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Breaking Up is Hard to Do....

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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?

Of 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 mistake mitigation.

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.

Procedural Note: 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.

The 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 your back.


Okay, 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.

b) Other People's psychotic breakdowns can be scary!

Unfortunately, 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 insecure.

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 so on.

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.

Procedural 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.

Procedural 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.

Meanwhile, Other People's Psychotic Breakdowns Can Be Scary!

more harrowing break-up possibilities!.....



Now! As a special bonus is proud to offer the companion FAQ to the very popular Dumping Series: Should I, in fact, dump my girlfriend at all?

Dumping Table of Contents:

Option #1:Dumping by Avoidance

Disadvantages of Option #1:Horrible Alien Freak Cycle

Option #2: Dumping by Talking

Using the Talk Word to Dump Your Girlfriend

Exactly What To Say

What to Do When She Cries

Selecting the Proper Breakup Location

More FAQs For No Apparent Reason:

Why Am I So Socially Inhibited and Why the Fuck Aren't Other People?

Is there hope for boring guys like me?

Why do asshole guys get all the chicks?

Why does time go so slowly when you're bored?

How can I tell how fucked up I am?

What's War Got To Do With It?


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