Let’s face it: breaking up is not pleasant. We’ve all been through it and lean on our girlfriends to get us through it. We drink endless cups of coffee or martinis rehashing what we did wrong if we were on the receiving end, or how he didn’t measure up to our expectations if we decide to clip the couple cord. Either way, it turns our world upside-down and recovery takes time. I’ve been told that it takes one month for every year to get over a break up. So, my last relationship lasted for seven years and ended in a cowardly text message from him, but it took me only seven days to get over it and move on, debunking that hypothesis. Some also say the best way to get over someone is to get under another, which I did and let me tell you, it was the best option and is still going strong a year later.
But what about men? How do they approach, execute and feel after they break up with someone? And, if they’re on the receiving end, do they commiserate with friends in order to move on? I posed these questions to a few close male friends and the answers were not only unexpected, but definitely gave me a well-rounded perspective. The bottom line is that—except for a few respondents—they appear to be just as human as we are.
“I would not do it in a public place, but private and face-to face. If she’s a nut case, don’t do it among other people and if he’s the nut case, then she should do it in a public place. Ending a relationship can hurt the man more than the woman, especially when she is intentionally doing wrong in a relationship because she is too irresponsible in order to make the first move at ending it. Do we discuss it with our friends? Not really, despite how much we want to, because it often comes across as us having poor options; it’s the equivalent of admitting you crapped your pants in public.” Music Executive, 39, New York City
"I just stop calling or showing up to dates. Sooner or later, she'll get the message. I know I'll look like the bad guy, but at least it's easier and I don't have to come up with a bunch of explanations. And, who knows, what doesn't work now, might down the road. It's always good to leave the door open." Bartender, 27, Los Angeles
“Once I fell in love for the first time, everything changed. That intense pain of loss makes you consider your actions and those of others. As time goes on, you begin to have a conscience about getting hurt and doing the same to others. When I got engaged, I was in a 100% for the first time but it wasn’t the same for my fiancé. I was cognizant of what I was doing and the consequence of my actions, however my fiancé had no such conviction; no matter what I said or did, it didn’t matter to her. It was like trying to fill a bucket with holes in it. This went off and on for several years and it took a long time for me to permanently divorce myself from the situation completely. So, in the battle of love, each person has a unique way of handling the collateral damage of a relationship. It comes down to maturity, recognizing what you truly want and being able to stand your ground on your principles. I’m not an expert, just a surviving participant.” Actor, 45, New Orleans
“I hate hurting feelings and I hate tears, so when I want to break up I usually just do something that will result in her dumping me. When I have been left with no choice but to be the breaker-upper, it's never easy and never works on the first try. It's like tipping over a vending machine...you have to rock it back and forth a few times before it finally crashes down.” Business Owner, 38, Metairie
“I’ve been in various situations and there is no such thing as a best or worst break-up. I stopped seeing a woman that I truly loved after seven years because of distance and I know there’s no going back. Another one was private, but not civil. She thought she could do anything she wanted because she owned our home. The man should be the man and the woman be a woman. I’m not saying this in a chauvinistic manner; I just don’t want to be emasculated. The process in my head starts with what is it about this person that makes me feel it’s not going to go any further. It’s not about your family or about your job. It’s the person who decides to take you for granted and restrict things like sex and affection, which everyone wants and when one stops, the other is going to lose interest. The deal breaker for me is lack of communication and compassion and if those are gone, it’s time to go." Retail Manager, 40, New Orleans
“There is no easy way to have this conversation and it only gets harder depending on how long your history is. So I believe in “no muss, no fuss” because I don’t want to deal with the drama. If my current relationship is not working out according to my terms and expectations, I simply find another woman who will do what I want and email my soon-to-be-ex. That way I don’t have to deal with anything; I just hit send and it’s done.” VP, Internet Company, 34, Chicago