By Chelsea Fagan
1. The “Wait, what just happened?”
All of a sudden, this person you were so sure was into you for the long haul sits you down in a public-but-not-too-exposed location and tells you that they would rather face this cold, cruel world entirely by themselves than face the prospect of continued sex/spooning with you. How could this be? It’s as though the words of the dumping themselves don’t actually compute in your fractured, amorous mind. (It doesn’t help, of course, that people tend to weigh down their actual breakup speech with as many euphemisms and compliments as possible — it usually sounds more like they’re trying to break up with themselves on your behalf than anything else.) You are being dumped, you just don’t quite know it yet.
2. The “You can’t fire me, I quit!”
You realize that it actually is over, that you are being dumped, and now the only real business to attend to is making sure you don’t come out of this too humiliated (as if that were an option). The goal now is to somehow pretend as though they haven’t been breaking things off explicitly for the past 30 minutes and try to save face by ending it yourself. It’s basically the emotional equivalent of trying to knit your own parachute mid-air after someone has already thrown you out of a plane. You just look sloppy and sad, and you know it, but you can’t help yourself.
3. The “Oh my God, this is actually happening.”
As if you just woke up from an incredibly pleasant dream to realize that you were, in fact, not having passionate sex with that really hot barista at your Starbucks, it begins to settle in that you are no longer in a relationship. Take down that “taken” status on Facebook. Remove photographic evidence. Break the news to everyone, or at least those that don’t pre-empt you by texting you with a feverish, “OMG I SAW YOU BROKE UP WHAT HAPPENED BRUH?!?!” Now is the time to realize just how much of a logistical nightmare being broken up is, especially if you are a long-standing couple whom everyone has just accepted will be around forever.