bored and eager to find someone to lavish me with compliments and play with my hair. Our other subject, Valerie…or Sienna…something exotic like that, was a long-time resident of the city, but equally interested in finding someone to play with her hair. Sienna (or Valerie or whatever) and I met online and went on a few dates before she took me back to her fancy apartment for some exciting east-coast-style love-making. Valerie (or Sienna or whatever) and I hit it off and started regularly seeing each other.

We’d spend our days apart; she would be in an office nestled in SoHo, working ten-hour days and I’d be smoking ten cigarettes in front of the my computer in an apartment in…not SoHo. We would meet up under the cover of darkness and drink beer. She and I would get drunk enough to forget about our less-than-mediocre chemistry and pitiful excuse for meaningful conversation. I would regale her with my adventures around the bright and shiny city, while she would tell me how much she hated where I lived and then change the subject to how bad of a day she had at work. Although she was incredibly well-paid and seemingly successful, she very much disliked where she was in life and expressed her hate in excruciating detail.

A friend once told me I have “a weird thing about everything” when I told him about how I had a weird thing with people who ate too neatly. Maybe I do. I have a weird thing about people who refer to their friends as if I know them. It leads to a feeling of instant distrust and that was exactly what lead me to not trust, or become especially invested, in Valerie (or Sienna).

Like every man who knows nothing of the drama his significant other complains about, I tried to relate to whatever I could and attempted to always backed her arguments up, as if I knew what the hell she was constantly complaining about.

“Yeah, babe, sounds like your boss is a total hack.”
“Yeah, babe, the lasso tool on Photoshop is a serious piece of shit.”
“Totally, babe, I’m also embarrassed about how low your friend’s Klout score is.”

Days creeped like molasses-covered-slugs into weeks and we were quickly losing whatever pathetic momentum we initially possessed; a momentum, mind you, that was almost entirely based on liquor and a mutual love for Reddit.

There wasn’t much analysis needed for our doomed relationship, because we just didn’t like each other that much. The means in which the whole thing ended, though, became the focal point of my dating experience in New York. No, this wasn’t the first relationship of mine that The New York Fizzle would claim.

The New York Fizzle involves a number of important prerequisites:

1. Both parties must not be completely into it. Check.

2. Both parties must have valid excuses for not seeing each other for no less than ten days. Check.

3. Both parties must have a slightly more attractive person on the back-burner. Check.

4. Both parties must have personalities than border on nihilistic, but thrive on the excitement of nudity. Check.

And so it was that the opportune time to fizzle out came up. She had to go away on business and I landed some freelance gig that required me to leave my house for more than an hour. With pants on, I should add. We texted each other once or twice a day, mostly referencing things we saw on the Internet or one-sided conversations about the friends that neither one of us ever bothered to meet or care about. We would miss a day of talking, briefly mention the lack of communication the following day, and send a picture of a funny cat.

Soon the lack of communication stopped being mentioned and we simply stopped talking. The fizzle was complete. Sienna (or Valerie or Jasmine or whatever) and I never spoke to one another again. The most finite, albeit totally interesting, detail about The New York Fizzle that I find the most fascinating is the complete lack of sour feelings towards one another. These breakups aren’t the same breakups we experienced in high school and college. There were never any nights spent locked in my room, blasting music and writing passive-aggressive Facebook posts. There were never any drunk texts along the lines of:

“Heeeyyyyy isn’t it funny how you totally just stopped talking to me?? #cock #youareacock.”

And, given this city wasn’t comprised of millions of people and the chance of accidentally running into each other was actually a possibility, no hard feelings would be felt. We would probably hug, ask about work, make plans that each of us would retroactively flake on and be on our merry ways.

I suppose the only negative feeling that comes from the fizzle is the feeling of not being wanted and calling it from the start. Curiosity leads to dating, dating leads to stagnant conversation, stagnant conversation leads to disinterest, disinterest leads to the exact situation that was hypothesized weeks prior.