How to break up with women—or stop ghosting, you bitches. The inspiration for this piece comes from a conversation I had with a wonderful friend who goes through dates like M&Ms. After three weeks of dating her most recent smart, sexy girl, she lost interest and couldn’t decide how to end things.
“She’s awesome so I don’t have a real reason to break up with her,” she lamented. “We’re not officially dating, but a couple hours ago she texted me about how special I am, so I feel like she’s catching feelings. I don’t want to lead her on, so I guess I’ll just ghost her.”
Ghosting, aka ignoring someone until they realize you don’t like them anymore, is straight up disrespectful. I’m not saying every date requires an official breakup—that seems excessive—I’m saying that if you have been on more than three dates and/or slept with a person, it is bad manners to just disappear. The only excuse for ghosting a person you are dating is that person being a total douchebag. Rejection is part of life, and basic rejection skills are part of being a decent person. Here’s how to reject a girl like a grown up.
I’m not even telling you to break it off in person because my emotionally crippled generation has deemed “awkward situations” the staggering burden of our age. Texts, while wonderful and appropriate for 98% of interactions, are too flippant for personal rejection. Email is impersonal and vaguely pretentious. Facebook is tacky. Snapchat is monstrous. Calls give you the ability to compassionately shit can a gentle young lady at a distance. You are considerate, yet out of hitting range and blind to her tears.
Be gentle yet firm
Have you ever been fired? You will be. I’m not going to tell you to look at breakups as an opportunity for growth, or even honesty. Growth isn’t likely in the span of a conversation, except in movies for time management purposes. Honesty is best used in minuscule doses. I’m not telling you to lie (see above)—I’m telling you to omit. She doesn’t need to know her voice makes your fists clench. She just needs to know it is not fixable.
Keep it short
Is anything more infuriating than listening to someone ramble on their stupid feelings when they’ve just skewered your stupid feelings? You have one hideous task: to remove someone from your life. Your conversation must take this relationship from point A (you are together) to point B (you are far apart, forever). How can you make that leap with words? Basic education. Think back to English Class, where you learned how to structure a persuasive essay. The structure doesn’t fob off when feelings show up. Your break up speech should run shorter than four minutes. A little planning and clear structure will make breaking up a lot less messy.
Before dialing her number, write down THE POINT (I don’t think we should see each other anymore), THE REASON (we don’t have enough in common, I want to devote more time to puppeteering, you ran over my dog and I can never truly forgive you), THE CONSOLATION (Tinder looks fun, I’m pretty sure you were banging your ex the whole time so maybe you two crazy kids can give that another shot), and THE EXIT (My mom is calling and she just got diagnosed with lupus, the puppets are coming alive, I have diarrhoea). Easier than an eighth-grade essay! If you find stringing together a couple paragraphs hard, take a moment to the faceless writers bringing your free internet content. Literacy and writing well aren’t quite the same, hmm?
Don’t drone on. This is not the time to explore your feelings out loud. This is Operation Neptune Spear, not the Bay of Pigs. Get in, wrap it up, GET OUT. Don’t ask her to “please understand.” A bid for understanding gives the illusion that you need her understanding. Understanding is too much to ask and unrealistic to expect. A bid for understanding is a symptom of self-pity.
She is going to react. That’s what people do. I know you made your points and are like dying to check out but spare a few minutes to the girl say her peace and retreat with dignity. Five minutes should be enough. You’ll know it’s time to bid farewell when she starts analysing how crap you are in bed and life.
Do not follow up
It’s over. You ended the relationship. This is possibly the most important rule of breaking up and certainly the most ignored rule of breaking up. Any excuse you make to “check in” is just that: an excuse and a selfish one at that. Maybe you two can be friends one day, but that day is months away. Alternatively, if she is “just checking in,” you should respond politely but briefly. If she still has your things (or vice versa), it is your responsibility as the dumper to arrange a quick drop off/exchange that is convenient for the dumpee. Now, finally, you are free, free of her moist chewing and idiotic conspiracy theories and incessant texts. Free to find someone better, or simply enjoy the company of the person you love best: yourself.
Beware of pity
Pretend you are a teacher and she is a plucky but ill-informed student who giddily hands you a steaming crap of a term paper with the air of Dostoyevsky dropping off The Brothers Karamazov at his publisher. You’re allowed to feel sorry for her; you’re not allowed to give false hope. Pity is like a painkiller: If you don’t know how to use it, you’re better off not touching the stuff. Pity only feels good in the beginning. Then it wears off, and the pitied will come back to you, craving more, and more, until you have no more pity to give. But she’s hooked now. Strange as it might sound, indifference is less painful than pity.