The Proper Breakup Technique

Written by Bryce

Breakup technique is complicated and often varies by age, gender and location. If you’re a city-dwelling girl, however, the good options for breaking up are few and far between, because there’s always another event, restaurant, cocktail party, or strange birthday happening you’ll inevitably end up at with the person (people?) on the other end of your breakup. And, truth be told, there are so many good reasons to break up with people when you’re dating in a big city. I mean, sometimes they come at you with a 2 for 1 deal (honestly, what?), when all you want is a nice 30-something with the intention of eventually sharing a mortgage payment.

Take my friend Jamie, for example. She’s the gorgeous blonde writer of, OKCupid dater, and obviously lucky enough to score 2 mediocre white dudes at once:

Their profile boasts a fabulous buy one get one deal- pure white meat, just under 6 feet, with four ready, willing, and able hands. They claim to be completely straight, but I’ll leave that alone for now. Knowing Jamie well enough, I’ll assume this isn’t the soul mate experience she’s been waiting for, but it is a great opportunity to practice breaking up (again, 2 for the price of 1).

Before I got married, I was a pro at breaking up. I’d met enough men in NYC and had a few close-call relationships. By the time I’d reached the ripe old age of 27 I discovered that all breakups need to be on relatively neutral, public ground. Public ground, like a restaurant, means no one can unleash their crazy, and in a city where crazy feasts, that’s always a plus. I had a standard practice- I’d always say “let’s meet at Spring Street Natural” for dinner. It was perfect- the restaurant was in a neighborhood that was easy enough for me to find friends to hang out with after, bars to meet up with people for a “wow that took an unexpected turn” drink, and had a relatively healthy menu. Healthy is important because it’s hard to break up on deep fried bullshit… there’s something more soothing about a quinoa patty in your gut when you’re telling a guy “sorry, you have no life goals, and I have every intention of doing big things.” Even better? It was moderately priced. In the event the guy would be so annoyed with me for the breakup that he’d walk out pre-check splitting, I just didn’t care about picking up a tab with a grand total of $45. Note to girls: never break up anywhere Michelin has starred.

This got me thinking: does every girl in a big city have a specific method or location? Is the breakup pattern a natural life element for the vast majority of girls who don’t settle down with their first love fresh out of school? As it turns out, yes, we’re all creatures of fantastical habit:

“My ideal breakup? A long happy relationship followed by mutual heart attacks in our sleep at 90. But best possible scenario? Giving me the ability to pretend you died. I’m even willing to create a funeral pyre for your crap. (Anyone have an incinerator in their building I can borrow?)” -Aly Walansky,

“I had a relationship a few years ago ended with the dude moving back to South Africa and it happened in my office at the accounting firm at which I worked. In retrospect, it was perfect because a) what’s better than having a dude you’re done with move to AFRICA and b) why have your own office if you’re not using it for Dynasty-level romantical drama?” -Amber Katz,

“My college used to have two major landmarks: a gazebo and a swing. The general practice was that people went to the gazebo to get engaged, but that swing was called the “Friendship Swing” for a reason: it’s where most dudes got the let’s-just-be-friends speech. As an adult, I like to pick a location that is random, out of the way and some place I would never frequent. While my last big breakup was over the phone (long distance), the last in-person one was at a random diner that I haven’t seen since that day. Like I said, I like places I know I’ll never see again. Although, that place did have really great pie, so I might have to find it again…” -Kristin Booker, Editor, Fashion.Style.Beauty

“I prefer The Highline [ in NYC ] for breakups. Mainly, it’s because it’s an outdoor, public space, so I don’t turn into too much of a crying mess and men are (somewhat) less likely to freak out. Also, I think it creates such a nice analogy (since I’m a sucker for those, as a writer): what we had was beautiful (look lovingly out into the city), but we just didn’t have the right foundation to build something good (look down at the railroad tracks) and withstanding. Please, remember me fondly, in this moment where the sun is setting and we have this beautiful view, but please, please, dear god, forget my number, too.” -Lindsay,

“My last three breakups have taken place over the phone, so clearly I am a coward, especially as I was the one doing the breaking. No tears! No awkward hugs! Just a straightforward, “Let’s (un)do this thing” conversation, and then peace out.” -Nadine Jolie,

And now for a final gem from that OKCupid profile, a special quote from the lovely boys, “As soon as we meet you, we are going to take this profile down. We only want one, special girl. We won’t tie you down either, you can be who you want to be. And tell us about everything, be honest with us about everything.” Honesty. You know, like, about diseases and willingness to be strangled.

Have any pro-level breakup tips you’d like to share? We’d love your input! Comment below.


About the author


Bryce Gruber is a Manhattanite mom who can be found jet-setting off to every corner of the globe. She loves exotic places, being fully rested and writing for some of the world's most popular news outlets.

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