Universal Rules of a Good Break Up

August 31, 2015

To me, there are two of the most uncomfortable feelings in the world: getting a call about a job you didn't get, and break ups. Or in other words, rejection makes me all sorts of uncomfortable. Like "Oh no I'm going to the dentist in the middle of the day and forgot to brush my teeth after lunch" uncomfortable. Like "Oh man I'm stuck in a room alone with a creepy high school teacher who gives lingering shoulder pats" uncomfortable. Like "Oh God they're playing that girl's interview on The Bachelor about how in love she is but I already read the spoilers and know she's going home in 2 minutes and is really, really going to regret saying this" uncomfortable. Like "Oh shit, my boss just got back from a meeting with the director of a corporation I applied to last night and I hope she hasn't seen my resume or recognized my name yet" uncomfortable. 

Got it?

Break ups are uncomfortable. 

However, I think that if the following rules (suggestions) were followed, we could eliminate much awkward feelings! Let us explore the universal rules of a good break up (to be read in the voice of Jane Austen or Helen Mirren for ultimate effect). 


"It is a universal rule of a good break up much acknowledged and accepted world-wide, that the following suggestions and regulations shall be observed in good faith by the two parties involved in a break up:

ONE: THOU SHALT GIVE A REASON FOR CALLING. Thoust shall not feel any shame for occassionally breaking into the temptation of a phone call, but THOUST SHALL GIVE A REASON. The reason may be as complex as "we need to talk" or as simple as "fuck I'm drunk," but thoust shall give a reason. Thoust shall not cause unnecessary anxiety to the other party by refusing to give a reason, and leaving them wondering whether you are between the parallels of 'thinking about getting back together' or 'drunk' or 'dead, see me in morgue.' 

TWO: THOU SHALT HAVE ONE HUMAN MOMENT OF CONFESSION. Thoust shall have one moment in said break up where both parties have a mutual human moment of confession, saying "This is hard" (or similar feelings as per the parties involved). Thoust shall recognize this does not mean thy are reuniting, but merely acknowledging the biggest, smallest thing of all -- thine parties are both humans with feelings. Thoust are not robots engaged in a system reset, thoust arst humans. 

THREE: THOU SHALT MAINTAIN BREAK UP ROLES. The instigator shall maintain the instigator role and the other the 'not so sure/bereaved' role, with the reversal of roles allowed at least once but no more than three times during the course of the break up. Otherwise, you will probably not end up actually breaking up. 

FOUR: THOU SHALT ACKNOWLEDGE THERE IS ONLY ONE SOURCE OF HEALING. And that is time. So do not excessively drink, eat ice cream, flirt, party, kiss a unicorn, etc etc etc in search of other options. Thou shalt not cause more emotional and physical harm to thineself in search of getting over the other party by excess of other activities. Thou shalt wait for time to do it's thang. 

FIVE: TO THINE OWN SELF GIVE GRACE. See above, rule 4. As time ist not thy quickest friend, thoust shall to thine own self give grace. Thy may see progress, and then end up breaking down in the cheese aisle of the grocery store or a park with a skunk or something. Give yourself grace. 


What break up rules would you add
to Dame Helen's list?

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