3 min

Breaking it down

Tips for easing the end of a relationship

February isn’t the best time of year to make major life changes. That grey-sky-nothing-to-look-forward-to-till-Good-Friday-feeling doesn’t inspire us to mess with the status quo.

This year, however, I’m breaking with tradition, mustering my gusto and taking that big plunge. The time has come (deep breath) to dump my boyfriend. There, I said it.

This is the kind of situation where friends who like to meddle (and strangers who read your column, as I’ve learned) may ask, “Why didn’t you do it sooner?”

There are valid arguments for ending your relationship before the holidays. Why spend money on a present that you’re going to resent your ex having? That said, for a queer who’s only family is their partner, the prospect of waking up alone with only gifts you wrapped for yourself under the tree is a sombre thought.

As foreboding as the frozen wasteland of February may seem, I’m going to suck it up and go it alone. Sometimes you just hit that point with someone when you realize that it’s just over. It’s not that you don’t get along. It’s not that you’re not attracted to them. It’s just that sort of sick feeling you get when you wake up one morning and realize that you’re not in love with the person sleeping next to you. It’s a really shitty thing to feel and it’s happened to me.

For those of you similarly contemplating cutting the cord here are a few changes you can make to ensure success.

* Get a pet. The American Psychiatric Association says having an animal is a good way to get through a rough time. Having something furry that will lie next to you in bed, make pleasant sounds and generally be receptive to your affection can prevent you from calling your ex on a February Sunday night

* Get a rebound relationship. The key to a fair rebound is to be honest. Tell your new beau that you’ve just split up and that you’re not looking for anything else. Resist the temptation to say the scary “L”-word (and no, I don’t mean lesbian) in your post-coital bliss. It’s hard, because sometimes you feel it, but you just have to step back and say, “Actually, no. I’m still in love with my ex, not you.” If you really need to, say, “I love… your blowjobs,” or, “I love… your hot ass”

* Hit the gym. Since you’re going back on the market you might as well dust off the goods. Exercise relieves stress and makes you more attractive. And who knows? Maybe that hottie who gives you a handjob in the steam room after a tough workout will turn out to be the next great love of your life

* Slut it up. I know this seems like my solution for everything, but it really does work, especially if the sizzle fizzled toward the end of your last relationship. Knowing that there are lots of other guys out there who want a piece of your meat is a great reminder that you’re still attractive, especially if your ex led you to feel otherwise

* Last but not least, be nice to your ex. Be fair. Don’t fight over things. Try to be friends. I won’t kid you and say it’s going to be easy. It takes a huge amount of effort and maturity. You have to learn to bite your tongue and not get mad when he tells you that he’s dating someone new, which can be especially hard when you’re still single. When that same guy breaks his heart, you need to be supportive, even if you feel smugly satisfied, and not brag about how great your new boyfriend is and how his dick is just “so big!” It takes time, sometimes years, but if this is really someone you loved as a boyfriend, you can learn to love him as a friend.

As one of my exes told me once after a tearful fight, “We’re boys who suck dick. There aren’t a lot of us in the world and we need to try look out for each other.”

Now, there’s a major life change we can all make, and not a moment too soon.