Breakup Etiquette in the 21st Century

In a perfect world, Ryan Gosling would love only you even though the whole world loves him. In our not-so-perfect world, Ryan Gosling has no idea who you are (if it makes you feel any better, he doesn’t know who I am either) and your boyfriend is the male lead in yet another breakup in your life. But (say it with me) we’re cool, we’re mature, and we don’t give a crap about ratty men who want to leave. For more concrete do’s and don’ts, read on, sister.



  1. If you’re the Breaker, make a Clean Cut.

If you love movies, you know there are many ways to break up a relationship. You could break up over SMS, sell your HDB flat and leave the country, or pretend to believe in aliens/werewolves/hello kitty and wait for her to dump you. None of this is cool. What you should really do in the 21st century is remote control a drone to fly past her window broadcasting a thoughtfully written breakup message.

I hope by now you can tell when I’m kidding.

Breaking up is simple – Meet them, Tell them, Be kind.



  1. If you’re the Breakee, Don’t Bother to Ask Why.

Why, you ask. Isn’t knowing why vital for improving myself and getting better at relationships? While that sounds good and sensible in theory, it never works out in reality. Firstly, honesty can be brutal and people breaking up with you hardly ever want to be brutal (unless they’re really, really nasty) and hence they often lie. Secondly, relationships often end without a concrete reason. Thirdly, sometimes people are not even sure themselves what the reasons are. Fourthly, sometimes people are stupid and what they think the reasons are may not be the reasons at all. I could go on but if this relationship is over, knowing why may not make any difference to the next one at all (different person = different relationship dynamics = different problems)



  1. Be Cool – Revenge is for Losers.

As shiok as it may feel to set your ex’s clothes on fire, the feeling is temporary but your reputation as the Psycho Ex will last forever. Remember that you are a cool, mature Woman of the 21st century and such displays of emotion are beneath you. Besides, you never know if his nosy neighbour will post the whole thing on Stomp.



  1. Don’t go Batty on your Friends.

There is nothing wrong with some grousing to your friends. Even random tears and a couple of drunken karaoke sessions are perfectly acceptable. But you can’t go on forever. Your friends love you and will gamely endure your fits of bi-polar manic-depressive episodes but not forever. Remember to move on. It’s not worth losing your friends over your ex.



  1. Avoid Social Media.

Remember when XXX posted YYY on ZZZ and was lambasted by everyone/got fired by his company/had to leave the country? We live in sensitive times and a slip of the fingers could easily land you in bigger trouble than you had ever imagined. Take heed, buy a notebook and write in your diary instead.




~ Li Ching (Who is Cool as a Cucumber)