The day has finally arrived. All of your time and effort have not paid off, and it’s time to cut your losses and run. It is now time to break up. But what to do; or, more importantly, how to do it?
Here are some things that the youngest generations try when they decide to break up with someone:
- Post on a facebook wall
- Send a breakup txt
- Send a breakup tweet
- Ignore the person
Now… those might sound simple enough. However, there’s one problem: the person you’re dumping, whoever it is, is going to be mad. It’s probably not going to be the simple and timeless “I’m-never-speaking-to-you-again” kind of mad, either. No, it’s going to be the kind of mad that makes them take every intimate, secret photo and text and video and start showing it to everyone they know and everyone you know and then everyone on the entire internet. If you’re thinking, “Well, I’d sure like to avoid that.” Then read on.
In “the old days,” people didn’t have the option of digital breakups. When they had to decide how to break up with someone, they usually had one of three main options: face-to-face, written or typed letter, phone call. Either of those is fine, but the best one of all is face-to-face.
When it comes time to do the dirty deed of axing a relationship, the best thing to do is sit down your soon-to-be ex at his or her home/apartment, stare him or her in the eyes, say that “you really need to talk about something that’s bothering you,” and start to cry. That’s right: start to cry. If you’re a guy, then don’t start sobbing uncontrollably; just let your eyes get a little misty. The key here is to make it seem like what you’re doing is truly hard for you. Whether it actually is or not is not important. The important thing is to make your partner believe that it’s hard for you. Next, say, “I’m so sorry… Really… I am…” But do that very slowly, with a little hesitation in your voice. Again, the trick is to make this seem difficult for you. Finally, say, “You truly are a special person to me… honestly… but I just don’t think we can keep dating.” Again, do this very slowly. At this point, your ex will probably be doing one of two things: screaming like a enraged lunatic or sobbing uncontrollably. If not, and if your ex takes it very calmly, then you’re job is finished, and you can try to leave. Congratulations! However, that’s usually not the case, and you’ve now got an emotional unstable person on your hands. This is the point where you need to really start crying hard.
If there was ever a time to whip out the actor inside you, it’s now. Try to start balling a few seconds after you deliver the last breakup line but just before the other person starts crying or screaming too much. If all goes well, you’ll both sit there crying for a while, with the other person telling you how much they love you or hate you. Just keep crying and say “I’m so sorry. I never wanted to hurt you, and I didn’t want this to drag on and make it hurt more later.” Keep mixing in those kinds of lines for a while until 20 to 40 minutes have passed, depending on the mood of your ex. That’s for you to judge. After that, say, “I’m sorry… I should go.” Sometimes, an ex may try to get you to stay. If that happens, start crying a little and say, “I’m sorry. Really, I have to go.” If you can finish that sentence with tears in your eyes, you’re doing good. Start walking to the door/car/elevator/whatever. If you get asked when you’ll talk/meet again, just say, “Let’s give this a couple of weeks and take it from there.” Keep the tears in your eyes when you say that, but make sure you aren’t sobbing. And with that, make sure you get out of there. And, in case you missed it, the key in all of this is to make sure the ex feels that you, too, are suffering. As long as you can do that, you’ll be fine.
And, that’s it. Congratulations! You’ve just discovered how to break up with someone in a way that has a low chance of resulting in your name and image being dragged through the mud across every social site on the internet. And, it’s actually a decent way to let someone down when you have no other choice. It’s direct, clear, and it also makes the other person feel as if you are still concerned with his or her feelings.
P.S. You’ll run into situations where the ex will want to know what he or she did wrong. Always say, “Nothing.” Never, ever, start saying what was done wrong. It doesn’t matter. Maybe a year later, if you’re still talking to each other, you can bring it up, but I’d avoid it.