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Sex and the SafeRide

The Break-up Column

By Danchai Mekadenaumporn

features columnist

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, but today is Friday the 13th. Time for a break-up column!

Break-ups can be rough. The best break-up you can hope for is a friendly, mutual one. But a bad break-up can get real bad, real fast. In either case, someone usually has to initiate the break-up proceedings. Just so you can get out of your relationship as soon as you can and as clean as you can, I’m going to help you out.

First, you must decide when and where the break-up needs to happen. I’ve always been a fan of breaking up with someone ASAP. However, since today is the day before Valentine’s Day, you might have some reservations about that. But if you reason it out, breaking up with someone ASAP is usually the best way to go about things. It doesn’t lead the other person on, it doesn’t drag the relationship out any longer, you can move on sooner, and it’ll hurt less for both parties involved. This is a good policy that I (and most people) will stand by.

Nevertheless, holidays become the huge exception for many people, especially Valentine’s Day. What’s worse than breaking someone’s heart on a day meant for love?

Some say that you should allow your significant other a grace period when breaking up around the holidays. If the person doesn’t see it coming, let them down easy -- wait until next week. However, if things just aren’t working out, do it today so that you can party with all of your single friends tomorrow night. Why should both of you fake your way through another Valentine’s Day together when you both could spend it with someone else?

Since a break-up can become a volatile situation, you do not want to choose a public place to break up with someone. If you’re thinking that it isn’t likely there will be a scene, you’re dead wrong. Things can go very horribly wrong and you might end up becoming an urban legend. In addition, whatever talking and explaining you may need to do will not take place. The best place to break up with a girl would be her room. She won’t be able to break any of your stuff and she can throw you out if she needs to. Don’t do it in your room. It would suck for her to walk home alone after getting dumped. Take note: all this doesn’t apply if you live together.

If you have decided that a break-up is what you need, there are some other ground rules you should know. Follow these and you should be golden.

1. Don’t have sex with him/her right before you break up.

This will probably leave your not-so-significant other feeling used and betrayed. Guys might feel it less than women, but more guys would feel that way than you’d think. If you really need to have sex that badly before you break up, make sure that your soon-to-be ex understands the terms of service. However, I’d like to add that hitting it once more “for the road” is probably bad policy.

2. Be a man (or a woman).

Not calling for a few weeks might convey that you aren’t interested anymore, but it’ll also convey that you’re an ass. It’s common courtesy to inform the other person that the relationship is through, even though it may just be formality. Other crappy ways to back out of a relationship are demonstrating dishonesty or infidelity, picking fights, and so forth. I understand that you may just want to avoid this person for the rest of your life, but I assure you that it will come back to haunt you later. Karma -- what goes around comes around.

3. Be real, but be tactful.

Your significant other may want to know why you’re breaking up with him/her. Sometimes the answer is painfully obvious -- “You’re a man-whore” should suffice if he cheated on you. Most times the answer isn’t so obvious and you’ll need to put the other person down gently while still conveying what you’re trying to say. Don’t list her every fault; but don’t be ambiguous either. Also, please come up with something better than “I need space.”

4. People have feelings; computers don’t.

Don’t break up with someone over e-mail unless you’ve only been dating them online. If you’re breaking up over the phone, there’d better be at least a hundred miles between you two. These two methods of communication should not communicate a break-up in any other case. If you have the means to do so, then you should break up in person. Otherwise you’ll be labeled as a “heartless bastard.” Man, I’ve heard that one too many times.

I guess you’re ready to be single again. Hopefully the break-up will go well and you two can still be friends. But don’t count on it.