Sunday, February 11, 2007

I’ve never been a huge fan of rules. I’m sort of stubborn, and I don’t like being told what to do ever. But rules are a necessary part of being a functional member of society. There are even designated places for people who choose not to follow those rules. We call that place prison. Although our everyday lives are tempered with regulations about what we can or can’t do in certain situations, there is a serious lack of any sort of guidance when it comes to relationships.

Instead of following the normal model of society, and having a set of expectations to abide by, we are allowed to go buck wild and do pretty much whatever the hell we want. Which means that no one, especially the people in these relationships, have any idea what on earth is going on. This eventually becomes a problem. Eventually, the relationship will go sour for one reason or another. It could be something complex, like the fear that the sex tape with you and the goat that you made while she was on vacation will hit the internet. Or something a little bit easier to explain, like that rash you got from that hooker in Tijuana. Regardless, I propose the following list of rules for breaking up, if only to make life a little bit easier for those of us who don’t have the slightest idea what the hell is going on.

Rule #1: You will not dump her within 2 weeks of any holiday that Hallmark makes a card for. Really, what’s worse than being dumped on Valentine’s Day? Being dumped on Thanksgiving or Christmas. It doesn’t matter what day you dump her, it will be seared into her brain as the day that you broke her heart and completely destroyed her life. I don’t care if you are the best man on earth. The day you dump her is the day you become the lowest form of life to her and anyone she’s ever had any sort of contact with. Try not to do this on her favorite holiday. Thanksgiving was my favorite holiday. A day of sloth and gluttony, it was a thing of beauty to me. Until I was dumped by the love of my life on Thanksgiving. What was once a glorious day of overeating and napping is now a day marred by my uncontrollable urges to hunt him down and punch him repeatedly in the face after drinking half a bottle of tequila.

Rule #2: You will not dump her at her place of residence. Why you would want to do this in the first place baffles me. She lives there. Which seems like a good idea, less of a commute for her and you can dump her and then leave. It seems like a good idea. But so did parachute pants. This is her home. She knows where all of the knives are, and at this point in time she would have very few reservations using them on you.

Rule #3: You will not dump her at your place of residence. She will probably cry, and you will probably want her to leave. And if you want to win an award for being a heartless bastard, dumping her and then telling her to “get out” would win you the gold. Plus, if she’s smart, she would make it a point to destroy anything near and dear to you. Nothing says “I think we need to see other people” like having to replace your TV because she threw your cell phone through it.

Rule #4: There will be an arranged meeting time in a neutral public setting so you can each return the other person’s rightful property. This should happen no later than one week after the breakup. After two weeks, you relinquish ownership of that property and your ex has the right to do with it as they see fit, including but not limited to: selling it on the internet, giving it to the person they cheated on you with or burning it. The property should be packed carefully and returned in the best condition possible. This is an important part that should prevent you from getting a garbage bag that contains the shattered remnants of your wardrobe and DVD collection. Nothing that was given as a gift shall be returned, as those are things that belong to you and a major part of the healing process involves destroying them or giving them to your next significant other.

Rule #5: Saying patronizing or condescending things to the person you are dumping is strictly prohibited. After telling someone that you didn’t really mean it when you said forever, you have no right to say things such as “You’ll be fine”, “You deserve someone better”, or my all time favorite “Time heals all wounds”. If you feel the need to say something comforting, you also deserve to know exactly how long time takes to heal a kick straight to your gonads.

Rule #6: If you aren’t capable of staying friends after things have ended, keep your trap shut. Friendships are relationships and take a great deal of time and effort to maintain. If you are going to try to remain friends and then at some point down the line (probably when she gets another girlfriend) freak out and bail, stating reasons such as “This isn’t healthy for you”, “You still have feelings for me” or “I have reasons and they are personal”, you’re a jerk. Being dumped is hard enough. Being dumped by your significant other and later on losing a friend is worse. Friendships after relationships aren’t easy but they are possible if both parties are capable of acting like adults. It tends not to work so well when one party cries like a little girl with a skinned knee when the other moves on.

Rule #7: You can still have sex as long as there’s an open and honest dialogue about it. Let’s face it, good sex is strikingly hard to come by. When you find it, keep it. This is a dangerous thing to do, and requires a great deal of willpower on both sides. Both sides need to acknowledge that the relationship is simply physical and there is no implied reconciliation. I strongly suggest having a lawyer draft up some sort of contract to ensure that both parties can agree to the conditions of this arrangement, otherwise things are bound to get messy.

Rule #8: Both parties will agree to destroy any copy of any sex tape they may have been stupid enough to make. After the Paris Hilton debacle, I have hard time trying to figure out why people still think it’s a brilliant idea to tape themselves doing the horizontal mambo, but they do. And these people inevitably break up, and a few months later find out that their sex tape is being shown on a website that also streams movies that have plots that involve foreign pool boys and rich slutty white women. If you don’t want the world to see you naked, don’t take pictures of it. Be sure to follow through with regards to this, so that someday your parents aren’t surfing the internet and come across your extracurricular activities in a stray pop up window. On the other hand, I could be totally wrong and destroying your chance at becoming a celebrity. It worked for Paris.

Rule #9: You will not spill dirty little secrets about your ex partner on your website, through your friends or any other medium. I’m going to be honest here, the chance of any female that has just been dumped listening to this rule are slim to none, so prepare for your humiliation. In a perfect world, both parties would be understanding to the fact that being in a relationship gives you a unique opportunity to see the other person in the way the rest of the world wouldn’t. However, this is not a perfect world, and hell hath no fury like a newly single woman. I suggest heavy drinking, because pretty soon everyone you’ve ever met will know that you get depressed when the baseball season ends, that you watch Sex in the City, and that you cry a lot, especially over your dog that died when you were 19.

Rule #10: You will not call the day after you rip her heart out and stomp on it to see how she’s feeling. It should be pretty self explanatory how she’s feeling. She’s feeling one of two ways. First scenario, she’s curled up in bed crying into your old t-shirt, trying to figure out what she did to make you not love her. The second scenario is the one in which she’s actually fine. She’s happy. Because she’s now sleeping with your best friend, everyone in your office, and your barber to get back at you for what you did to her.

Rule #11: Try not to trash talk. This is by far the hardest rule to enforce. Simply because it’s fun. There’s something therapeutic to revenge. There’s some sort of catharsis in turning your ex in for unpaid speeding tickets, having their car towed, or dragging their parents into things. After being dumped for not being pretty enough, nothing made me happier than dragging his parents into things. There was something almost cleansing about telling his father that we didn’t work out because he was exploring his sexuality and I just couldn’t be supportive of my boyfriend being with another man while he was dating me. It was one of my meaner moments and I’m almost positive that his mother still thinks he is attracted to men. (Not that there’s a thing wrong with being gay. He was from a Republican family and it was quite the hot button issue).

Breaking up a relationship is never an easy thing for either party. It’s not supposed to be. Saying goodbye to a promised piece of ass is something that is hard for anyone to deal with. Sometimes, rules make things easier for people to go about their daily lives. Unfortunately breakups are rarely easy, and aren’t particularly enjoyable for either party involved.

The big problem with rules is that they are made to be broken. There really should be a protocol that people follow when ending a relationship in order to make things easier for everyone involved. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t want this process to be a little less painful. Unless you happen to be my boyfriend. In which case all bets are off, and you can kiss that sweet little DVD collection you left in my apartment goodbye, after I tell your gay roommate that I think you have a little “thing” for him.


Zorak said...

I guess you wouldn't endorse my breaking up method of simply not returning phone calls and complete avoidence until she finally gets the message.

Corey said...

Good rules!
#7 is a very tricky one that most people screw up, but as long as everyone is straight-forward about what it is (and honest), it can be done. Honestly, it just makes sense a lot of times. It usually gets screwed up when one of the members wants to go back into that old relationship, though.

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