Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

No matter the age, breaking up is never easy

How do you break up with a really nice person?

I mean, nice is great. But, like handsome or beautiful, it's just a curtain. And, as we learned on Let's Make a Deal, a curtain is only as good as what's behind it.

Right now I'm working through how to tiptoe and not tromp when ending a relationship.

The Dalai Lama didn't return my calls so I turned to the next best spiritual adviser — the great and powerful Google.

"How to break up with a really nice guy?" I asked the font of all of humanity's wisdom. My screen instantly filled with the first dozen or so of the 153 million results it found. Well, this should be easy.

As I scanned that first page of results looking for the juiciest one to pluck out, I noticed they all seemed to be slightly different versions of the same answer: do it now and do it fast. Seems nice people don't want a slow and gentle breakup. Off with their heads.

So, I bucked up and dialed Mr. Nice Guy's number. Before he even picked up, the do-it-now-and-do-it-fast knife slid out of my hand. And caller ID made it impossible to hang up anonymously and try again later after I had summoned up that mean gene now resting comfortably in the pit of my stomach.

"I don't know; it's just not working …"

"Whaddaya mean?"

"I just don't think we have anything in common …"

"What? Whaddaya mean?"

"I just need some time …"

"I knew this was going to happen. Where's the nearest bridge?"

A half hour later, the call ended, the words, "You know I still love you," trailing out of the phone as I pushed the hang-up button.

Jerry Seinfeld was right. The first breakup never takes.

Scratch off "do it fast."

• • •

I went back to the magic Google ball and asked: "How to break up with a really nice older (I added that) guy (and then Google suggested and I said sure) without hurting him."

This advice floated to the top of the pile:

• Breaking up isn't nearly as complicated as you're making it. Sit him down, tell him that you care about him, but you don't think you have what it takes to make it in the long run; let him vent, and you leave.

How much easier can it be?

• Avoid getting physical for the last time, it's just pointless and can lead to confusion.

No duh.

• A final kiss and a warm hug can seem weird and bring back memories of old times, but it can help both of you understand the finality of the situation if you're both really ready to let go.

Gee, it feels as if one of us is dying.

• It's just like death. Saying goodbye to a dying person can actually make everything feel more peaceful on the inside. But at the same time, a sudden separation with no good-byes can traumatize you for months.

It IS like one of us is dying.

• And if you ever miss your ex, avoid calling him up or texting him. It won't help you, and it definitely won't help your partner with whom you've ended the relationship.

Pretend he's the one who died.

• • •

Wait! Come to think of it, all the men who've dumped me have done it pretty unceremoniously and, look, I've lived to write about it.

Maybe I should just ask a Ouija board what to say.

I'm pretty sure the planchette would simply drift down to the answer: "Good Bye."

No matter the age, breaking up is never easy 05/27/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 27, 2014 4:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. After offseason of work hard, play hard, DeSean Jackson ready to produce for Bucs


    TAMPA — There's no telling what DeSean Jackson will do once he gets a football in his hands. Perhaps that's why a camera crew followed his every move Wednesday while the Bucs' new $30 million receiver stood on a step of the hot tub that empties into a spacious, azure pool at his new, sprawling five-bedroom home in …

    DeSean Jackson jokes around with girlfriend Kayla Phillips at their Tampa home as a crew from HBO’s Hard Knocks documents their day.
  2. Trump announces $10 billion Foxconn plant in Wisconsin


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Wednesday that electronics giant Foxconn will build a $10 billion factory in Wisconsin that's expected to initially create 3,000 jobs, the largest economic development project in state history.

    President Donald Trump embraces Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in the East Room of the White House during an announcement Wednesday that Foxconn is going to build a plant in Wisconsin.
  3. Playoff chase heats up for Rays with critical series at Yankees up first (w/ video)

    The Heater


    It was important that Evan Longoria crushed a two-run homer in the sixth inning Wednesday and Steven Souza Jr. blasted a solo shot off the farthest catwalk an inning later.

    Adeiny Hechavarria (11) and Tim Beckham (1) celebrate the double play to end the top of the sixth inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  4. Conservatives come to Sessions' defense amid Trump attacks


    WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans and influential conservatives rallied around Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday as President Donald Trump kept up his public pelting of the nation's top law enforcement officer and left his future in doubt.

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions
  5. Jones: Alex Cobb proves again why he's Rays' stopper, no matter how long he's here (w/ video)

    The Heater


    If a team hopes to hang around the pennant race, it better have an ace. A stopper. A pitcher it can count on every fifth day to stop the bleeding, keep a winning streak going or flat-out win a game that a team flat-out needs to win.

    Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing the first inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]