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It's just not working out....

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You are nervous. You have just said '[Insert girl name here], I need to talk to you about something.' Good job! Excellent use of the 'talk' word. You are such a stud. Now what the fuck do you do?

Answer: You say - "I feel like it's not working out between us and I don't think we should see each other any more."

Pretty fucking simple.

Now the fireworks start. Since you want to put off the fireworks, we'll give you a break. You may feel the need for a choking, dry-mouth pause between 'I need to talk to you about something' and 'It's not working out.' Particularly if you caught her full attention with your introductory dumping sentence and it is now fixated warily and vaguely threateningly on You. If so, you may insert a Buffer Phrase between Announcement of Intention to Implement an Alarming Change and Revelation As To The Exact Nature of That Alarming Change. You may use Buffer Phrases such as 'you probably already know what I'm going to say...' or 'This is really hard...' or 'you look really nice tonight...' or 'does this taste like a diet coke to you? I ordered diet but it tastes regular.' or whatever else your fevered overtaxed brain can come up with to put things off. 'I wanted to wait until your parents left town....'

The Buffer Phrase allows the girl a few extra minutes to prepare, to internally decide that she never fucking liked you and doesn't care what you're going to say, to prime the eyeballs for tears or whatever other preparatory steps she might like to take. And my aren't you courteous to give her those few extra moments to search for a weapon with which to combat your Alarming Changes. Yes, you are.

Keep your Buffer Phrases neutral! Don't get overexcited and use inflammatory phrases like 'You probably won't care what I'm going to say since you're a cheating whore anyway....' or 'Now don't get all fucking excited or anything....' or 'I know you're not going to like this, but....' or anything else that intrudes on the other person's territory. Don't fucking tell the other person how they're going to react. Keep your editorial comments to a polite minimum! As in 'that cheeseburger looks good' not as in 'you're a totally supergreat person and everything but....' Can it! Keep a lid on your feelings! You're a man! Live up to the pernicious throttling stereotype that you don't have any feelings and can't express them anyway; this little stereotype is your handy dumping situation structuring friend right now.

Take a deep breath. Calm down. Say 'I feel like this is not working out between us and I don't think we should see each other any more.' Very good!

Now it's time for her to react. She might not do this for a bit. She may blink and absorb. Or she may react instanteously. Either way, you need to be prepared.

If she doesn't react - keep your mouth shut! The less you have to say while you are dumping someone, the better. Do not attempt to fill up the silence with explanations! Keep yourself quiet by breathing. A moderate sigh is perfectly appropriate. A run-on sentence such as...'See I was just thinking we've been fighting a lot and having all these problems and you know, you've got a really bad temper and everything....' is not. Remember this. Be quiet! Shut the fuck up! Tape this Be Quiet advice to the inside of your head and rehearse it at least 50 times before you enter the break-up situation. Like this. You, inside your head: 'Okay, remember to be quiet. Keep calm. And be quiet. Just keep calm and be quiet. Quiet and calm, that's the ticket. Real quiet. No need to say a lot, ho no, that's a recipe for disaster. I'll just keep pretty quiet...' And so on. Breathe while rehearsing. Again--You, thinking: 'Not a lot of explanation needed, just it isn't working out and I don't think we should see each other any more....' And so on.

Now you are ready for her to actually react. Which she will. No telling how. She may say 'Yeah...you're right. I had a feeling it wasn't working out. Okay. Let's not see each other any more.'

This is terrible when this happens! You put all this effort into preparing and building it up in your mind and what do they do? Roll over and fucking play dead. No wonder you fucking wanted to dump her, she's a lump. Talk about your fucking lack of passion. Didn't she care about you at all? Didn't she even have any fucking feelings for you to hurt?! And what the fuck does she mean 'okay, let's not see each other any more.' What does that mean? That you weren't any good in bed? Oh yeah, well for her information, she wasn't anything to write home about either! What kind of a fucking blow-off is 'okay, yeah, right, it's not working out...'? Bitch! You hate it when you dump someone and they don't even fucking care!

On the other hand, you're very relieved. So bring this deflating dumping experience to a quick end by not expressing any true feelings whatsoever. Murmur polite I'm Never Going to See You Again phrases like 'you're a really nice person and I enjoyed going out with you' or whatever, little polite you're great phrases and then get the fuck out of there. Allot approximately five minutes for polite closure phrases. Then wrap things up, go home and sulk. Sulk furiously for at least half an hour. Come up with a detailed list of their flaws and why you're so fucking glad you dumped them. If necessary, repeat once a day for a few days. Then dance around joyously in complete fucking freedom! You dumped them! You win! You're so great! You don't have a girlfriend! You're so bored and lonely. You'll never get laid again. You need another one. Now you'll have to go find one. Life sucks. And so on. Congratulations on a successful dumping experience. You rock!

Of course, it could go much differently....

The most common reaction a dumpee will have is The Search for Reasons. This could be the calm and intimate Search for Reasons between two people who have been with each other for 10 years. It could be the hysterical Search for Reasons by someone who is furiously angry with you. It could be the tearful Search for Reasons by someone who is surprised and devastated. But the instinct to Search for Reasons is pretty hard for most people to ignore. The Search for Reasons will frequently show up in the 'Why? But why do you want to break up?' question. So be prepared for it.

In fact, against all my previous advice, you have been preparing for it already. You have wasted anywhere from an hour or two to several agonizing months Searching for Reasons you can use during the dumping situation. You have been trying to answer for yourself the 'Why?' question. That's why you went to a search engine and typed in 'How The Fuck Do I Dump My Girlfriend?'. Because you have naturally and competely normally devoted so much thought to Reasons that you have freaked yourself out. The truth is, when you are actually dumping someone you don't need a why.

You may need it before you dump them because your own personal internal Search for Reasons is an important part of the pre-breakup process. You need it, your mind needs it, to make sense of the decisions you make in your life. But it's completely irrelevant to actually dumping someone. In reality, there are 3 reasons why you are dumping this person. They are:

1) She's not the One.
2) It's not the right time.
3) You are all fucked up.

That's it. All your most difficult breakups, the most heart-wrenching, agonizing, kids are involved, I am afraid this woman will kill me, I wish it could work out, I don't know how I feel, and so on breakups all come down to those 3 reasons. The hard part is often the extensive 'How I am Determining This Person Is Not the One' analysis phase. This can take a long time. Even when it is perfectly fucking obvious to everyone who knows you and quite a few people who don't that of course this chick is not the One. But we are not here to discuss the analysis phase right now. You've hopefully completed it. Actually, you probably haven't but you've got to take action anyway because sometimes that analysis will never complete itself on its own.

The It's Not The Right Time reason also comes into play - yeah sure maybe things could be different if they were different but they're not. So it's not the right time. Maybe it could have been the right time some other time but that other time isn't happening now so it's not the right time.

And thirdly, you are all fucked up. This is just a natural part of the dumping situation. Maybe you are all fucked up because this person has cheated on you twice. Maybe you are all fucked up because she has thick calves and that fucking bugs you. Maybe you are all fucked up because you always have been and always will be. Maybe you are all fucked up because she's unhappy and you are tired of it and it is making you unhappy too. Maybe you are all fucked up because she's Catholic and you're Jewish and you didn't think that mattered but now it does and you're all fucked up about it. Something is fucking you up or you wouldn't be dumping her.

People stick with Other People who are not the One and when things aren't right all the fucking time. Sometimes for decades. It's only when they decide to get all fucked up about it that they do something like get the hell out. You have gotten all fucked up and so you are getting out.

These are the only reasons for dumping someone that count and none of them are of any interest whatsoever to the person you are dumping.

This little insight is important. You are going to be incredibly tempted to explain to them a) why they are not the One; b) why it's not the right time; and c) that you are all fucked up. None of these explanations is helpful to the dumpee. So skip them.

When the dumpee asks 'Why?' say 'I just feel like it's not working out.' When they say 'But why?' say 'You know it's hard to really explain completely but basically I just feel like things aren't working out....'

At this point, they will be extremely motivated to float Tester Reasons. "Is it because my parents criticized you for not having a job? Because you know they're like that, but they don't really mean anything..." "Have you found someone else?" "Because we're fighting all the time?" "Is it because you think we never have sex anymore? Because I tried to explain that this anti-depressant medication...." And so on.

Politely and neutrally acknowledge their Tester Reasons without giving an affirmative answer or outright denial if possible. "Well, yeah, your parents don't like me that's true but it's more....you know...I just feel like things aren't really right and just overall it's not working out in a good way...." "Yeah, I have met someone, but mostly it's that I just feel that between us things weren't really working out you know..." or "I'm not seeing anyone else, no, but you know, I feel like you know, since you and I aren't really...you know it's not working out exactly and it's time we stop seeing each other and see other people..." Etc.

This is going to drive the Other Person crazy. Because what they want and what you must not give them is a clear and definite Why You Don't Think I'm the One Reason that they can argue with and prove wrong. They know you think they're not the One and they want to know exactly fucking why and furthermore they want to prove that you are completely fucking wrong about it and you goddamn well better bet they sure as fuck are the One. Because they think not being the One is a flaw that is not only taking this relationship away from them but is going to doom all future ones they might embark on. This is a threatening idea and they really don't like it. It hurts.

This is why you are not going label them with a You Are Not the One Reason. Even if you have figured out your Reasons for yourself. Don't fucking give them reasons why you are dumping them! It leads nowhere. For their own personal sanity and health they need to come up with a suitable Why He Didn't Think I Was the One Reason that will not doom their future relationships. That's their job, not yours. You don't know what reason will serve them best in this endeavor. It might be the He Didn't Think I Was the One Because He is A Complete Asshole Reason. It might be the We Were Just Not Compatible reason. It might be the He Had Serious Issues Reason. It might be the I Need Someone More Intellectual Reason. It might be the Men Are Pigs Reason. It might be the Long Distance Relationships Are Too Hard to Sustain Reason. It might be the He Was Too Close to His Family reason. It might be the He Really Loved Me But Was Too Immature to Realize It Reason.

They are going to have to figure it out for themselves on their own time. Your attempts at giving them reasons might seem only fair but they are just going to hurt them. So skip it. Your Reason is That You Just Don't Feel Like It Is Working Out. That's it. That's it because no one can argue with it. It doesn't blame them, it doesn't blame you. And it can't be proven wrong. There is no fucking way to prove that you actually do feel like it's working out but you are just lying so you can break up with them. They can try, but every attempt to win the argument is doomed to failure - there is just no fucking way to prove that you feel like it is working out. This is an Ironclad Out - it is Your Get Out of This Relationship Free card.

Blame them and they can fight back. Blame yourself and they can argue you with till the cows come home. Blame nothing and they are stymied.

Since they are stymied, it is important not to leave them hanging without any Reasons to clutch onto whatsoever. That's why you acknowledge all their Tester Reasons. Maybe they really do have a problem wherein they fly into a jealous rage at the slightest provocation and maybe that really is hard to deal with and maybe it really is a major You Are Not the One and I Can't Fucking Take It Anymore Reason. But it's not going to do you any good so far as dumping them to explain this to them. So don't. But if they say 'You know I'm sorry I got so mad about that girl where you work, but I just didn't understand why she had to stand next to you the whole time and everything and I swear to God, I promise I won't get jealous anymore.....' then you say....'Yeah. Well that's good and everything because you know it was hard how it seemed like you felt jealous over so many things but mostly it's more that....between you and me, I just don't feel like it was working out."

If they tell you they love you, acknowledge it, and if it's absolutely fucking necessary to say something else, say some variation on the Not Working Out phrase. If they promise to change, acknowledge it and repeat your magic phrase. If they get screaming mad, acknowledge and repeat your phrase. If they cry, say I'm sorry, and shut up until the time comes when they want you to say something and then repeat your phrase. Think of about at least 12 variations on the Not Working Out phrase before entering a volatile dumping situation.
    • "I really like you. It's just not working out."
    • "I wish it could work out but I feel like really it just isn't going anywhere and it's not really...."
    • "Maybe if I was in a different time in my life it could have worked out better, but right now I just don't think this is right."
    • "I'm not blaming you for anything, it's just that...it's not right for me."
    • "Honestly, Eliza, I don't know. I can't explain it completely. I just feel like you and I are not...on the same wavelength and it's just not really...."
    • "Maybe I do have certain issues with my ex-girlfriend, maybe that's true. But the bottom line is this is just something I can't....I don't feel like it is working out."
    • "Yes, you are right, the times you spent in rehab and the various mental institutions were difficult. But more than that, between you and I...there just isn't...I don't feel like it is working out."
    • "Blah, blah, blah, it's not working out."
    • "Yada, yada, yada, it's just not right."
    • "etc, etc., etc. and I just feel like we need to stop seeing each other."

     

    Note several things about this polite and neutral disentangling yourself strategy.

    1) You don't get to say all those negative things that are your real reasons for dumping them that you have carefully built up in your mind, all the issues, all the things they did wrong, all the accusations you have, all the doubts, all the regrets and so on. You don't get to hash things out, you don't get really get closure whatever the hell that is, you don't get jack. You just get out. You are cutting the cord. This is why we had you say them to yourself before you dumped them. If you have friends and acquaintances, you can say some of them afterwards to them if you think it's safe. 'Oh man, she was such a bitch. I got so fucking tired of her dogging me all the time.' Or whatever. You can also sometimes say some of them to the actual dumpee once the dumping process has been successfully completed. Once you are truly broken up, you and the other person can get together, if it's been a close relationship and do some post-mortem. You can laugh or hash out or indulge in a little bittersweet regret or what the fuck ever. Afterwards. If it's an important relationship and they're amenable you can figure out what the hell went wrong. Once the cord is cut. Not while you are cutting it. If you start thrashing around with reasons while you are performing girlfriend-removal surgery, the knife is going to fucking slip and blood is going to go spurting everywhere. There is nothing like trying to perform surgery while you are busy hacking yourself with your own scalpel, and the other person just so happened to fucking bring theirs along too and is now trying to gouge your eyes out with it. If you don't believe me - go ahead, indulge in a reasons-laden fest of explanations, accusations, regrets, and historical fucking analysis. I dare you. In fact, the truth is, you really ought to do this at least once in your life so you will completely understand why you never need to do it again. By the way, try to arrange for this exercise in dramatic and painful romantic soul-searching before your first divorce. Believe me, it will save you a ton in alimony costs down the road. Just a handy bonus financial tip from an expert.

    2) The polite and neutral disentangling yourself strategy will make you sound lame. It will also make you sound like more of a feeling person than you may really be. And due to the lack of blame and accusations, it may also make you seem like a nicer, more gentlemanly person than you really are. Deal with it! This happens. Occasionally you may stumble onto rules for social interaction that make you look like you're more together than you really are. This is just a hazard of growing up. Don't worry, nobody who really knows you is going to start thinking you're nice and gentlemanly or a feeling person or any lamer than you usually are. The fact that you are handling the break-up in a smooth, almost professional manner, may also make it seem like you are a colder person than you really are, or more practiced at this sort of thing. A serial dumper. A cold-hearted fake. If people start looking at you warily for this reason, you can always correct it by some well-timed emotional angst for public consumption. Let's say you dumped your actual girlfriend partly because you had your eye on her much much better friend. If this attractive friend appears wary that you don't seem more broken-up or that the dumping scene went so smoothly on your side, then simply announce at an opportune moment in front of your prey 'God, I'm so devastated! Breaking up with Alicia is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life! I'm so torn up about it!' Etc. Say this sincerely, or loudly, or unconvincingly, as befits your style. The point being you can always counteract the impression that you are a hip cool dumping machine by later pretending that you were just holding your feelings inside! Yet another bonus tip from an expert.

    3) Note also that your actual dumping phrases are softer than your announcing phrases. 'Feel', 'we', 'just', 'think', etc. Not 'gonna', 'have to', 'must', 'bitch', and so on. Once you've done your initial announcing you can back off. As long as you are persistent that nothing can change your mind and convince you that you do feel like it is working out, you can say 'i think we need to see other people,' all you want. Because it will soon become clear that they can't convince you otherwise. You can float buffer words like 'kinda', 'sorry', 'nice', 'almost', etc. all around the conversation once the steel spine of I'm Going To Leave You is firmly in place. Just because you are carrying the big stick of dumping doesn't mean you can't wrap it up in fluffy cotton before you bash them over the head with it. As a bonus, a padded weapon leaves fewer scars, making it much harder for the authorities to detect that you were the attacker. Remember this! No need to get over-excited about being subtle, but subtlety and reasonableness are your friends when she starts making a public scene and many people are glaring at you. Practice looking calm and reasonable in the mirror just in case you need it when the cops are called.

    Next, the answer to the question you really want to know....what to do when she cries.

     

Now! As a special bonus prettyfedup.com is proud to offer the companion FAQ to the very popular Dumping Series: Should I, in fact, dump my girlfriend at all?

Dumping Table of Contents:

Option #1:Dumping by Avoidance

Disadvantages of Option #1:Horrible Alien Freak Cycle

Option #2: Dumping by Talking

Using the Talk Word to Dump Your Girlfriend

Exactly What To Say

What to Do When She Cries

Selecting the Proper Breakup Location

More FAQs For No Apparent Reason:

Why Am I So Socially Inhibited and Why the Fuck Aren't Other People?

Is there hope for boring guys like me?

Why do asshole guys get all the chicks?

Why does time go so slowly when you're bored?

How can I tell how fucked up I am?

What's War Got To Do With It?

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