Insert Girlfriend's Name Here
I can’t think of a more tactful way to say this so here it goes: I can’t stand my girlfriend but can’t bring myself to break up with her.We’ve been off and on for almost five years now and have broken up more times than I can remember but somehow I always end up taking her back.I know she’s not the person I want to spend my life with but I don’t like being alone.Please, I need advice on how to break up with her and stay broken up.
Thank you in advance,
A True Fan
Dear True Fan,
I can’t think of a more tactful way to say this so here it goes: grow up.You say you can’t stand your girlfriend but you can’t bring yourself to break up with her and that leads me to believe that you can’t decide what you want out of life.I’m not saying that you need to have all the answers but I am going to tell you that stringing this girl along while you try to figure it out isn’t fair to her or to you.By continuing to date her, you are giving her false hope and giving yourself a false sense of security.Okay, that was my slap on the wrist to you and now comes my reasoning.
The act of breaking up with someone can be as simple as saying “(insert Girlfriend’s name here), I’m breaking up with you,” answering her questions, listening to her call you a jerk (because regardless if you were being one or not, you will be called one and probably much worse), and then watching her shut the door on her way out.The act of staying broken up can be more challenging for some than it is for others.You obviously fall into the first category.I know how it starts and I’ve seen it happen hundreds of times before.She calls, asking if she left something at your apartment that she just can’t live without then you tell her you’ll be home after work and she can stop by and pick it up whenever she has a chance.She comes over, you fall into easy conversation about how you’ve both been trying to pick up the pieces of your life while both hinting that life would be so much better if you two were still together and happy.Then, before you know it, you’ve opened a bottle of wine and closed your window of opportunity at truly escaping.
So here comes my advice to you.Hope you’re ready. Step one: break up with her.I don’t care how you do it but I would prefer if you were nice because that just makes you a better person.Step two: make a clean break and take your time.If you live together, clean out your apartment.If she has a drawer, give her the time she needs to put everything in a box and even offer to carry it to the car for her.Step three: don’t answer her phone calls.She is going to call you crying or email you while she’s drunk or complain to her friends that you threw away the best thing that’s ever happened to you.Trust me, one if not all three of these things are going to happen.But don’t give in.Don’t apologize for following your heart.Sure, it’s going to hurt both of you, but its times like these when you need to be selfish because it’s helping the greater good by keeping an unhappy and dysfunctional couple off the streets of San Francisco.Step four: change your routine.If you don’t change your routine, everything you do will remind you of your girlfriend and you will be all the more likely to get back together with her.Do something different, mix things up.And remember, breakups give you reason to start over, reinvent yourself and figure out what really makes you happy.Learn from the pain and revel in the joy of knowing you’re on your way to greener fields.
“Aiden?”Her voice was so irritating.“Aiden, have you seen the Living section of the newspaper?”
“Yes,” I answered in the monotone voice that came so naturally now.
“Well, where is it?”
“I have it here, Becky.”I waived the paper over my head and heard her three inch heals pattering across our once smooth hardwood floors.She snatched it out of my hand and scoffed as she saw the page I was reading.
“I can’t believe you still read this shit.It’s so gay.”
I cringed.She sounded so ignorant when she said that.This was San Francisco, not Kentucky, so aren’t people supposed to be politically correct and open minded around here?But I didn’t respond to her insult.It wasn’t worth my time because right now I was on cloud nine.Veronica, the Veronica of the San Francisco Times, had read and not only responded to my letter, but actually published it along with her advice.
Okay, so I know that I’m probably not her typical fan.If I had to guess I would say that her target audience is probably chronically or newly single women aged 25 to 40 years.But, seriously, who cares?This girl’s got brains and a sense of humor.Reading her column is the only way I can start my day.Call it a guilty pleasure but some people have their Starbucks, I have my Veronica.
“Okay, okay…horoscopes!Found them!Do you want to hear mine or yours first?”
I turned to face her from where I was sitting.Her bleached blonde hair and her orange tan looked anything but attractive and I had to force a smile.It was hard to believe that she was one of the highest paid PR consultants in the bay area looking the way she did but I had to give it up to her.The girl made it work.As for her question, I could really care less.Reading our horoscopes had been something our couple’s therapist had recommended to us during our third attempt at reconciliation.I found them to be worthless unless they told me something good was going to happen.
“Why don’t we hear yours first?”
She squealed that high pitch noise that made my ears bleed.“Okay!Here it goes!Expect the unexpected.Anything can happen when you are least prepared so don’t be caught off guard.Your true colors will show when dealing with matters you didn’t anticipate.Oh, Aiden.This can’t be good.”
She frowned and I suppressed a smile.I know Veronica had told me not to be a jerk about this, but really, could I have asked for a better opening?
Becky sighed and looked around the apartment as if she was hoping to find what her unexpected matter would be.She gave up and looked back at the paper.
“I think we need to talk.”
Becky’s mouth dropped to her chest.“You interrupted me.I hate it when you interrupt me!Dr. Arnold said that you should never interrupt me.Interrupting one’s speech is like closing the gateway to their heart.If you want this to work Aiden, you have to respect me.”
I squeezed my hands into tight fists.How is it possible that she can forget my birthday, our anniversary, my grandmother’s funeral, yet still recite, verbatim I might add, exactly what our therapist said four months ago?I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.What was it Veronica told me to do?Oh, right.
Insert Girlfriend’s name here.That would be Becky.“Becky, I’m breaking up with you.”
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