Dating: Apparently This is Harder Than It Looks

Guys ... people DON’T know how to break up with people. It’s as simple as that. I realized this while I was sitting in the Student Center a week ago and overheard an entire breakup happen IN PUBLIC at the table next to me. Here I am trying to cram for my Economics test next week and two feet away this girl is ripping her boyfriend’s heart out and stapling it to the floor. It was mortifying, and I wasn’t even involved in the relationship! Here are a few tips for breaking up with someone. Hint: GO SOMEWHERE PRIVATE. PLEASE.

  • Think about what will make the dump-ee comfortable. If you were getting dumped, wouldn’t you want it to be in a secure, private environment? So why decide to breakup with your boyfriend in front of the entire world? (If he has cheated that’s another story, but it pays off to be the bigger person, even in that situation.) Go somewhere private and somewhere that doesn’t have any memories for either of you. Don’t hit up the movie theater you used to go on dates to, and stay away from lengthy dinners. Meet for coffee or just meet at someone’s home. But please, for the love of God, don’t put the two of you on a stage for the world to watch your relationship end. If you really want to broadcast it, you can change your Facebook status. 

  • Choose your words wisely. Once again, imagine you’re getting dumped. Empathy, empathy, empathy. Would you keep asking, “Are you okay?” over and over? No! So don’t! I know -- it’s easy to feel like the bad guy when you’re the one doing the dumping, but remember your reasons for doing so. That will help you justify causing the pain you’re about to cause. Try to give as many reasons as possible, and give them space to ask questions. Understand that they’re going to be angry or hurt, and use your knowledge of them from the relationship to respond accordingly. If they usually yell, make sure you don’t yell back. If they stay quiet, let them be quiet. 

  • Give them space. After the breakup, if you really cared about this person, it’s going to be traumatizing for you to just leave them be. You’re going to want to call them, ask if they’re alright (they’re probably not), and ask if you can see them to talk. Bad idea. Let them vent and sort through their anger and pain. If you don’t, all of those negative feelings will come back stronger later. Space now means more of an opportunity to stay friends later. 

  • Don’t argue. Unless you were hurt by this person and that’s why you’re breaking up with them, don’t argue with their decision to stay friends or not stay friends. They might even change their mind themselves after all the pain has gone away. So if they say they can’t talk to you, respect that. I know a majority of my exes-turned-friends changed their minds after having room to breathe after the breakup.

I realize that breaking up with someone is either terribly hard or incredibly awkward, and sometimes it’s both. Every relationship is different, so just remember this: pretend it was you being broken up with. That will make the way you act and go about things so much easier.

And don’t ever tell them it’s not them, it’s you; that’s never worked, and it never will. Just tell them the truth. Joseph Gordon Levitt called, and you’re both eloping tomorrow.

By: Alise Murawski | Image: Source


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