The Break up note

My 100th post… and well.. I think we need to talk.

We’ve all done it. And we’ve all been on the receiving end of it. The break up note.

Now I’m sure that, yes, there are some of you out there who are shaking your heads since you always have done the right thing and broken up in person.. I can only assume that a) you haven’t dated in 10 years or b) you are the illusive ‘good person’ we all aspire to be. If you’re a ‘b’, sit back and learn how the rest of us do it (and if you’re single, please give me a call).

Break up notes come in a variety of flavors and textures. From the post it note (yes, it happens), to the email (the preferred method these days), to the text message (progress sucks sometimes), the options are fast, immediate and render the days of a letter or a card, a call or even a face to face discussion obsolete. Which you might think horrific, I call ‘efficient’ and to honest, has anyone ever enjoyed being told in person, that you make him shudder. The last person I told in person was my husband, and after that conversation, I never need to see the impact of my words. Its a lot easier to hit send and not think about the heartbreak you’ve just inflicted. Something I have to remind myself of when I’m on the receiving end of a break up note. At least one of us is having an easy time with it.

A girlfriend called me this weekend and asked ‘hey writer chick, do you have good break up note I can use?’ which got me thinking. So here, for your future usage.. some break up notes I’ve received and/or used.

The Grandiose
Full of import and seriousness, the Grandiose break up note mirrors the deep and profound nature of your love (that not longer is). It reflects the earth shattering, never once seen before, impact of your relationship and the heart rending difficulty with which the sender has arrived at his/ or her decision.
Yes, its still a break up note but it reflects effort, not a small degree of egotism and hey, you’re trying to let this person know that despite the fact that his nose hair makes you want to vomit, you did have something going on once.  Think ball gowns, Jane Austen, Wordsworth, flowery prose and way too much length. I received one of these which began;

‘The time has come for this stage of our relationship to end’

I mean, come on. Gentle, suggestive of  ‘a next stage’ (where he sleeps with your sister perhaps), and available for endless hours of interpretation. A gentleman’s break up note (or an egotistic, self absorbed prig.. you choose). Must be handwritten with looping curves on thick stock personalized stationary, potentially stained by tears and smelling faintly of deep despair.

The Facts
On the other end of the spectrum we have the facts break up note. We’ve all received this one.

‘I can’t do this any more’
‘We’re done’
‘Its over’
‘You smell’
‘I don’t like your dog’

(guess which one was mine?)

The Facts note is preferable if the relationship was short, perfunctory or if he has trouble with words of more than one syllable. Its virtue is the readers inability to avoid the message. No doubt on the outcome of this one. No interpretation needed unless he or she really is retarded. In which case you probably shouldn’t have been dating in the first place. I received and delivered this one via text, email and (cringe), verbally on a 12 hour drive. Note to self – don’t deliver this when you have 11 hrs and 55 minutes of a drive left. It makes for the awkward silence from hell.

The Explanation
Preferred by women the world over, the explanation break up note aims to end the relationship while providing some coaching to the recipient. Women.. we’re givers.Typically starting with a positive note;

‘You’re such a lovely guy..’
‘I’ve had so much fun with you…
‘The last 2 months have been really great..’

You can almost hear the heavy ‘..but‘ before you even get to the next sentence. Hey, we know that bad news is always more bearable with a little positive stroking beforehand. The explanation note typically points to our own failings as much as his;

‘ I’m just too wrapped up in work’
‘ I don’t know whats wrong with me’
‘ I’m not in a good place right now’

but then is quickly followed by our coaching points;

‘You’re too nice’
‘I need to be with someone less needy’
‘You seem to be going through a lot right now’
‘I think you need to focus on you’

The Explanation break up note stems from a desire to help this person out – ‘you’re not for me, but you’re good for someone’ and tries to adhere to the campsite rule ‘ leave it better than you found it’. If he just didn’t text you every 5 minutes, if he paid for dinner once in a while, if he didn’t spend his entire income on bike parts… if if if… We’re hoping that with a few well chosen hints, he might get it and take action. If changing someone was that easy, well we’d all be in harmonious and fulfilling relationships wouldn’t we?

The Punch Up
The note usually reserved for the cheating spouse, the vile boyfriend or as a result of too many cocktails after being stood up, the Punch up note aims to maim. This is about hurting someone as you walk out the door and there’s no room for interpretation.
‘I hate you’
‘You’re a loathsome prick’
‘Die M-fer’

Verbal abuse is typically interspersed with a comprehensive listing of every slight, hurt, insult and flaw associated with the individual and the relationship.  This is the Explanation break up with boxing gloves;

‘If you could get it up….’
‘And I hate your stupid friends ‘
‘Oral is not an okay birthday present’

Interestingly the Punch up note rarely includes the words ‘we’re not dating anymore’ so should the recipient be of the optimistic (or sadistic) variety you might find yourself with a hot and horny man on your doorstep. You might want to include the words ‘done’ ‘over’ or ‘small penis’ in the note. That should get the message across.

So there you have it. The flavors of break up note. Choose wisely and avoid the post it note.
Its really hard to get a good insult across on a 3 inch square.

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