dating / Gender / Infidelity / Long Term Relationships / Marriage / media

#TBT: Approaches to Breaking Up

Hey, kids. Time for Throw Back Thursday, where we review a piece from back in the day. This originally ran in January of 2012. 

Pragmatically, if you enter into a relationship, there are two possible outcomes: you either stay together or you break up. This fact, coupled with anxiety about the reality of either option, is why many people aren’t fans of getting into relationships.  But most of us still do and very nearly all of us survive the breakups… sometimes with the help of great friends like Ben, Jerry, and Jack Daniels.

You can find a million videos telling you advice on how to break up with someone, how to get over being dumped and all that. Those people may have helpful information but they might be blithering morons. And when your heart is straining to not bleed out all over the desk, after having been torn out by that fucking asshole, it’s harder to sort through the data.

Here are a few different approaches to the process of breaking up.

Here is a creative look at getting vengeance, composed entirely of stop motion animation. The short film took nearly a year to complete.

This is a random R&B break up song. I’m not posting it because it’s particularly excellent in a musical way, but simply because it perfectly demonstrates one of the conventions of its genre: the simultaneous demonstration of being deeply hurt and being totally over it already. Often the singer will list the wrongs committed by the soon-to-be ex as rationalization for the breakup, apparently making their case. This will be immediately followed by some kind of notification that the soon-to-be ex has already been replaced. Think of Beyonce’s Irreplaceable: “I can have another you in a minute. Matter fact, he’ll be here in a minute.” This inclusion seems to be a vanity-protecting move, in my opinion. Although plenty of people do keep side jobs as insurance for this very reason.

Switching to a funnier outlook, this video sells a service where a team of dudes break into your place and do the dirty work of breaking it off for you. The premise is repeated throughout comedy movies and TV. Although I haven’t personally heard of a whole lot of breakups that happen via third party, there are plenty of folks who can’t be bothered to do more than text or IM their intentions.

This video is also interesting because of they way they approach gender. It assumes that men want to break up, they have all sorts of good reasons, that we can assume without being told. Women, on the other hand, are probably pretty happy as long as they’re not getting their asses beat.

And now the horrifying practice of the post-break up meet up wherein you you debrief on the situation and get all your respective ducks in a row. For the dumper, this is the final paperwork. For the dumpee, this might seem like an opening to rekindle the relationship. Hence, why this conversation is both good and terrible. To ease the pain of thinking about it, here is a hilarious and adorable video.

And finally, I found this one ramdomly making its rounds on the interwebs. Evidently a fair number of people agreed with its points. While you’re free to listen to this guy as he explains how to avoid being reminded of your ex and not getting into another relationship right away, he misses a pretty critical point about giving yourself a legit mourning period in which you should get your shit together. Sometimes the ashes of a burnt up relationship are the EXACT soil needed to plant the seeds for a life that makes you even happier than before.

Questions? Comments? Violent reactions? Email or tweet @timaree_leigh See more at and

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