Let 'Em Down Gently: A Guide To Breaking Up

Breaking up is never easy.

Wait, let me rephrase that:

Breaking up is fucking awful. If you clicked on this article, chances are you are considering breaking up with somebody, and for that I am truly sorry. That's tough shit to go through. Before you continue reading, stop what you are doing and give yourself a hug. You can get through this. I believe in you.

This is either the saddest or the happiest photo I have ever seen.

Have you hugged it out? Great, now we can get on with the painstaking and arduous task of breaking your partner's poor little heart. Fun times!

Breaking up is the hardest part of any relationship, but it's also one of the most important parts. When you look back on your past relationships in years to come, this will be the moment that you'll remember. So, follow these handy tips from yours truly, and you will soon see why they call me The King Of Break-Ups.


(Editor's note: Nobody has ever called you that, Jimmy)


Make An Occasion Out Of It

As I mentioned already, breaking up is one of the most important parts of any relationship because it determines how the whole thing will be remembered. I'd even go as far to say that it is almost equally important as the first kiss. It is the last thing you will ever do as a couple, and for that it deserves to be special.

So don't just throw them a text with 'ur dumpd lol' written on it, and don't just casually mention that maybe you should see other people as you hastily run away from them. Find somewhere nice to meet up, sit down, and talk to them. Maybe even go for a meal, or some coffee. Tell them exactly how you feel, why you don't think it's working any more, and console them if things start to get rough. This is also the moment that your soon-to-be ex is going to remember when they think about the relationship too, and you don't want to be remembered as a dick.

Of course, everybody reacts to things differently, and your partner may not approach this situation with the same calm demeanour as you. So, be prepared for things to get ugly. In fact, maybe don't choose too nice a place to meet up, because you'll probably want to go back there afterwards without the haunting memory of that time your ex-girlfriend stabbed you in the eye with a plastic fork.


It happens.

It looks innocent enough until it's lodged into your retina.


Don't Trick Them Into Doing Your Dirty Work

One surprisingly common method of ending a relationship is acting like a complete wanker until your partner gets fed up and breaks it off, saving you the trouble of doing it yourself. Sure, it worked for Drake in that one episode of Drake & Josh when he was dating his teacher's daughter, but the unfortunate and saddening truth is that Drake & Josh is not real. I hate to be the one to break this to you, but those guys were just actors. The GameSphere isn't even a real thing, no matter how spherical Josh claims it to be.


Speaking of Drake & Josh, feel free to take a moment to get lost in those magnificent eyes.

I know we haven't met, and you don't owe me anything, but if I could ask you one favour it would be not to be that guy. As in the guy who pulls this kind of shit. If you already are that guy, then you are the worst. Please take a long, hard look at yourself and re-evaluate your life choices.

This is a terrible idea for two main reasons: one, your partner deserves to know the truth about how you feel and be treated like a human being, and two, this method will help you gain a reputation for being a terrible person.


There is, of course, always the chance that your plan doesn't work, and you are stuck in a terrible, broken relationship for longer than you need to be. So, in summary: DON'T DO THIS. Muster up the courage and tell them the truth.



Make A Genuine Attempt To Remain Friends

One of the hardest parts of a break up is going from everything to nothing. You probably just came from an intense, full-on relationship in which you really got to know the other person, and are now going straight into the possibility of never speaking to that person again. Why waste all that time spent getting to know each other? There was obviously something about the person that you liked if you went out with them in the first place, so why not remain friends? Things will definitely be awkward at first, there's absolutely no way around that, but you'd be amazed at how much better you can get to know somebody when the pressure of having to shift the face off them at every opportunity is taken away.

Something else that is particularly difficult about the end of a relationship is the loss of knowledge and control in the other person's life. You used to know everything they were doing at any given moment, and were usually some way involved in it, but now you have no idea what they could be getting up to. And because you have no idea, your imagination fills in the blanks with the worst scenarios possible: that they are better off without you, that they are out having fun, partying hard and getting with people way more attractive than you. Fuck you, imagination.

You're full of shit, Spongebob.

Remaining friends and keeping in contact can, at least to some degree, let you know that they are going through the break up just the same as you are.

Or it could confirm all of your worst fears. In which case, give yourself another hug.

You deserve it, buddy.




Don't Get Mutual Friends Involved

Remember that a break-up is between two people, and nobody else. If you try to get your friends to take sides and choose only one of you to hang out with, chances are you will lose all of your friends. And that is the worst place to be after breaking up with somebody.

We may be paraphrasing a little.



Do Not Use Any Of The Following Phrases, Even If You Mean Them:

'I think we should see other people'

After a break up, the last thing anybody wants to think about is all the 'other people' their ex will now be getting with. Whenever I break up with a girl, I like to imagine that they run off to the convent, become a nun and never ever get with any other guy, ever again. But that's mostly because I'm incredibly sad and enjoy imagining what people would look like as nuns.

They all look like this. Every time.

'I just need some space'


This one is a big no-no because it's just so infuriating. What does it even mean?! Does anybody know? If somebody uses this there's a good chance that they're just too lazy to come up with an actual excuse for breaking up with you.
Or maybe they just want more space for activities.

'It's not you, it's me'

It is often the case in a relationship that your partner is a lovely person and you get along with really well, but being in a relationship is just not something you need in your life at that particular moment. However, this line has become so overused and saturated by the media that it virtually has no meaning any more. You might as well sing them the 'Happy Birthday' song.

Well, you can't prove that he didn't say it.

'It's not me, it's you'

Now that one's just mean.

'Parting is such sweet sorrow'

Okay, if you're the kind of person who would quote Shakespeare during a break up, you probably deserve to be broken up with.

That's enough, Abe.

Be Absolutely Certain That This Is What You Want

This is by far the most important step. As anybody who has ever got jalapeños in their Subway will tell you, there's absolutely nothing worse than doing something in the heat of the moment and regretting it later.

Before you go through with the task of actually breaking up, organise one last ordinary date. Use this as an experiment or a trial run to decide for sure whether or not you want the relationship to end. It's often the case that there are things about your significant other that you don't realise you'll miss until it's too late, so there's no harm in double checking that you are making the right choice. Maybe even talk to your partner if you think there's a chance you could save the relationship.

But let's face it, you just read through an entire article on how to break up with somebody. We both know your mind is already made up.


You've read the tips, you've done the deed, and you are now single! The next step is to go out and 'win' your break up. Embrace the rebound, and make the most of it! There are some fantastic experiences that you can only have as a single person, in the same way that there are some wonderful experiences that you can only have in a relationship, so it's important to make the most of these while you have the chance.

Alternatively, you could just lock yourself in your house with nothing but hundreds of tubs of Ben & Jerry's and two seasons of Orange Is The New Black on your laptop while you slowly build up a vast collection of cats.

The choice is yours.
Jimmy Kavanagh
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When people meet Jimmy Kavanagh for the first time, they often ask the same question: Can he boogie? The answer is simple: Yes, sir. He can boogie. But he needs a certain song. He can boogie. Boogie woogie. All night long.
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