Tits and Ask: It’s Not Me, It’s You. Really.


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 doing the nasty will end up on the Internet?
Yes, 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), perfect place (out of range of knives and scissors is best) and perfect method of communicating this sobering information (hint: interpretive dance is always a bad idea).

The fact that you 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–such as how many vodka and Red Bulls it took him to get over you, or just how slutty the redhead he took to the Adam Sandler film festival was dressed–whether you like it or not. 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 it’s likely that your man could feel the same way–knowing deep down that the relationship isn’t working, but sticking it out for the sex… or, um, more likely, um, the conversation. Yes, that’s it. The sparkling conversation.

Anyway, if it’s obvious that Elvis has left the building, your boyfriend–and your pals–will probably take the news better than you suspect.

ARIEL SAYS: Aggh. The breakup. What a sucky, stinky, melodramatic mess. A year’s worth of sex, fights, tears, take-out, and an extortionate MasterCard bill comes down to an awkward phone call, an encounter bereft of eye contact, or worst of all, an instant message right in the middle of lunch. 

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 you¹re the one who really wants this thing to be over with, hopefully by Friday so you can salvage the weekend. The dumpee, while still in an unenviable position, is guaranteed the right of milking the sympathy vote until everyone is in total agreement that the dumper is an immature, self-centered psychopath (a.k.a., Queen Bitch).

With that heartening news, my advice is to be brave and tell him in person. Be considerate by presuming the culprits of your relationship¹s 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 Dali Lama. Lovers become friends only when they’re BOTH happily ensconced with someone else and can’t understand what in the hell they ever saw in each other. 

I know it’s hard because your friends are his friends and vice-versa, but it’s better for both of you to move forward than to be stuck in masochistic flashback mode.
Good luck.

1 Comment

  1. KT

    October 12, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Apropos of nothing, that dude in the picture, woof. Katie likey.

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