How To Break Up With A Lesbian…Only Once

How To Break Up With A Lesbian...Only Once

Efficiency in “Queer Adulting”

I read an article this week that claimed it takes 6, count em, 6 break ups to actually break up with a lesbian. The hell?! I’ll be the first to admit I know a couple of fairly intense lesbians. However we’re not ALL single white female type over dependent stalkers. So why then, as dumpees can lesbians not just let go cleanly the first, or even second time? This got me thinking about all the breakups in my friends circle over recent years and what they have all in common. Lack of clarity.

Women as a group are largely nurturing and pleasing. We like to take care of others, make sure everyone is ok. Makes sense why we would be the absolute worst at doing the breaking up. Lesbian break up speeches are notorious for being full of lengthy ambiguities like “I just need some time”, “I still love you”, “It’s not you it’s me”. They often even completely omit the words “break up” all together. This leaves dumpee’s incredible unclear. Often post “break up convos” dumpees are left thinking they are still in a relationship and simply need to work on making some changes. This is where break-ups get really awkward and much more complicated.

Unclear dumpees go on to put tons of extra effort and attention into their relationships, while remaining clueless to the fact that the other person is fully over the relationship. Talk about making life that much harder! The actual break becomes drawn out, so more involved to execute and more hurtful for the dumpee. During this process my friends is the space where lesbians start to look and act real “crazy”! Stressed dumpees passionately and emotionally try to salvage their relationships. While the gun shy dumpers tell their friends “I’m trying to break up with her”. Would you not say this explains the behaviour of 75% of the “crazy ex” stories you’ve ever heard???

So why do we do it? To ourselves, and the women we once loved?

We’re relational. Historically our survival has hinged on interdependence. We may not starve without a huge squad in modern day, but squads do offer us lots of social benefits. Friends provide us with all kinds of things from support & companionship to networking opportunities and great IG photos. Women by nature try to maintain relational connections where they can. Precisely why we like to stay friends with our exes. We soften the blows and try to be gentle in our break ups as to not hurt feelings and try to preserve friendships. What we don’t realize is when we break up with someone without being direct, and honest we are in fact only betraying them and sabotaging the potential for a future relationship.

So how do you break up with a lesbian thoughtfully and sensitively?

1. Do it as soon as possible. It’s natural to want to drag our feet on a daunting task, but once you know in your heart the relationship is over, let the other person know right away. Putting it off and making excuses like “waiting till after xmas” etc. will only make it harder on both parties.

2. Don’t try to cool off the relationship first. Using avoidance to do some of the work for you is never a good idea. You may think you are being kind by giving your partner time to realize the relationship is over on their own, but in fact you are really only treating them hurtfully. Owning your own feelings and wants is always best practice.

3. Break up in person. It’s difficult to have a face to face conversation with someone and deliver bad news but it’s respectful and efficient. Hiding behind a text message can lead to many lengthier break up conversations than you really want to have. Denial is a real stage of loss. Looking in someone’s eyes while breaking up is powerful and can curb your partners feelings of disbelief and increase their acceptance.

4. Say the words. Use the words “break up” clearly. We can all hear what we want to. Saying things like “I don’t think this isn’t working” doesn’t sounds confident and leaves room for the receiver to interpret. When you really mean “it’s over” but say “I need time” the other person may think it’s fixable or temporary. Be clear in your language and use the words “break up”.

5. Don’t blame. Blame is about punishment. It’s not constructive and won’t move the conversation forward. Keep the conversation to your wants and decisions.

6. Prepare yourself. Being dumped is a rejection that someone will absolutely have a reaction to. When breaking up with someone, be prepared for that. Be ready to hear objections, outbursts of emotion and insults even. Know all the while, that it’s a process. In time your dumpee will heal.

7. Do NOT make maintaining a friendship a focus of the breakup conversation. While I’m all about maintaining friendships when possible and healthy. Maintaining a friendship from day one can make creating new boundaries and healing very difficult. When the time is right and a friendship is a possibility, it will happen. Give the dumpee time and space to heal. The breakup shouldn’t be focused on your immediate needs and fears. As the one making the decision you are clear less vulnerable in the situation. If a future friendship is important to you, maybe let them know in time. Hearing how much you care about them and want to keep them in your life could be misinterpreted.

8. Be honest. If you are breaking up with your partner for someone else, be honest about it. Them finding out in a couple weeks time could be very shocking and jarring. Why hurt them twice.

9. Be discrete. While we all live our lives online. There is a difference between a relationship status change and venting all the details of your break up. Discretion leaves all parties their dignity in a delicate situation. If someone presses you for information, think of your reply as a celebrity press release: “After many happy years together, we are sad to announce we have parted ways.”

-Natash broke up with her high school boyfriend by avoiding him altogether and never ever speaking to him again. They may still in fact be dating.