Painting by  Izumi Miyazaki

Painting by Izumi Miyazaki

After deciding it’s high time for you to leave your lover but you still have a hard time going through with it, you’re gonna need to follow these steps:

Step #1: Put a hold on the sweet talk. 

Decrease the normal dosages of talking to them. Pretend that you’re too busy in your job, act like you’re too busy to even eat and that’s why you’re losing weight.

In order for that to work on the other person you’re gonna need to actually lose weight or stop seeing them all together.

After you convince them that you’re too busy to sleep and you sacrifice your beauty sleep to talk to them in the very time of the night, when you know they are trying to sleep too, guilt trip them till they fall asleep and then blame them that they slept in the middle of the conversation, during the only time you can talk to them.

After over pretending that you’re too busy to eat, sleep or pee, that you’re too busy saving the world, they’ll stop trying to contact you in any means and then it’s time for the next step.

Step #2: The guilt trip.

Illustration by John Wesley

Illustration by John Wesley

This is so much fun but also it’s not so much fun if the other person is hanging on to you no matter what.

This is how it goes: you are already upset ‘cause now, when you’re free to talk, they fall asleep. Or another reason for you being upset is that they stopped trying to reach you because they got tired of you ignoring them. So what you need to do, whenever you two talk, is to say how much they changed, how much they’re not around anymore, how they even stopped texting and that hurts because YOU – the jerk whose already pushing them away – feels like you’re breaking up slowly.

And then, they end up feeling bad after you made it sound like they’re giving up on you during your impossible mission to save the whole world with your worthless job, so they go back to texting and calling again, feeling worse than before because they already know they’re uncared for.

Step #3: The needy bastard.

Illustration by Lamiaa Ameen

Illustration by Lamiaa Ameen

Now they’re texting and calling but feeling bad at the same time and angry but not showing it because you turned them in to a clinging and nagging person they never thought they’d be. That’s a deadly combo for a fight, a big fat fight.

So if they start fighting with you that this is too much, you say “are you giving up on me?”

If yes, you won. You turned them in to the jerk and they will break up with you.

Mission accomplished, asshole.

If no, we still got work to do.

Now remember that thing they did 3 months ago and it pissed you off, you talked about it and decided to let it go. Now you need to bring that up. Oh yes, and don’t forget to mention how much that situation affected your trust. Or better yet, inform them that they have commitment issues. Who doesn’t!

Step #4: Use the three magical freak out words “we need to talk”.

Artwork by Penny Byrne

Artwork by Penny Byrne

This is where you stand in the spot light and bring out all your acting techniques.

They gave up on you in your time of need.

They are not the same as before.

They broke your trust.

They have commitment issues.

Now put those all together, then mix it up with a little bit of ” I dunno if I can do this anymore. I dunno if I can live like this for the rest of my life. I dunno how much I can take.” Then finish up this scene with …

Step #5: I need a break.

Painting by Danny Galieote

Painting by Danny Galieote

Not just that! Come on! We’re all perfectionists here.

You need a break for like a month! No contact whatsoever.

You also need to destroy their confidence in the process. So don’t forget to sound mysterious by saying “This break is for you to prove yourself to yourself”.

Whatever the fuck that means, it works anyways.

You may add:

“Also during this break you will come across some situations, and you’ll have to make some decisions, and I am sure you’ll make the wrong ones or whatever, the question is will you even tell me what happens with you during that month?”

See? In the above context you will cause them self-doubt and to second guess every single action they take while you two are on that break. It’s also an outright accusation that they lie and hide things from you.

Now don’t forget to say how much you love them and how much you’re hurting and how this break will be the longest ever and bla bla bla… Well, be creative.

Step #6: Look back in anger!

Painting by Kelly Reemtsen

Painting by Kelly Reemtsen

You might think that you don’t need to come back from this break and actually break up with them in plain words!

After all that effort! God! The horror!

Well, you turned them in to a nagging and clinging person, so, yes, you have to come back and end it in plain boring words and don’t worry, I’ll guide you through that too.

First, you’re not counting days so, of course you’re gonna forget when exactly did that break start or when will it end. So if you talk to them after the end of that month by, say 10 days, you can always bring up your world saving job as the excuse. Or better yet, make up something worse, like a disease or accident. Again be creative.

Now the guidelines for the actual break up:

I wish you the best of luck.

I tried but I am sorry – I can’t live like this.

Take care of yourself for me.

And don’t forget to change a little bit for better luck next time.

You better check yourself before you wreck yourself.

They all sound lame? Yes. But come on! We used up all our efforts and energy in all the previous steps so it’s okay to sound lame towards the end.

Oh, and don’t forget to block and delete them everywhere. It’s enough already that poor you will have to deal with all your mutual friends, you don’t want to deal with them post break up too. So simply disappear.

And there you have your Art of Leaving.

Congratulations asshole, you’re single.

Passant A. AbdelAal is an Egyptian with severe addiction for reading novels and a passion for poetry, writes bits and pieces of poetry and musings.