Breaking it off

Ending relationships requires critically thought-out plan

Meghan Harris | Staff Writer

breakupPhoto art by Gabrielle Stichweh

It ends tonight.

Whether it’s disguised as just a “break” or ends with a blunt text message, the days before the deed is done are vital to a breakup, according to junior Jonathan Conzet.

“The decision to break up with someone does not and should not come quickly under any circumstances,” Conzet said. “Time tells. It has to be thought through as something more than just an ‘I’m bored’ or ‘I think I like someone else’ situation.”

While constant fighting may be balanced out by love, senior Addy Miklos said the happiness of both parties is a major factor while contemplating the breakup.

“I consider a lot of factors when I break up with someone, but I always ask myself a question before breaking up with someone: am I happy with this person?” Miklos said. “Regardless of how much I care about the significant other and their feelings, no relationship can work out unless both people are completely happy.”

According to Conzet, the decision to break up is considered weeks to months before the big day.

“I think that break ups are contemplated over a pretty good chunk of time, maybe somewhere in a time period of weeks to months,” Conzet said. “Whether people recognize it or not, they are typically thinking about a breakup for a good amount of time before the day or week that they ‘suddenly’ decide it needs to happen.”

Although there is no such thing as a painless breakup, senior Jack Howard said that there are a few ways to cushion the blow.

“There’s no perfect way to break up with someone,” Howard said. “No matter what happens, someone will almost always be hurt in some way, and that is unavoidable. But I believe there are ways to minimize the damage, such as always being respectful and never leading the person on.”

According to Miklos, simulating the potential breakup to minimize mistakes is a vital step in the breakup process.

“The first step is to be absolutely sure that breaking up is the best option,” Miklos said. “Then I practice the breakup by role playing with a friend. If I don’t, I might not be prepared and end up staying in the toxic relationship.”

While the days leading up to a breakup may not be perfectly planned out, Conzet said that relationships typically die out in the same fashion.

“Often times, the steps that are taken towards breakups aren’t necessarily intentional but they are typically uniform,” Conzet said. “Starting usually with a lowered amount of communication and a feeling of less enjoyment when time is spent. As time goes on, you and/or the other person will feel less obligated to be around each other or even not want to be around one another. And then it just comes down to one person deciding that things need to be changed and that the time has come.”

According to Howard, severing ties is less painful than drawing out a relationship headed for turmoil. “Leading someone on is about the worst thing you can do,” Howard said. “It’s lazy, it’s a copout, and it’s just plain disrespectful. Get some guts and tell the person as soon as you can. It will avoid a lot of hurt feelings and wasted time.”

According to Miklos the breakup technique should correlate to the way the relationship started.

“I have a pretty specific method of how I go through the process of breaking up with someone,” Miklos said. “If a boy asked me out over text, I would break up with him over text. If he asked me out in person, I would break up with him in person. I feel like that’s courteous.”

While it may seem easier to end it over text, Howard said if the person was worthy of a relationship, they’re worthy of an official breakup.

“Our generation seems to have this misguided belief that texting is the same as face-to-face contact, and it’s not, at all,” Howard said. “[If] this person was special enough and meant enough for you to consider being in a relationship with him or her, then they absolutely deserve an in-person breakup.” When planning where to put the plan into action, Miklos said it is important to have an escape route.

“I pick a place to meet that I can escape quickly after ‘the talk’,” Miklos said. “For instance, if I invite him over to my house, then he might guilt me into taking him back. That’s not a feasible option, especially when I’m at the end of my wire with this guy.”

According to Howard, the key to a civil break up is respect.

“Be the bigger person,” Howard said. “Put yourself in the other person’s shoes, and imagine how they would want things to end. Above all, respect is the way to go.”