You know what they say about breaking up: it’s a lot harder to do in the internet era. Once upon a time in the days of yore (AKA the 90s), it was a lot easier to just change your number, move apartments, and disappear entirely. These days, faking our own deaths is a lot more complicated now that tweets, Instagram pics, and Facebook updates act as modern-day breadcrumbs leaving a trail to our whereabouts and current circumstances. If you don’t want to be hate-tweeted with a hashtag that bears your name along with vulgar instructions regarding what you can do to yourself, follow along to learn how to breakup like a champ…
When you know it’s over, close the final curtain immediately
Nothing gets under my skin more than hearing a friend confess he or she plans to end a relationship, only to follow that with, “We’ve just got a couple more weddings to go to first…” Really? Really? You want to keep a fraudulent relationship alive for the sake of a second cousin’s nuptials… really? I mean, I lie about my name at Starbucks all the time just for the thrill of pretending to be someone else for five seconds and seeing “Cleopatra” written on a paper cup, but I could never actually live a lie for weeks and months just to save face… especially a lie that involves me pretending to love someone more than I actually do.
There’s no need to slowly start acting cold towards your significant other just to ease him or her into the breakup waters either. You’ll just confuse him or her and the emotional roller coaster that follows will do a number on the two of you. There will always be a reason to stay with your lover a little longer; half the price on rent is an obvious selfish motivation, but so is pretending you’re sticking around for your beau during a particularly difficult time. Just because your partner’s in a hard place, be it because of a job loss or a loved one who’s fallen ill, doesn’t mean he/she can’t handle a breakup, too. Ask yourself this: Are you really trying to save someone else’s feelings, or is it really you who can’t handle the guilt of hurting someone who’s already hurting? Treat relationships like band-aids: When it’s time to remove it from your life, swiftly rip it off.
Remember: Location, location, location!
Where you breakup is important but also relative to the length of your relationship. Live together? You’re going to want to treat your once picture-perfect romance like a rabid Old Yeller and shoot it quickly but nevertheless with love and respect at home. For everyone else, be considerate of the fact that nobody likes to get taken out to dinner only to have his or her heart ripped in two in front of an audience of strangers and a terrified waiter. If the idea of pulling the plug at home scares you, opt for a public space that still offers a little privacy, like a park. It’s polite to leave the dumpee the option of having a dignified cry… and you the option of running if the tears turn into a profanity-filled meltdown.
Avoid cliched lines intended to save feelings
The whole “it’s not you, it’s me” and “you’re too good for me” garbage never did anyone any favours. All you’re doing is setting the other person up to explain why he or she is willing to put up with you and your shortcomings. Do you want to draw this out longer than it needs to be? Shall we see if Peter Jackson is available to direct Breaking Up: The Trilogy?
Be truthful without getting into the hurtful specifics
Can’t stand your significant other’s personality, or just don’t feel the physical attraction anymore? Take that sentiment, sugarcoat it in kindness, and say it out loud. “You’re a wonderful person, but I just don’t feel the chemistry as much as I should for a future together,” does the job, for instance. While the aforementioned “it’s not you, it’s me” lets you feel less guilt in the moment, a clear, precise and truthful explanation for your loss of interest in pursuing the relationship further will keep the dumpee from having delusions of reconciliation. If you’ve met someone new, don’t say so. Just be sure to keep your budding romance low-profile for a respectful amount of time before unleashing it to the world in happy Facebook photos. You’re going to be monitored by your ex for a while after the breakup. Best to avoid drunken hate-filled texts before they start.
Don’t agree to meet again
You’re going to get post-breakup emails and texts suggesting you meet up to give back whatever things you left at the dumpee’s place and vice versa. If you planned your break up smartly, you got back all of your important things and made sure to return all of your one-time lover’s items prior to ending the love affair. Asking to meet to tie up loose ends is almost always the dumpee’s last desperate attempt to revive the relationship. There are couriers, doormen, and doorsteps to deal with any leftover pieces. Cruel? It might feel like it at the time, but you’re doing both you and your ex a favour by not letting the past come up for air.
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