There’s a 50/50 chance of being on the receiving end of a breakup. For one reason or another, I find myself, almost 100 percent of the time, being the dazed and confused significant other on the receiving end of bad excuses that end a relationship. Here are a few of my favorite one-liners:
“I’m not ready for a serious relationship.”
“You’re just too much for me.”
“We’re so different.”
“I want to be single.”
I’ve heard enough excuses and pathetic apologies to know the difference between a genuine, heart wrenching,“we can’t be together” breakup and a significant other who will say whatever it takes to get out of the uncomfortable conversation that ends a relationship.
I’m not so naive to think that anyone who has ever broken up with me was making the biggest mistake of their life (although, I happen to think very highly of myself). I have had opportunities to end things, and when I did I would like to look back upon those moments knowing I did so gently and with class. I can’t say the same for my exes.
For those soon-to-be-heartbreakers reading this, I advise you to think heavily upon the honest reasoning behind ending a relationship. If being single is inevitable, here are the best ways to break up with your significant other without completely smashing their heart to pieces.
Be in the moment
It seems like the most blatantly obvious thing, but you would be surprised at the amount of relationships ended via text. Have the decency to tell your significant other, to their tearful face, that you must end things. There is nothing worse than getting a text reading something like, “I’ve been thinking that this isn’t going to work out.” This will not only cause significant damage to your ex, but likely their phone, after it and your message are thrown across the room in disbelief.
There’s nothing worse than trying to follow the incompetent mind of a significant other in confusion as they try and explain why the relationship is over. You want to be single? Fine, but keep the, “it’s not you, it’s me,” to a minimum before your ex really explodes. Being overloaded with excuse after excuse is one way to ensure you will never be friends with your ex in the future.
Pretend to care
Even if a breakup has been years coming and you despise the person now sitting across from you, be nice. For all you know, your ex could’ve been making engagement plans while you were plotting a breakup. Fake tears and apologizes aren’t necessary, but acknowledge that you once cared about the person you may no longer care for.
Plan your timing
Don’t break up with your boyfriend or girlfriend the day before their LSAT, MCAT or anything other four letter acronym that is the epitome of a life-changing event. If a significant other’s emotional state is what is standing between them and the rest of their life, for God’s sake, wait a week to break things off.
Breaking up with someone is tough. Don’t make things harder on yourself by leaving a Post-it note that reads, “I’m sorry, I can’t, don’t hate me” or a Facebook message that results in a new relationship status on your page. The art of breaking up is complicated and sometimes messy. Respect your soon-to-be ex to avoid anymore drama than that which is necessary.
Kelly Iverson is a senior in mass communications.