I've felt apprehensive about writing on this topic and have thus avoided it for a while.
Then today I read this articleand realized it was time. I know most of you can relate to this topic; some of you have been on both sides of the experience, and some of you only on one. But see the thing is, I didn't want to write about how to break up with someone, because I didn't want to seem like an asshole.
Hmm … similar to how I never want to break up with someone because I don't want to seem like an asshole. Breaking someone's heart or wounding it, if you're in a more casual relationship really effing sucks. We always focus on how to heal a broken heart after being dumped, but we never acknowledge how crappy it is to be the heartbreaker.
This is why I chose to do my masters research in the area. Ironically, when I was writing the final chapter of my thesis, I got harshly dumped. Karma or timely comparison experience? Anyway, ending a relationship — whether it be a casual one or a marriage — is thick with anxiety, guilt, and conflict. And thus, what do we tend to do? Like me with this topic, we avoid. In the form of more serious, long term relationships, we avoid "the talk. We have unenthusiastic sex or no sex then lie awake next to them for the remainder of the night.
In casual relationships, we stop answering text messages or provide short, uninterested answers. We say we're busy for the next couple weeks. We say we're busy forever. I used to say "I just don't like hurting people. I've since realized that sure, I don't like hurting people, but what's really happening is that I don't like guilt and anxiety and conflict, so I ignore or avoid the "problem" to gain the illusion that "it's" they've gone away And the reality is that they might go away, but they do so wondering what the heck just happened and sometimes send a string of angry text messages.
So before I offer some tips on breaking up with someone, I want to qualify this. I've been on both sides, many How to break up with someone you ve been dating for a year.