Look, just run. Pick up your ball gown and run away like Cinderella. It's too late in the game for relationships that aren't any good. If you can, just hop on a plane and flee, chase the moon across the country and forget about your failed relationships altogether.
Check yourself into the Gritti Palace in Venice, and bring sunglasses because there's a glare off the canal and you're going to want to sit on the patio, falling asleep listening to the water rushing so you feel clean and rested when you wake up. It will be like it never even happened.
Oh? You can't? You have to be rooted like a real human being? You say you're not a fictional character from a Fitzgerald novel or a 1940s movie? You're just going to have to break up with someone and not pull a continental disappearing act?
Sometimes life is so goddamn depressing. Well, at least your breakup style says something about your outlook on the world. There's that.
1. You say, "Let's be friends" and genuinely mean it.
You believe in a lot of fundamental things about the goodness of human spirit. You really don't understand how wartime atrocities happen. I'm worried about you, but also kind of admiring you from distance. See me outside your window? I'm waving.
2. You say, "Let's be friends" because you need to assuage your own guilt.
You're going to have to be this person's errand boy/pimp for the rest of your life. You're going to have to run around finding them new people to date, proofreading speeches for them, driving them to the airport, and doing everything for them. Forever. This is a kind of virtue. Also, you're a masochist.
3. You say, "Let's be friends" when what you mean is, "Let's please never see each other ever again."
Well, you're human. Join the club. We meet at the bar.
4. You present your soon-to-be ex with a list of their character flaws so they can grow.
You're a monster. No, really. What the hell is wrong with you?
5. You say, "It's not you, it's me!"
You're either amazing at internalizing blame (you're going to end up driving this person to the airport for the rest of your life), or you're a swift and cunning liar. If the latter, consider writing romance novels.
6. You ghost the f*ck out of them.
You just fade away and stop returning any phone calls, texts, smoke signals, everything. No contact, ever. We get where you're coming from, but just tell your soon-to-be ex you moved to Alabama. If they run into you on the street they'll realize you're an assh*le, but if you disappear they'll also realize you're an assh*le. Avoid streets they tend to walk on.
7. You actually fled the country.
We can't pretend we don't admire your chutzpah. Strong move, lady friend. Although you can now never have a relationship in this new town. Also, never have kids, or they'll be like the ones in the Hilary Duff movie The Perfect Man, and will begin writing you bizarre love letters to make you stay in one place. Stuff will get weird. But Venice is beautiful this time of year, right?
This article was originally published at The Gloss. Reprinted with permission from the author.