Author Topic: How to break up?  (Read 4198 times)

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nonesuch4

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Re: How to break up?
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2011, 07:39:01 AM »
In another lifetime, I had to break up with a young man I had dated for a month or two.  I thought I'd ask him over for coffee and tell him then.  It was winter.

I had never done this before. Without telling him my plan, I asked a man how to break up with R, and he said, "Oh whatever you do, don't ask him over for coffee!"  He then explained that R would appear at my door, I'd let him in, and then with it being winter, R would have to take off gloves and a heavy coat, boots, scarf, a hat. Then we'd sit down and the intent of the conversation would become obvious.  R would have to collect and put on boots and hat and heavy coat and gloves and try to make a graceful exit. 

FWIW, friend said to ask R to come on over. I should meet him at the door with any of his belongings, tell him at the door that it was over, and if he wanted to punish himself by listening to the reasons, then it would be R's decision to walk up the three flights of stairs, take off his winter clothes and discuss.

The mall idea sound fine.  I just have especially poor instincts with this stuff.

PaddedPaws

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Re: How to break up?
« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2011, 01:12:29 PM »
Thanks all for the feedback. :) I'm glad that I don't personally have to use any of it at this time. Still it makes me feel better to get some idea of what the cultural standard is, because I had absolutely no idea before. If anybody I know is ever in this situation again, I'll have a better idea of what to advise them.

Lynn2000

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Re: How to break up?
« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2011, 05:00:04 PM »
I think that it should be done in person if possible, however, if you feel in any kind of danger you should use whatever medium is safest. I'd skip skywriters, though.  >:D


The other time the phone is good is when it's a long-distance relationship. No one wants to take time off work, spend travel money, get to their SO's town, only to get dumped once they get there!

I also agree that your friend handled it well.

POD to the LDR break-up. A friend of mine was dating a guy who lived 1000 miles away. She flew out to see him for several days, then traveled about 100 miles to a work-related conference that was occurring nearby, then went back up to see him again before flying home. On the second trip to see him, he dumped her (and started dating someone else the next day).

I guess worse would have been to dump her BEFORE the work conference...? Hard to tell sometimes.

I do think it's a bit important to think about the logistics. On the one hand it seems ridiculously clinical, but on the other, if you care about the person, you don't want them trying to drive home on icy roads or navigate the subway at night or some other difficult task when they're upset because you just broke up with them, if you could easily have talked to them in a different location. And the same goes for yourself: even if you really think you're doing what's best, you might very well be upset, too, and you probably don't want to have to go back to work or make any complicated decisions immediately after.
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Danika

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Re: How to break up?
« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2011, 10:59:47 PM »
In another lifetime, I had to break up with a young man I had dated for a month or two.  I thought I'd ask him over for coffee and tell him then.  It was winter.

I had never done this before. Without telling him my plan, I asked a man how to break up with R, and he said, "Oh whatever you do, don't ask him over for coffee!"  He then explained that R would appear at my door, I'd let him in, and then with it being winter, R would have to take off gloves and a heavy coat, boots, scarf, a hat. Then we'd sit down and the intent of the conversation would become obvious.  R would have to collect and put on boots and hat and heavy coat and gloves and try to make a graceful exit. 

FWIW, friend said to ask R to come on over. I should meet him at the door with any of his belongings, tell him at the door that it was over, and if he wanted to punish himself by listening to the reasons, then it would be R's decision to walk up the three flights of stairs, take off his winter clothes and discuss.

The mall idea sound fine.  I just have especially poor instincts with this stuff.

Your friends gave you good advice! Out of curiousity, did he then decide to come in and listen to any reasons?

nonesuch4

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Re: How to break up?
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2011, 10:35:34 AM »
I vaguely remember R shedding a few tears in my apartment.

A couple months later he and his new girlfriend were expecting a baby.

Larrabee

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Re: How to break up?
« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2011, 10:52:33 AM »
I have to say, I think the mall or anywhere that public is a really bad idea, breakups often result in people feeling upset, angry, crying etc. and nobody wants to feel that way in public.  I also don't think its ever ever a good idea to drive home right after a breakup.

This isn't popular, but I actually don't think the phone is so terrible.  Landline at home, not mobile.  The person is in their home, where they feel comfortable, they don't have to look you in the eye and keep up a brave face/hold back the tears, they don't have to get home in a state of distress because they're already there, hopefully with someone they know there to comfort them.


Judah

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Re: How to break up?
« Reply #21 on: August 28, 2011, 03:07:06 PM »
I have to say, I think the mall or anywhere that public is a really bad idea, breakups often result in people feeling upset, angry, crying etc. and nobody wants to feel that way in public.  I also don't think its ever ever a good idea to drive home right after a breakup.

This isn't popular, but I actually don't think the phone is so terrible.  Landline at home, not mobile.  The person is in their home, where they feel comfortable, they don't have to look you in the eye and keep up a brave face/hold back the tears, they don't have to get home in a state of distress because they're already there, hopefully with someone they know there to comfort them.

I mostly agree with Larrabee.  I wouldn't do it over the phone, but back when I was dating, breaking up at his place seemed to work better than anywhere else. 
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Celany

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Re: How to break up?
« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2011, 04:10:41 PM »
I think it really depends, in particular on how long a couple has been dating, and how well they are currently doing together. And we're clearly talking about well-thought-out breakups, vs the spur-of-the-moment kinds like my ex bf pulled on me a few weeks ago.  ::)

I once broke up with a guy that I'd been dating a bit over a year. I did it over the phone in part because one of our biggest arguments was that he never, ever ever came to my apartment. I was sick of all the things that he wouldn't compromise on, and the idea of going to his apartment to break up with him was just too much. So I did it over the phone. Maybe not the best idea, but I'd realized the relationship was about 80% him and 20% me & I'd had enough.

In general, I think doing it at someone's home (so they are in their safe place, and provided you don't have any concerns about safety) or maybe a local public place (say if they live near a park) would be a good place to do it. 

This is always something that's been hard for me too. Breaking up with my longest boyfriend (nearly 6 years, and we lived together) was by far the hardest. I did it at home. It sucked. It has given me great incentive to be gun-shy about moving in with a guy again.

I do thing your friend did a great job, and picked an appropriate place, given the length of the relationship.

I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior. ~ Hippolyte Taine

purplemuse

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Re: How to break up?
« Reply #23 on: August 29, 2011, 09:35:52 AM »
I think that it should be done in person if possible, however, if you feel in any kind of danger you should use whatever medium is safest. I'd skip skywriters, though.  >:D


The other time the phone is good is when it's a long-distance relationship. No one wants to take time off work, spend travel money, get to their SO's town, only to get dumped once they get there!

I also agree that your friend handled it well.

Thank you for acknowledging this-- I broke up with an LD high school boyfriend over the phone, and some people still criticized me for not doing it face to face, despite the fact that I had no idea when I was actually going to see him again.

blarg314

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Re: How to break up?
« Reply #24 on: August 29, 2011, 11:21:09 PM »

The break-up in a public place advice tends to bother me.  If you're genuinely worried about safety, then it's different, but I find that the public breakup is often done for the convenience of the person who is doing the dumping, so they can make a quick escape from an upset, crying person.  And it's generally considered rude to deliberately arrange to make a scene in public - at least to the people who are trying to enjoy their meal with an argument/crying fit going on in the next table.


jmarvellous

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Re: How to break up?
« Reply #25 on: August 30, 2011, 12:00:27 AM »
Memorable breakups in the Jmarvellous world, a mix of cautionary tales and OK endings:

  • His house: I did the breaking up; I was dishonest and told him it was me when it really was that he was disgusting. He begged me to stay over "one last time." I left, disgusted.
  • His parents' house: We had gone back to hometown in his car on a school holiday. I told him he was too whiny for me, he cried a bit and hugged me too long; I got my mom to drive me back to school.
  • Phone #1: 4 months in, he called me and said "I don't think you should come over tonight. Or ever. And don't call me again." I was furious and never understood what went wrong.
  • Phone #2: More than a year of dating. He was moving 6+ hours to live with me ... the next day. He asked, "Do you even love me anymore??" I realized I didn't, much to my own surprise. He cursed me out and got friends to harass me for months. I may have kind of deserved it, but I did dodge a huge bullet.
  • IM: Silly! I did this in high school, and I think high school is where it should stay.
  • Nowhere: Just cutting off contact without a word is wimpy and pathetic, unless there's danger involved. I've never done this
  • OUR house: What a PP said about this being the hardest is true.  :(

Note that none of these involved a public place. It depends on the type of relationship and the people involved, but I don't think that if there's any emotion involved, it makes sense to do so in a place where innocent bystanders might be affected.