John: Yes Marsha?
Marsha: I know that our relationship is ending because you have decided to move on, but I was wondering if I could ask you something…one last small, teency-weency thing?
John: What is it Marsha?
Marsha: John, I know it didn’t work out between us, but I was hoping that you would take a few minutes to tell me why it didn’t work? Can you tell me what I did or didn’t do that might have contributed to the demise of our love?
Marsha: And while we are chatting, could you also think back about what I did well, what did I offer you that might appeal to my future partners, and what I need to improve on.
Marsha: I’m very serious John. You can tell me. Was it money? Was it too much attention? Not enough attention? Did I not tell you I love you enough? Was my cooking unsatisfactory? Were the living conditions less than desirable?
Marsha: John, I don’t want you to hold back. This feedback will be incredibly important for my development – how else will I be able to learn and grow if you don’t share with me. I know that we are over, but I’m thinking about how I might be more successful in retaining my next partner.
Marsha: I mean think back to when you first met me – what was it that attracted you to me? Was it my looks, my brains, my reputation? And when did it change for you…it was after our first anniversary wasn’t it…you told me not to make a big deal about it, but I knew that you were just saying that and that deep down you really want me to go over the top. I still cannot believe that I embarrassed you, but I had to announce our love publicly.
John: …oh, but…
Marsha: So John…will you do this for me?
John: So let me get this straight – you are asking me now…now that we are finished…what you could have done to keep me? You are asking me to help you be a better partner for the next guy that comes around? You want me to share all my frustrations and memories now that I am walking out the door?
Marsha: Why yes…
John: And you will listen to what I will say? And you will actually do something about it?
John: Yeah, I don’t think so – that’s kind of messed up.
It is isn’t it?