This isn’t going anywhere…

15 Feb

Perhaps you’ve been hooking up with the same girl for a while, say a couple of weeks, even a month. At about this point in time, you should probably make a decision about whether you wan this non-relationship to turn into a relationship. A month isn’t a time limit set in stone, but going longer than that sets up all sorts of expectations. At the very least, you should have a conversation at the one-month mark where you ask each other, what are we doing? Where do we want this to go? Anyway, back to the original line of thought. You two have been hooking up for a while, and maybe even had that conversation already about what both of you want. But now it looks like you’re on different pages and you want to break it off. You’re not officially in a relationship or anything, but you still want to end it. How exactly do you beak up with someone with whom you’re not in a relationship?

The first think about break ups (in real official relationships and otherwise) is that they are invariably awkward and stressful. Once you’ve resigned your fact that there really is no way to break up will be happy and friendly, you should do it as soon as you are sure. If you stress about it for a couple of days and don’t talk to her for a while when you usually are in contact, she’s going to start stressing and it will make the eventual conversation even more awkward. The second thing about break ups is that they should happen in person. Don’t be a coward and send her a text, hoping that you won’t see her again, because you will. On your walk down Hillhouse, on line at Atticus, in lecture, and on your next walk of shame (or stride of pride), you’ll run into her, and it will be an uncomfortable few moments for the both of you. So, man up and give her a call to say, “can I talk to you?” and skedaddle over to wherever she is (don’t be a complete idiot and make her come find you).

Next, you need to tell her what you want. In any sort of relationship, even a hook up relationship where you are not official, communication is of the upmost importance. Tell her exactly what you think (well, you might want to soften it a bit) and tell her that you think it’s time for you to stop hooking up. If you really do want to remain friends, tell her so. However, be wary of saying, “I still want us to be friends” if you don’t actually mean it. If you say that and then ignore her for the rest of your time at Yale, you just proved that you weren’t being honest. You might want to give an explanation – something more than “This just isn’t working.” Leaving her without an explanation can create all sorts of uncertainty and stress, so it’s best to be up front (also, if you do end up being friends, you don’t have to awkwardly revisit your break up ever). Use your judgment (which we hope tells you that if she’s in tears, it didn’t quite go the way you hoped) and moderate your behavior based on that. If she isn’t saying much, she probably wants to be alone and you should depart. Being nice, clear, straightforward – that’s the key. You don’t want to be branded as the guy who was an asshole when ‘breaking up,’ or whatever it is that we call it these days.

Communication, guys, it really works

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