Tits and Ask: Is There a “Right Way” to Break Up With Someone?

Then there's always Captain Kirk's way...

Then there’s always Captain Kirk’s way…

Need wildly impractical sex advice? Email us, professor.

DEAR KEN & ARIEL: Is there a right way and a wrong way to break up with someone? I’ve been dating this guy for about a year, and it’s clear we’re going nowhere. I just don’t want to seem like the Queen Bitch, because we travel in the same circles.

KEN SAYS: An impending break-up gives rise to a host of ugly questions: Will my friends take his/her side? Will I be in fear of my life should I ever run into my ex at the local Arby’s? What are the chances that home video he/she has of us screwing in a quiet corner of Terminal C at Logan is going to end up on YouTube?

Breaking up isn’t easy, and it could be argued that being the breaker is even more excruciating than being the breakee. You’ve got to find the perfect time (preferably not early morning, mid-spoon or as she’s putting your balls in her mouth), perfect place (never at the rifle range or as you’re barreling down Storrow in a car with unreliable door locks) and perfect method of communicating this sobering information (using puppets, interpretive dance, or poetry to convey things like, “I’m screwing your sister” are all bad ideas).

In a perfect world, our exes would simply beam out of our lives, “Star Trek”-style, immediately upon break-up. But this is real life and we don’t get that cool shit.

The fact that you guys run in the same circles doesn’t help the matter. You can bet that post-breakup, you’ll be kept well-informed of your ex’s every move. Like the shapely redhead he’s been playing “hide the sexy canary” with (a real game, mind you). Or how he’s just won a Pulitzer for his novel about the heartless ex-girlfriend who wipes out an entire village WITH HER HORRIBLE MIND AND GONORRHEA. Or how he’s filled his apartment with wood carvings that just happen to look like you and that he chats with every morning.

That last point opens up a whole new can of worms–the obsessive ex. This is too deep a subject to be covered here, but it should always be considered before any break-up. Hell, I once tried to clone an ex from a few pairs of panties she left at my place. My efforts earned me zero recognition from the scientific community, mind you,although the girl at the local Target took to calling me “that weirdo with a thing for pubes.”

Bottom line: Unless you move to Point Barrow or enlist a new group of friends, your ex will always be a part of your life in some capacity. That said, you indicate that it’s “clear” the relationship is “going nowhere.” If that’s the case, then your man probably feels the same way–knowing deep down that the relationship isn’t working, but sticking it out for the sex. Or, uh, the conversation. Yes, that’s it. The sparkling conversation.

If it’s obvious that Elvis has left the building, your boyfriend–and your pals–will probably take the news better than you suspect. They may even breathe a sigh of relief. Just make sure that when you beam out, you take all your underwear with you. Trust me on that.

ARIEL SAYS: Break-ups are tough. A year’s worth of sex, fights, tears and take-out get boiled down to an awkward phone call, an encounter bereft of eye contact, or, worst of all, a text message right in the middle of lunch (not recommended).

Most of us have played the role of both dumper and dumpee, and we know there ain’t no easy way out. Being the dumper gives you a slight advantage, because you’re the one who really wants this thing to be over with, hopefully by Friday so you can salvage the weekend. On the other hand, the dumpee, while still in an unenviable position, gets to milk the sympathy vote until everyone agrees that the dumper is an immature, self-centered psychopath who probably has a drinking problem and hates orphans.

With that heartening news, my advice is to be brave and tell him in person. Be considerate by presuming the culprits of your relationship’s demise are circumstance and timing, not the fact that he picks his toes and whines incessantly about his mother.

Be gentle, but honest; false hope is worse than weight gain on your birthday. Then, after wrecking his puny heart, keep your distance. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT attempt the “friends” maneuver. It is an urban legend and only works if you’re the Dalai Lama.

Ex-lovers become friends only when they’re both happily entrenched with someone else and can’t understand what the hell they ever saw in each other in the first place.

Oh, and good luck.

This article was originally written for DigBoston.com for our Sex Advice from English Majors column.

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