It’s not that relationships ever get easy, but they’re definitely a nightmare in your 20s. You’re naked in a dark maze with slimy walls, groping for the realization that maybe one day you’ll get married and have kids who you’ll feed and clothe and love.
Your 20s are a special time for learning to survive every phase of a relationship unscathed — from landing that cute boy from the 530PM spin class, to then letting him back out into the wild without getting bitten.
Variety is the spice of life, and so one of the first skills I mastered was conducting an amicable break-up. “Why must it be amicable?” You ask. Because if you want to date his friends, they have to all think highly of you. Stop asking questions.
Relationships can turn on a dime. I once dated this a$$hole who turned evil shortly after I broke the news to him of my Jessica Simpson obsession. People can be so petty and judgemental. I disgusted him unintentionally, but I learned a valuable lesson for all future break-ups.
Let me elaborate.
To conduct an amicable break-up, there are several phases.
PHASE I: Make sure you want to break-up. Is Valentine’s Day coming up, with a promise of a new Apple product or a mediocre box of chocolates? If the answer is sleek, white, and innovative, just hold out a few more weeks. Timing is everything. It’s a famous cliché.
PHASE II: Once the decision to break-up is conclusive, it’s time to plant some rotten seeds in the relationship soil. Pick three of your favorites from the list below:
*develop a nasty drinking habit
*stop shaving altogether
*order the most expensive filet on the menu. (And one for the road!)
*remove your relationship status from Facebook
*start acting shady (wear black lip-liner, look down a lot)
*cultivate a mucusy cough
*re-read all the Harry Potter books
*shop at Wet Seal
*join a cult
*commit to terrible potty-mouth (and I’m talking aroma and content)
Your choices may arouse suspicion in your significant other, as well as in your friends and family. Feel free to refer to blog post “How to handle conflict” and just blame it all on PMS.
PHASE III: Make your newly planted garden of toxic seedlings grow. This phase requires pushing away the significant other just as my former fling did me. Do it the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde way.
It’s time to wake up in the morning, smelly, unkempt, with halitosis — and fart under the covers. I’m just kidding, people die that way. When your loved one asks why you’ve changed, recite these words verbatim, preferably in a low growling voice: “I’m just your mirror.” This will both confuse and stir up an inner dialogue in your former lover’s brain, which will eventually lead him/her to leave you in pursuit of a path towards self-discovery and personal growth.
PHASE IV: Send former fling a very sweet message along the lines of “I will always be here for you, dear friend.” And voila, you have yourself an amicable break-up.
PHASE V: The cleanup phase is optional and relative to each individual. You may find that you want to keep some of the behaviors from Phase II. I personally still order two of the most expensive items on the menu at each meal. But to recover fully from an amicable break-up, it’s suggested you quickly uproot most of the seeds you planted in Phase II and re-pot and plant 3 seedlings from the list below:
*develop good posture
*use glass instead of plastic
*eat with your mouth closed, breathing in between swallows
*call your mother every day
*take a Hatha Yoga class
*shop at J Crew
*exfoliate your face
*host wine and cheese trivia nights
*exfoliate your feet
*bring reusable bags to the grocery store
*get into Scandal (something responsible and mature)
Good luck, and may the uprooting be swift and manure-less. I couldn’t think of something else to tie in with gardening. I kill plants.