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I'm (Breaking Up) With Stupid.

by Dear Jon
August 26, 2003

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Sort 231_Dear Jon-I'm (Breaking Up) With Stupid ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

Dear Jon,

I want to break up with my boyfriend, but I don't want to hurt his feelings. I don't like him anymore, and he wants more out of this relationship than I am ready to give him. Please help.

Signed, Confused


Dear Con,

You’re confused? I’m confused! If you don’t like him anymore, what do you care about his feelings? Trust me, he will be confused, too.

You think I am being glib, but I am not. I am being grumpy. Part of “not liking” a person is taking an indifferent view towards their emotional condition. At least, that is true when I don’t like a person.

I suppose it is possible to feel compassion for someone who otherwise means nothing to you. You do not want to hurt his feelings because, in general, you prefer human beings to be happy rather than sad. However, it is very difficult to end a relationship which depends on liking a person without hurting that person’s feelings. It does not matter what you say, because that person will realize that the reason you dumped him is that you stopped liking him.

So, there is nothing for it. His feelings are going to be hurt, but you still need to break up with him. If you are going to have compassion, do not show it. Women who show compassion to guys they are dumping only confuse the guy. It offers the clueless gent a glimmer of what he thinks is hope.

“Not wanting to hurt feelings” is the reason that, since the dawn of time, approximately 15 billion women have given “friends” speeches to guys they do not like anymore. Do not, do not, do not go crazy with compassion and promise the guy that you can still be friends. Friends like each other, because that is the point of being friends. If you don’t like him anymore and you give him a “friends” speech, you are telling him and yourself a lie.

Face it, men are just plain stupid. We do not take hints well. Our intuition quotient approaches zero. For example, this is not intuition but experience that leads me to suppose that the reasons you do not like your boyfriend anymore fall into one of these categories:

His inability to multi-task the way you can makes him incapable of paying attention to you and Tiger’s putt at the same time, which means you have felt both ignored and in second place to televised golf.

He thinks the date of June 9, 2003 is important because that was his last oil change, completely forgetting that this was the evening of your first kiss.

After your first kiss, he did not call you for three whole days and has yet to apologize for what he put you through.

You commented not less than four times at how cute you thought the teddy bear was at the fairgrounds, and he never ONCE tried to play the ring toss to win it for you because he said “those games are all rigged to take people’s money.”

He thinks his conquest of the Extra-Super-Biggie Combo impresses you to the point that he can look forward to your goodies for dessert.

He falls asleep after agreeing, finally, to watch what you want to watch: the U.S. Women’s Figure Skating Championships.

The reason he is like this is not that he is an insensitive, inconsiderate weasel. He is like this because he is a male. You cannot expect him to suddenly wise up and get on your wavelength just because you are breaking up with him. Instead, being a man, he is bound to seize upon compassion and “friends” speeches to show you new heights of stupid male reasoning.

Stupid Male Logic Number One: “If she feels sorry for me, she must still care and I have a hope.” Stupid Male Logic Number Two: “If she wants us to be friends, that means she still likes me and I have a hope.”

Because guys are stupid, breaking up with us is hard to do, but here are some guidelines:

Keep him in public, leave him in public. Break up at Starbuck’s. If he follows you toward home, give him two warnings and the third time call the police. Do not break up in his apartment or in his car or at his parent’s house.

When you meet, be direct. “This isn’t working between us. I’m sorry, but you have your life to live and I have mine. I intend to start living mine again today, and you are free to live yours, but your life will not involve me and my life will not involve you.”

Readers: I answered a similar question way back in the Fourth Sort, which is one of three sorts out of 231 that have earned me fan mail.

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