You and/or he have really tried to make it work but you’re just not compatible, or whatever rules the two of you set down at the beginning about other guys and who’s washing the dishes keep getting broken. Or maybe you built the whole relationship on great sex and that great sex has gradually become as boring as repeats of his favorite sit-com. Or, worse, you’ve become his background noise or he yours. Yes, it’s time to Call It Quits. So what do you do to make the break as painless as possible?
Cardinal Rule Number One: Don’t wait too long.
Get out of a relationship before you’ve invested too much into it. And I don’t mean just emotionally. Once you’ve bought a fridge or a condo together, you’re married, and it takes a lot more to untangle the financial stuff than just collecting your man toys.
Cardinal Rule Number Two: Don’t let guilt get in the way.
You’re doing him a favor leaving him if he isn’t going to get from you, or you from him, what a relationship should offer two people. Whatever the hell that is.
Cardinal Rule Number Three: No scenes.
If there aren’t financial encumbrances, leave like a thief in the night. Better a note or e-mail or text than another protracted argument or teary session that goes nowhere.
Cardinal Rule Number Four: Be civil.
No turning up the heater on his fish tank, or keying his new Cooper, or threatening to circumcise him a second time. You’re two men. Take what’s yours, work out the rest, if you have to get an attorney hire one, and get out from under. And ditto with a lawyer if former lover boy pulls destructive behavior on you. Fist fights in the middle of Targets just aren’t smart. What, you wanna be 86’ed for life from Home Furnishings?
Cardinal Rule Number Five: Don’t put up with abuse or addictions.
If physical abuse or addiction on his part is in the picture, and you were too dense to see it before, or figured you could change him, get out before it’s too late. So go back and live with your mother in Omaha for awhile. That’s still better than ending up in traction or putting up all you have to bail him out of jail, or having him hock your action figure collection for drug money.
Cardinal Rule Number Six: Move on.
If you were The Rejected One, don’t get soppy or drown your self-pity in three dollar Long Island iced teas or some bad crack, or flood his cell phone message box with teary pleas. If you run into him in mutual circles, be cordial but keep walking.
Cardinal Rule Number Seven: Don’t bring up loves, present or past.
So some threesome turned into a twosome, only he or you were no longer in the picture? Or six months ago you caught him screwing around and you forgave him then, but now you want to replay the video tape, particularly if that “love with a proper stranger” is who he’s leaving you for. WHY? What’s the point, huh? If, at some point, you run into them at the supermarket check-out, say “hey” and grab the latest issue of “People” until the brain-dead cashier gets to your Puppy Chow. Running suddenly to the health and beauty aisle for a box of Trojans to make some kind of statement is just being gauche.
Cardinal Rule Number Eight: Do what you like to do and who you’d like to do NOW.
Get right back into it – the gym, the beach. And some non-committal sex can be good for the soul. Or if you really need a distraction, get a parrot.
Cardinal Rule Number Nine: Think before you leap. Again.
Examine what went wrong and why, so you can avoid those pitfalls the next time. Was it him, or was it you? Maybe you’re just not marrying material; you don’t like to compromise, you like fresh dick every week, you’re too clingy, or you attract guys who only take advantage of you. Better it not happen at all than go through the same bullshit all over again. Break-ups can be expensive when it comes to time, money and Prilosec.
Cardinal Rule Number Ten: Don’t burn bridges.
Don’t tell him before you slam the door one last time how small his dick is or how bad a fuck he was. Who knows? In six months or six years the two of you may have changed or matured enough to be mutually re-interested, if even for a night. You want those accusations (even if they’re true) to get in the way of some renewed hot times?