Dear Dr. Darcy:
I’ve been trying to breakup with my girlfriend for weeks and she just won’t accept it. Today I left her an envelope with cash and a note that said, “Please call Dr. Darcy Smith. She’ll help you move on with your life.” I realize that sounds heartless but I don’t know what else to do. We’ve only been dating 5 months and this shouldn’t be so hard for her to accept. We’re only in our 20’s. I hope you don’t mind.
You hope I don’t mind cleaning up your mess? I mind.
I agree with you that a breakup should be accepted with dignity and with no more than a modicum of resistance, but I can’t help wondering what she did that led you to feel as though she wouldn’t accept it. Furthermore, why does her acceptance play any role in your life at this point?
I think perhaps your expectations are unreasonable. When I’ve ended relationships, I wasn’t looking for permission from the person or for their wish for a happier next ending. And yes, there are usually some emails or phone calls that kept us connected for some time, but this is to be expected.
Listen, you break up and that’s the end of it. It’s not your responsibility to make sure that there’s someone available to hold the tissue up to her nose while she blows (and for the record, I do not provide that service).
I think you can move on at this point without further reservations. Do your best not to send her mixed messages, i.e., don’t initiate any contact, be task-oriented when she calls you asking for her things (offer to mail them), don’t ask any questions that might open up a conversation about how lost she is without you.
And one last request: Moving forward, before you launch a new product for me, shoot me an email to make sure it’s something I want to endorse. As fancy as a Dr. Darcy Gift Certificate sounds, it’s not a product that I think will do well in this market.