They say ‘breaking up is hard to do’. Whoever said that had never tried to run a marathon, shoot a comrade through the head because he was too badly injured to go on and the Nazis were fast approaching, or maths. Breaking up is even not all that hard when compared to other stuff that isn’t that hard; dumping someone is easier for instance, than cooking. It is easier than getting twelve retweets. It’s easier than understanding an entire series of Deadwood.
Breaking up with someone is so easy I am actually not sure more people don’t do it more often.
I like sitting in bars people watching. ‘People watching’ being the euphemism I like to use for ‘drinking alone in public’ that, in my mind at least, conjures up an image of me as a dapper-dressed gentleman of leisure and student of the social world, keenly studying the habits, foibles, and characteristics of others.
I am wearing a Stetson in this euphemism. I don’t actually own a Steston, but that is beside the point.
Anyway, quite often I am doing this and I observe a couple sitting there, sipping their drinks, occasionally looking at one another in barely veiled contempt, saying nothing. She’ll look up at the muted TV and you’ll watch him sneer in disgust. He’ll mutter something about going off to the bathroom, probably to sob, and she’ll roll her eyes with an almost cartoonish contempt; as if to say “God, you always go to the bathroom” or “Bathroom much?”
You can tell that this relationship is on its last legs, they’ve run out of things to talk about, and they can barely stand look at each other It is walking wounded. The Nazis might not be chasing their love, but it is too wounded to go on. Time to pull out the old service revolver. You have to be cruel to be kind.
Just to be clear, I am not sitting alone in a bar looking at two random people fantasising about shooting them…I am of course speaking figuratively about their relationship…Lets just be clear on that…
Maybe they are happy, but I doubt it. Maybe they have too much at stake, but I doubt it. Maybe they aren’t real, and they are a made up couple I am using to make a ‘man of straw’ argument. I won’t dignify that with an answer.
I know people stay together longer than they should; I’ve done it and no one ever goes out with me.
Breaking up is hard to do.
Well its not. You just have to do it right.
Quite often in these weblogs I boast a certain expertise in the subject matter in question. I am, of course, always telling the truth. Because I am a truthful, amazing, person, I have to confess I am not an expert on break-ups. Much of what I impart to you today is theoretical. Because of this, I want all of you reading this to put these theories to the test. A sort of experiment.
It could get awkward if say, both of you read this. Or say, you are in a loving and beautiful relationship where breaking up with the love of your life would hurt beyond all measure, but have a go anyway.
Everyone knows the best way to have sex with someone is to pull out an amazing ‘pick-up line’. A pick-up line shows that you are not only confident but that you have a sense of humour, at least within the parameters of reading funny things off the internet and passing them off as your own. Why are there no funny ‘break-up lines’ then?
I mean, there are earnest clichéd ones like “It’s not you; it’s me” or “I’m really into the TV series Firefly right now” but these are almost always lies and earnest things aren’t funny.
There was the old chestnut “Welcome to Dumpsville, population you” but, if I am honest, that’s a bit contrived; its old and there probably actually is a town called Dumpsville so it might be confusing.
Try: “Who has two thumbs and is no longer in love with you?” *points both thumbs towards oneself* “This guy/girl!”
Remember, only do this if you actually have two thumbs. Otherwise you have the whole ‘Dumpsville Confusion Issue’
Try rebooting the old ‘Saying ‘Not’ At the End of a Statement’ joke popularised by the movie Wayne’s World:
“Let’s spend the rest of our lives together, or at least the rest of this party….Not!”
The ‘Not!’ bit has the benefit of being sort of ironic, as it is a hackneyed ‘dad joke’ which is due to come around again in the same way people now like cardigans and typerwriters.
Work on a few of your own; experiment.
A break-up line will add some levity to an otherwise tense situation, put you both at ease, and allow you to get on with your lives. Separately.
When I was a young lad I was told that it was bad form to break up with someone over the telephone and that one should always have the guts to do it in person. I was never really sure why this was, but I think it was because people prefer to be dumped where as many people can see it happening as possible.
Social media came along and allowed us to break-up with someone at a virtual restaurant, party, or poker evening. By posting ‘I think we, or at least I, should see other people. YOLO’ on someone’s Facebook wall, everyone they know and anyone you have as friends in common, can see it.
Twitter allows 900-odd people you both sort-of know to find out that you think:
‘It’s all over, red rover (our relationship) #Dumped #you’.
Make sure you chuck the full-stop in front of the ‘@’ in their Twitter handle. Rookie mistake.
You should always be wasted whenever you do anything significant. Chances are you were drunk or on all the ecstasy when you met the soon-to-be-dumped, which may go some way to explaining why it didn’t work out, so make sure you are pure munted when you drop the ‘Ditch Bomb.’
There is a catch here; if you are a person who customarily says things they don’t mean when they’ve had a few, or runs their mouth after a wad of nose-clearer, the person might not take you seriously. This is why you have to reiterate the point over and over again, also adding that “You are serious this time” and “your penis is smaller than a throat lozenge”.
Quite often people are in a state of disbelief when they are dumped. This is, in part, because most of the standard break-up conversations are peppered with vagaries: “We should see other people” – well, of course, but how does that relate to me. “We should be friends” – well, we are friends, best friends: boyfriend and girlfriend. See, confusing.
What needs to happen is for you to list the other person’s faults and how this relates to why you are breaking up with them and definitely do not want to be friends.
Be very specific:
“One of the reasons I can’t stand you is you think you are very funny, and you aren’t. I find your weblog, which you clearly think is great, boring, over-long, devoid of pictures and above all else not funny. It makes you painful to be around, you arrogant jerk-off.”