Hi! I want
to dump my girlfriend but I'm not sure the best way to go about it.
Usually they dump me. Can you give me some special bonus tips?
course I can. Breaking up with someone definitely qualifies as a fucked
up something or other and is an eminently suitable topic for the pretty
fucked up website.
FYI - I believe
there's a song, written by Paul Simon I think, entitled 'There Must
Be Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover' written apparently for someone
in exactly your situation. It has lines like 'Slip out the back, Jack/Make
a new plan, Stan' and so on. However we don't actually care about
this at all for two reasons. First, we don't really like Paul Simon
since he left Simon and Garfunkel because all his songs are pretty
boring and he's not actually a very good singer. Secondly, you are
neither Jack nor Stan and while it may sound nice in theory to say
'well just slip out the back' and so on, what you actually want is
solid practical advice that makes it seem like breaking up with someone
is really hard and complicated - which of course it is, if you do
it right. We don't want you to miss a prime opportunity like this
for emotional angst!
Okay, now for
a rundown of some Dumping Another Person options.
Option #1: Pretend
you have moved to Somalia (AKA Dumping by Avoidance).
While this is not
the most popular or common option, everyone is familiar with it. This
is partly because it's the brain's first desperate suggestion when you
feel stuck and trapped and slightly panicked that you ever slept with
the person you are now quite sorry you ever did. (If that makes sense...)
In the Pretending
You Have Moved to Somalia or Dumping by Avoidance option, you don't
call the Other Person ever again and you don't return any of their phone
calls, pages, or handwritten missives. You pretend you don't live where
you live any more, that you never received any of their frantic
messages and you vigorously, vigorously avoid all human contact with
the person you have slept with. If you see them on the street, for
example, you duck your head and turn and run rapidly, yet discreetly
and in a terrified manner, in the opposite direction, as if you weren't
really there and had actually moved to Somalia.
A few optional advanced
Dumping by Avoidance maneuvers include also instinctively ducking your
head and slinking down in your car seat any time you see anyone that
even partly looks like the person you have dumped. You may also change
your cell phone number and your pager, leave a bogus message on your
answering machine that hints that you may have moved to Somalia or taken
a six-month assignment in Thailand for the CIA or entered the hospital
for an undisclosed length of time for major bowel surgery and so on.
You may enlist your friends to Protect You From The Other Person by
alerting you when they are spotted in the vicinity. And you can also
ask your friends to run interference by actually communicating with
the Other Person and indicating when they do so that you have moved
to Somalia or died or that you are grieving because your entire extended
family was killed in an unexpected locust plague or what have you.
This, by the way,
is a gender neutral option and both sexes may use it and do. There are
very few women who don't instinctively understand the hiding behind
a girlfriend so that Awful Guy won't see them and try to resume dating
them. And there are very few men who don't instinctively understand
the Just Don't Call and Everything Will Work Out strategy of sexual
The main features
of the Dumping by Avoidance option are fear and dread and guilt
on your part and a psychotic breakdown on their part. Now we'll
take a quick look at the advantages and disadvantages of these things
so you can determine whether this option is right for you.
The Dumping by Avoidance option is easier to implement if you haven't
slept with the person very many times. If they are quite comfortable
coming to your house because they have done it many times - well then
they are going to, particularly if you don't return their calls. They're
going to want to know what the hell is going on. If, on the other
hand, they have no fucking idea where you live you have a greater measure
of safety. People you have slept with many times and even conducted
something of a relationship with are not going to believe you have moved
to Somalia. Plus, they will usually be highly motivated to strenuously
avoid the other natural conclusion to draw from your behavior - which
is that you slept with them, are a little shit, and are dumping them
with no trace of human feeling. People find that kind of implication
disturbing. You know this - which is exactly why you are going to experience
a certain amount of fear, dread, and guilt with this option.
principal advantage of Dumping by Avoidance is that you never actually
have to confront the person and explain to them that yes, you slept
with them, but no you don't have any actual human feelings for them;
yes, you are dumping them and yes, you are a little shit. This is certainly
an attractive feature of this option. It's such an attractive feature
that let's all just take a little moment to pause and contemplate how
nice it would be, what a wonderful world, if you never ever ever had
to explain to anyone that you don't have actual human feelings for them.
Take a deep breath and enjoy the moment. Such a load of pressure off
fun time's over. Back to the serious business of dumping someone. The
principal disadvantages of Option #1 are
a) It makes
you feel bad about yourself.
People's psychotic breakdowns can be scary!
dumping someone without an explanation or a goodbye or some kind of
courtesy makes you feel like you are, you guessed it, a little shit
without actual human feelings for the person you dumped. This bothers
you. It raises the implication that you are Not A Good Person
- which your brain instinctively senses might be to your major disadvantage
down the road. It also makes your brain suspect that you may be a
coward and unable to hold your own with Other People, which could
also be to your major disadvantage down the road.
If you repeatedly
dump Other People by pretending to disappear and never getting in
contact with them, you will start to believe that you are not just
acting like a little shit - you actually are one.
Once you've convinced
yourself that you're a little shit without actual human feelings for
people you sleep with or supposedly embark on relationships with,
you're going to have a problem. Because your insides, the evolutionary
stuff that makes up You, considers this a very dangerous state of
affairs for You. Getting along with Other People and having Human
Feelings for them and Being Able to Hold Your Own with them, these
are of prime importance for your safety. And since you are not doing
them, your safety is compromised and you are going to feel very fucking
You will have
two major choices for dealing with the Agonizing Insecurity
you have accidentally subjected yourself to by dumping people without
even the courtesy of admitting you are doing it.
First, you can
try to hide it from yourself and everyone else and pretend
you do have human feelings or what have you even though you don't
really believe it. This will make you Pretty Fucked Up around
relationships and will weird you out and lead to an ever-growing sense
of terror that you are defective and can't be fixed and so on and
Or you can try
the Defensive Strategy in which you freely acknowledge to everyone
that you dump people like a cowardly little shit but pretend this
is actually to your advantage and makes you the free-wheeling,
easy-going kind of guy you are who doesn't have to worry about being
tied down or having people love and respect them and so on. You don't
believe this either, but it sure sounds like a good Rationalization,
Justification and Sorry Excuse.
Both of these
choices are solid contenders, have been around for a long time and
are very well-established in their field. So it's totally your call.
Note: We like to dwell on these kinds of Horrible Possibilities
when you break up with someone and go off on digressions about your
potential Agonizing Insecurity and so on rather than just answering
the question about break-ups because this is the pretty fucked
up website and we like lurid sensationalism and
dwelling on the horrible. It just makes life a lot more exciting.
Note: Although you are in danger of convincing yourself you are
a little shit when you exercise the Dumping By Avoidance option, you
are allowed one bonus freebie per lifetime in which you get
to do this without convincing yourself of anything except that you
just had a Harrowing Experience and Narrowly Escaped the Danger
of continuing to be a in relationship of some sort with someone you
had no human feelings for. Your brain, your body and you will figure
out that you have plenty of human feelings for Other People - just
not that Awful Guy or that Scary Psycho Weirdo Girl.
So enjoy your one free round.
You are also,
by the way, allowed one bonus freebie Mutual Avoidance Syndrome,
in which you sleep with someone and then later both of you realize,
oh God, let's not ever do that again. And then you both avoid each
other, which is difficult because inevitably you work with them or
they are friends with all of your friends - nevertheless you both
avoid each other nervously, hide your faces at parties when you see
each other, and when you encounter each other in the grocery store,
you both pretend you didn't see each other and rapidly try to steer
your cart down another aisle. Cash this one in at your discretion.
Other People's Psychotic Breakdowns Can Be Scary!