Step 12 – The break-up
Some poor fool once wrote a song with doomed lyrics about breaking up never being easy, but he was wrong. Breaking up can be as much fun as courting. Maybe even more.
Studies undertaken in an uncontrolled environment by a group of Norwegian parapsychologists have shown, however, that the dissolution of a relationship is frequently fraught with great trauma. It should be borne in mind that the sight of a man refusing to give up his seat for a woman on the Stockholm to Göteborg train is enough to traumatise the average Nordic adult.
Breaking up need not be accompanied by pain and anguish. As the man, you should steer clear of such things. There will be more than enough gnashing of breasts and beating of teeth from the woman. You will need all the strength you can muster to go back out there and make the first move.
On the other hand, it is equally important to make sure that your break up is not amicable. There are few sights more degrading than a man and his ex sitting at Mugg & Bean sharing a couple of skinny decaf cappuccinos and holding hands for the last time.
Anyway, the chances are that she would rather stick red-hot crochet hooks into her eyeballs than share anything with you ever again. And that is the way it should be.
Here are some helpful hints on the different methods of breaking up.
The face-to-face method
Popular among younger men who have not lived long enough to grasp the true import of the situation. They often fail to realise that women do not appreciate the “courageous and honest” approach nearly as much as they think. Yet they insist on sitting the poor woman down and holding her hand while looking earnestly into her eyes and then breaking her heart. “It’s the least she deserves,” he says, blissfully oblivious to the scalding irony of his words.
Apart from anything else, the face-to-face method opens you up to physical violence. I have known women who, from a reclining position, can move with the speed of a striking cobra. If you insist on using this method to end your relationship, all I can suggest is that you dress like an ice hockey goalkeeper. She may, of course, simply shoot you in the stomach when you least expect it.
The electronic method
No mess, no fuss. Popular among older men who have been slapped, headbutted, bitten and kneed in the groin more times than they care to remember.
There is a school of thought that says it is unethical and immoral to break up with a woman via email or SMS. I have no idea why. It is safer for everyone concerned. The only inconvenience is having to change your number when she begins sending you death threats every hour on the hour.
When ending it via a text message, keep it short. Something like: “Sorry bt cnt do ths hve a gr8 lfe xx”. There is no need to get poetic or melodramatic. This is an ending, not a beginning.
The telephone method
There is really only one thing to remember when you call to dump her. Never use the line: “It’s not you, sweetheart, it’s me.” This is like throwing a chunk of raw meat to a starving crocodile. She will slam the phone down and pursue you with all the enthusiasm of a sniffer dog pursuing a black man wearing a hemp suit.
You may think that by saying these words she will back off in the deluded belief that she is the normal one and you are the fucked up sociopath. Well, she won’t. She will move in for the kill. She will arrive on your doorstep and start banging on the door with a blunt instrument. When you eventually let her in to avoid a public disturbance charge, she will smash the first ornament she comes across and then begin shouting: “So what’s wrong with you what the hell’s wrong with you tell me tell me you bastard are you going to tell me what’s wrong with you?” And from there it is just a matter of seconds before you are a whimpering, craven mess clutching at snatches of philosophy to justify your fictitious inability to function in the real world. Weep, if you have to, but get the hell out of there as fast as possible.
Let her keep the apartment.
The cut ‘n run method
This is by far the least traumatic way of breaking up, especially if you are to blame for the collapse of the relationship. The method is quite simple in its execution. When you come home from work, make sure that you follow your normal routine e.g. Grab a beer, kick the cat, head for the couch.
When she starts nagging you to put the music out and turn the dog down, say that you are nipping out for a box of smokes and stop only once you reach the lower slopes of Machu Picchu.
The only problem with this method is that she will come looking for you. Next to revenge, women want closure most of all. And they can’t get it if you are not there.
Most men are quite happy to get closure by means of a last pangalang. But you should not be the one to suggest it.
For women, closure involves shedding bitter tears and asking a whole bunch of questions that have no answers. Sometimes she will try to hit you. The best thing you can do is to stand there with downcast eyes, shaking your head sadly from side to side while deflecting the blows. Do not say anything. Do not make any sudden movements. Quite a few women still subscribe to the more traditional values, and for them genuine closure only comes once you are sprawled on the staircase with a shattered spinal column and two bullets in the back of the head.
If you are one of the lucky ones, however, you will be breaking up with a modern women and she will be the one to suggest a last pangalang. Be cool. This is not normal sex, so forget the Lou Reed and the box of tricks. It is vital that you remain submissive. I find it helps to pretend that you are Diane Fossey and she is a silverback. However, you may wish to try something else.
The important thing is to remember that she is doing this so she never has to think of you again. At this point, you will realise that nothing makes any sense at all and you are ready to begin the whole wonderful cycle all over again.
Coming up … How to make a man fall in love with you (without losing your sanity, sense of humour or virginity).