Is There Any Good Way to Part Ways?


Everything ends badly, or else it would not end.

by Samantha “Sam”  Foster

In the single world, there is an additional certainty to death and taxes: breakups. Whether you’re not interested or they’re the ones sprinting in the other direction, you’re bound to face the parting of the ways. Though this is a certainty, is there ever a good way to end things with someone?

Two not–so–good breakups of recent memory happened to girlfriends of mine. One was turning the daunting age of 30, and, while I admit I love my 30s—as do many of us in this decade—when you’re about to turn 30 it feels like a big, looming hurdle to jump over. For a single woman, this is even more of an “AH!” milestone. You’ve got great aunts and mommas and friends of friends and dog walkers and everyone passing you in Wal-Mart reminding you “you’re not getting any younger” and that “you don’t have as much time as you used to.”

At any rate, my friend had been dating a fellow for a few months leading up to her big 3-0. Everything had been going well—so well she’d decided to ask him to her big party and finally introduce him to her friends. On her official birthday (a few days before the party but on her actual day of birth), he calls her and tells her, yes, things just aren’t working out.

I do have to give him props for being man enough to call, but couldn’t he have waited until the next day or called prior to her actual birthday to break the news (because you know he already knew he wanted out.) Was it really necessary to end it on her big day—her monumental rite of passage into the next box on a census form? Phooey.

My other friend had been dating a guy for a few months as well. He took off work a few weeks in early spring to catch the last snow of the season up north with his family. He invited my friend to come up, and she went—after spending over $1,000 on ski outfits, a ticket and a Brazilian wax (to me, the worst part of this whole thing.) He wines and dines her while she is there, rubs her feet after long days on the slopes, tells her sweet things, acts very “couple-y” in front of his family and then takes her to the airport at the trip’s end to kiss her goodbye, telling her they will get together when he returns the week after.

Upon landing at the airport, she gets a text from said ski slope, foot rubber saying that he didn’t think she was what he was looking for. A text! She spends over a grand, he acts all lovey-dovey, gives out some mixed signals and in return, she gets a text as soon as the wheels come down on the runway? GASP!

These are just two less-than-desirable breakups I’ve come across as of late, though there have been many others that have happened to me personally and to friends—female and male. The question we all have to ask ourselves is, “How are we to get out of something in the best way possible?” There’s really no easy answer. Whether you just don’t call a person again, ignore their texts, avoid running into them or actually man up and have a conversation at an appropriate time, there’s never a great way to say, “you’re not doing it for me.”

One of my most favorite lines from any movie comes from 1988’s Cocktail, starring Tom Cruise. Tom’s character, Brian Flanagan, had fallen into a relationship with an older woman, with whom he was done and over. As the two fought on a New York street, she yells, “I didn’t want this to end badly!” To which he replies, “Everything ends badly, otherwise it wouldn’t end.”

How true, young Flanagan. When all is said and done, a breakup is always bad—no matter how you end it.•

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