We all know there's a right way and wrong way breakup with someone. Right Way: get coffee, make it brief, be sincere; Wrong Way: Hire skywriting jets to inscribe, “I want to see other people” in the cloud-free skies while on vacation in Hawaii. Let’s not pretend this is news to anyone in the room, but what about the rules within the rules? Yes, there's a right way to breakup with someone when you're breaking-up the right way.
The thing about dumping someone is you know it’s not going to make anybody feel good. The person getting dumped isn't going to be happy but on the other side, hurting someone is not something we'd like to make a regular thing, nor do we like turning people to their Gin on a weekday, so while breaking-up with someone is hard for us we have to remember how much harder it's going to be for the other person. Let them ask questions, let them get their closure but do not let them have the controls to the rides at the amusement park. At some point, “We're just not good together” needs to become just that. The guy who's still on the phone with you ten minutes later asking you to explain, again, why you don't want to go out or why you can't just be friends isn't trying to understand how this relationship went awry, he's trying to get you to change your mind…and that's just annoying. Breakups are about respect, no matter what side you’re on.
Generally, the aforementioned, “Question Asker” is the kind of breakup most people deal with but there’s an entirely different breaker-upper out there. They’re a rare species but they exist, the overly sincere, well-wishing, wont-let-the-wound-heal-ing dumper. Every time you see that text or Facebook wall post, your heart explodes into a million little pieces and you just watch them dissolving in the puddle you happened to step in while trying not to cry. You put on the brave face, reassuring yourself and everyone around that you're fine but he keeps sending those emails, telling you how great you are and how he's certain you'll meet someone amazing but he’s happy you decided to still be friends. Buddy…SHUTUP! There's nothing like a decent, nice guy or a sweet girl. At the end of the day that's what we're all looking for, but when they’re just too nice, when they can't let you let go or give you time to heal…Well, it’s really freaking hard to “move on” and “just be friends”. The attention is amazing but all its doing is giving you that last fleeting hope that they’ll change their mind. They won’t. My remedy? Grab a pair of heels (or your favorite jeans!), and march all over the city like you own it, even if on the inside you feel like sobbing into a breadstick in the middle of Olive Garden.
After being the dumper and dumpee and watching friends fudge up and be successful at both, I’ve realized one real lesson in all this. The real way to breakup with someone is the way that feels right. Your gut is the strongest sense you have in relationships, if it feels off, it is off. If you have to say something, if you can't live without saying it, if you've been thinking about saying it, say it! Write it! Text it! Life is too short to wonder if that last email is worth it or not. Nothing about breaking-up is ever easy, so if you can’t make it easier, you might as well make it honest.