How to break up with someone

Written in response to a craigslist ad for writers:

Back in the pre-Twitter, pre-texting days, arranging a LUNCH date with your soon-to-be ex was a dead giveaway. You’d want to do it in some public place so that the bitch wouldn’t melt down, or at least you HOPED that she wouldn’t melt down, being in public and all.

“I need my space” or “it’s not you, it’s me” are so used that they pretty much define cliches. Personally , I like “our relationship has run its course” — I mean, lay your cards on the table.

Depending on how much of a psycho your soon-to-be ex actually IS, the public-breakup thing might work well. If, however, she or he is WAY more of a psycho than you’d imagined, you can look forward to a sudden right hook or plate of lasagna applied to your scalp at high speed, something along those lines. Maybe a can of bear repellent pepper spray isn’t a bad idea to tote along on such an outing.

THESE days, however, why not do the deed with a test message? Or, even colder, post on your Mybook Facespace page that your status is now single and let your former significant other figure it out.

Of course, you’d have wanted A) to be CERTAIN that you or your soon-to-be ex isn’t pregnant  and that B) you’ve either collected any keys they may have or had the tumblers in your locks re-spun and new keys cut.

Depending on the aforementioned degree of psycho-osity, renting a new apartment and/or moving to a new city might be in order. A restraining order is always in fashion. Cover your behind.

If you’re not really into the whole formal-breakup thing, just start dating someone else and wait for your new ex to find out. Ideally NOT by stopping by your place early Saturday morning and letting themselves in with the key you didn’t realize they’d duplicated and finding you engaged in hot monkey sex with your new squeeze. There’s a reason some people sleep with loaded revolvers beneath their pillows. BTW, a can of wasp spray will be as effective and probably save you a lot of explaining and lawyer costs.

After the fact, once the cops and paramedics have left, there’s the issue of MAKE UP SEX.  Depending on how hot your ex was in the sack, you may want to string them along just to bang their lights out a couple more times, get it out of your system.  I’d vote no on this one, too risky. The best revenge, after all, is living well.

Getting the drop on someone before they can break up with you is an important topic. No one wants to get dumped, even if it is a relief when it happens. A relationship is a pressure cooker. Try and be on speaking terms with at least a couple friends of your soon-to-be ex so you can attempt to divine the warning signs before you find yourself dumped before you can dump them. Placing a GPS device on their car is not out of the question. Hell, if it’s good enough for the FBI, it’s good enough for you. Technology is your friend. There’s no reason you ought to think you’re above using a handheld black light to check for traces of strange DNA in your soon-to-be ex’s underwear. The difference between love and war is one extra letter, basically. Maintain your tactical advantage is what I’m getting at, here.

If you’ve made the error of moving in together then you’ll need to somehow quietly secure another place to live. Expect a live-fire exercise when you begin moving your stuff out of the shared abode. This would be another nice and cold way to let someone know that the relationship is not just on the rocks, but that it’s crashed and burned. Watch out for flying pans and golf clubs if you go this route. This is what you’d call the EXPLOSIVE DECOMPRESSION break up technique.

The only thing worse would be if it’s  YOUR place that you’ve allowed your soon-to-be ex to move into with you. God help you. That’s a bad situation. “I want your ass GONE” is probably only going to infuriate your soon-to-be ex. I don’t believe that changing the locks is exactly legal, nor is changing the locks and piling all their stuff outside the door.

Ah, romance. Is it not grand? After the initial eruption, if any, dies down, and you’ve changed  your locks and all that, you might want to consider getting a different cell phone number, at least for a month or so. Even the most insane jilted ex won’t continue to pursue you for more than, say, five or six years after the break up. If that does occur, try sleeping with one of their friends or siblings, something they’ll FEEL. It’ll help get the message across.

Let’s recap: When a relationship has gone sour, forget counseling or anything like that. Like an elderly quart of milk, some things are simply beyond redemption, so act quickly and decisively. If you’re one of the 1% of relationships who communicate, talk to your soon-to-be ex and lay your cards on the table. Act like adults. If you’re like the rest of us, plan on some intense and stressful events — you may want to ensure there are no edged weapons or heavy blunt objects within reach of your ex when you drop the bomb. Hell, I say just weasel out and move, change your address and cell phone, send them a text message, something sensitive, along the lines of “sick of your shit, you’re history” — sweet, but direct.

Most important point to remember: NEVER MOVE IN TOGETHER. Moving in together, or, worse, getting married, is DEATH to any relationship. It also makes breaking up very difficult and/or extraordinarily expensive. Save yourself the headaches. Make sure  you change your locks and that you check your vehicle for cut brake lines, et cetera, depending, again, on just how much of a psycho your ex happens to be. You don’t have to live in fear, but it might be prudent to keep an eye on your six for a while. And, for the love of God, make sure neither party is pregnant before you drop the ax. Talk about a sticky, rotten situation. Sex is a  trap. Wrap that rascal and use your head. If you see an Early Pregnancy Test Kit anywhere around your partner, worry. Out of the frying pan, into the fire and all that.

Final word: stay single and remain happy. Flirting is fun. Breaking up is not fun. Having your ex try and run you down with their vehicle is REALLY not fun. The only thing worse is having THEM break up with you before you’re ready for it. But that’s another story.

(c) 2010 Gordon Wagner all rights reserved forever.


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