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Or you could blame your partner: “You never loved me enough,” “You cared more about your work than you did me,” “You’ve never really gotten over your first love,” “You’ve put on weight, lost hair, gotten moody. The why may be lost in the mists of time or be a proper subject for therapy, but when you’re going your separate ways, getting stuck in the past feels incredibly painful.

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When you’re reduced to asking why, you’re both sunk, and there are no comforting reasons to be had. You’ve gone through the first hard part, the misery has ended, but another kind of misery is about to begin: the unhappiness of doubt, the “did I do the right thing” second-guessing.

I've felt apprehensive about writing on this topic and have thus avoided it for a while.

If you discover that there is nothing the other person can give (or anything you’re willing to relinquish), then that should tell you something.

Similarly, if you’re in a relationship that used to work but has now turned rancid because one of you has moved or changed or cheated, you can’t go back. Breaking up is as important a skill as any other part of dating. The world’s too small a place, and you’re too big a person, so don’t even think about it. .” and no, it isn’t okay to say, “I feel you’re a rat.” This approach is okay only if you follow up with something about yourself, like, “I feel neglected when you work weekend after weekend.” (Of course, if you had been able to say this when you were feeling it, the relationship might not be beyond redemption at this point.) If you’re specific now, at least both of you can look at the data as dispassionately as possible rather than feeling that either of you failed.

But see the thing is, I didn't want to write about how to break up with someone, because I didn't want to seem like an asshole. similar to how I never want to break up with someone because I don't want to seem like an asshole.

Breaking someone's heart (or wounding it, if you're in a more casual relationship) really effing sucks.We always focus on how to heal a broken heart after being dumped, but we never acknowledge how crappy it is to be the heartbreaker.This is why I chose to do my masters research in the area. In the form of more serious, long term relationships, we avoid "the talk." We silently remove ourselves from the relationship emotionally.Can you IM him or her that it's over, or do you have to do it in person?Is it really possible to be friends with your ex after a breakup?If you choose to be direct, be honest without going overboard.

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  1. Question from Lois: What about trips that are only for singles?

  2. But accommodate ought to suggest things that “properly fit together,” as John Kelly noted on the Mashed Radish etymology blog.

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