Apr 05, 2023, 05:55AM

How to Dump Someone

It’s never too late for a second chance at a first start. Just dump the one you’re with and start over!

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Now that spring break has arrived, it’s time to think about a fresh start. Whether you’re an apple-cheeked freshman embarking on the “freshman 15” or a weather-beaten PhD candidate 20 years into your university career, you’ll never be able to start anything if you’re stuck in the middle of something—and by “something,” I mean a stagnant relationship. Paul Simon sang that there are 50 ways to leave your lover, but after several clinical trials and much field research, I’ve realized that only four of those will enable you to do a total romance reboot. Here’s the skinny on how to trim the fat.

#1: Vanish. Absence might make the heart grow fonder, but a total disappearance à la legendary lost beauty Natalee Holloway or airplane hijacker D.B. Cooper is the ticket to commencing a new life. This is the best way to terminate a long-distance relationship that’s costing you big bucks on bus fares and plane tickets—cash you’re undoubtedly eager to redirect to your PlayStation 5 and Uber Eats “discretionary fund.” Simply unfollow the person on all the social media sites, block them on your email and phone, and carry on as if those months or years of fair-to-middling times never even happened. After all, who wants somebody around who can remind you of what a loser you were back before you became the much bigger loser you are today? Now that you’re racking up those Elden Ring body counts and “running train” on games of snooker and beer pong, you’re a big person on campus—and no ride-your-ass “blast from the past” can tell you otherwise.

#2: The nuclear option. If you’re dating someone with whom you work or attend school and thus might encounter at a party/rave/mosh pit/flash mob/BLM protest/etc., vanishing might prove impracticable. Instead—and those of you with divorced parents will surely be down with this damage—you’ll want to use the “nuclear option” to ensure that no bridges are left standing after you beat a hasty retreat. This one’s pretty easy: just wait for your significant other to launch into an argument about some trivial matter, whereupon you can “take it personal and make it personal” by launching into an all-encompassing ad hominem argument. Check out the following example:

Your significant other: Why didn’t you take out the trash?

You: I hate your guts, you pig! Why are you such a horrible person who is bad at everything? Also, I want to break up with you!

Your significant other: Where is this hostility coming from? I was just talking about the trash! Our entire rat hole of an apartment is lined with moldy Uber Eats containers. Take it easy, pal.

You: I wish we had never met, and I also wish that you had never been born. You’ve ruined my life, you awful creep!

Once you’ve read the riot act to this person, you can rest assured that they will never want to talk to you again—and for good reason, you bum, you blackguard, you knave.

#3: Textual dissatisfaction. If you’re a passive-aggressive type who wants to avoid conflict at all costs, you could just do the right (i.e., wrong) thing by carrying on a flirtatious relationship with some babe or bro behind your significant other’s back. Once things have started to “heat up,” you can leave your unlocked “celly” in a conspicuous location such as your significant other’s lunch bucket or diary drawer in the hopes that they will discover a steamy text exchange like this:

u: hey sup

ursecretluvr: nm u

u: nm jus chillin

ursecretluvr: cool

u: hey ur sexy

ursecretluvr: yah u 2

u: kthx u 2

ursecretluvr: yah i kno u said that b4

u: lol jinx

ursecretluvr: lololol

After stumbling upon such damning evidence of a lover’s “dangerous liaison,” what person in their right mind would be anything but outraged and heartbroken? Say goodbye to that domestic gulag you’ve found yourself trapped in and hello to the swinging single life, dear readers.

#4: An honest, mature conversation. But what if you genuinely respect your significant other’s feelings and don’t want them to remember you as a no-good, rotten jerk? Well, I suppose you could sit down and talk about the problems in the relationship and see if it’s worth continuing as a couple. If you both agree that things are irretrievably broken, you can agree to remain friends to the extent that friendship is possible. And then you could carry on with your life, remembering the old relationship as one of many important stages along the haphazard highway that leads—hopefully but finally—to unconditional love.

Of course, if that sounds about as fun to you as watching C-SPAN 3 (or even worse, C-SPAN 193) does to me, you could always just take one of the other routes I’ve suggested and spend your no-good, very bad year having a really hard time of it, emotionally speaking.


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