How To End a Romantic Relationship


This week’s question comes from Ingrid DuCommon, a spot welder from Quakertown, PA.  Ingrid asks, “What’s the easiest way to break up with a boyfriend?”

Thanks for writing in, Ingrid.  Having been a boyfriend many times in my youth and being the one who was broken up with in all of them, I am widely considered to be the eminent expert on this subject.   If you will permit me to blow my own horn for a moment,  becoming an expert on most subjects requires little more than a modicum of research and memorization, whereas becoming an expert on why women have broken up with me over and over and over again requires one to abstain from learning anything — which in my book, is much harder, particularly when you consider the pervasiveness of the Internet, loud talkers and that almost every restaurant in America has an average of 16 television sets, some even bolted above urinal stalls.

Pertinent story, there.  My friend Gerry told me he got hooked on Downton Abbey after watching an entire episode while visiting the restroom of a swanky Manhattan nightclub.  When he finally came out and in a state of great excitement, told his girlfriend, Jill,  that like her, he was now hooked on Downton Abbey, she broke up with him on the spot and never even told him why.   Gerry was devastated.  To this day, he doesn’t know what happened but thinks it might have had something to do with a remark he once made in Jill’s presence about her mother’s hobby of sewing queen sized quilts bearing various likenesses of the actor Ned Beatty.

And now to your question.  Let me first recall some of the explanations I received as to why I wasn’t a good,  long term prospect and from there, identify the easiest way to extricate yourself from a relationship, assuming of course, that by easiest, you are referring to yourself and not the other poor slob who in all likelihood still believes he’s skating on thick ice across Lake Romance.   Note to self:  Try selling “Lake Romance” title to Nicholas Sparks for at least $35. That guy’s got to be loaded.

My first girlfriend was Jenny Y.  We were both in Mrs. Wilverding’s kindergarten class. Broke up with me after just six minutes because I wasn’t considerate enough to offer her any of the paste I was eating.

Fourth grade.  Mary Ellen S.  We had been dating for almost nine weeks when she told me that it was all over and that she had decided to go out with Scott M. because he had a trampoline.  When I told Mary Ellen that she knew full well that I also had a trampoline, one in which she had been on countless times, she said, “I know, but when I jump on Scott’s trampoline, I can see my house.”

Sharon C was the cutest girl in the eighth grade and when I finally had the courage to ask her out one day and she said yes, I was ecstatic.  For three weeks we played tennis together, rode our bikes into town and shared milk shakes and cookies at her kitchen table and then one day, while choking back tears,  she ended it by telling me her 92 year old grandfather didn’t like me but even though her father did, he was scared of his father-in-law and had a lot riding on the will.

High School.  There were lots of girls and lots of breakups so here are a few of the explanations I received:

Ellen R. “I don’t know where you got that answer key but one thing I know for sure, it wasn’t for the test I took.”

Naomi W.  “Spiritually we’re very compatible, and you’re great,  but one day I might give Buddhism a shot and I’d prefer to get a jump on working off the bad karma of breaking your heart now than later.”

Melissa B.  “Your car leaked oil all over our driveway.”

Paula J.  “I’ve decided to go out with Danny and before you say anything, it’s not because he has a beach house.  For your information, it’s his parents who have the beach house.”

Joan C.  “Thanks for a wonderful evening.  I truly had a great time but don’t ever call me again.”

And finally college.   Senior year.  Nancy P.  Four years of bliss and complete compatibility until graduation morning when I decided to take our relationship to the next level.  As soon as I did, I knew I made a big mistake.  She broke up with me on the spot.

So if you want to make it easy on yourself and your soon to be ex-boyfriend all you have to do is exactly what I did with Nancy.  Offer to share some of the paste you’re eating.

© 2012 The Monkey Bellhop and John Hartnett

6 thoughts on “How To End a Romantic Relationship”

    1. Hi Juliette, Thank you so much for the kind words and I just spent some time on your site and it’s also very, very well done and highly entertaining! I’m so glad you found the site and took the time to write. It sometimes feels as if we’re writing in a vacuum, no?

      1. Sometimes looking for a well written blog is like hunting in space through all of the zillions of stars looking for intelligent life. Writing a blog is the same, wondering if we’re alone out there in the great blogging universe. I’ve found kindred spirits – parents with kids and jobs, but who also write (and others). It’s a beautiful thing (as my husband would say – they guy who wonders if I’ve lost my mind with all of this blog stuff). You know, I don’t even remember how I found your blog but I’m glad I did. Happy New Year!

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