There’s a meme out there somewhere, something like: Dating in your 40s… Are we doing this? Because I’ve got shit to do.

I find at my age, the worst thing you can do is waste my time and waste my energy. Because yes… I’ve got shit to do!

Don't waste my time!

I believe a relationship should be mutually beneficial. Couples should support and respect each other, be a positive addition to each others lives. Otherwise, what’s the point?

And when a member of the couple decides the partnership is no longer viable, they need to end it.

Out of respect, just do it.

Don’t drag it out, hemming and hawing, hoping the other person will get fed up and do the deed for you.

You may think that course is an act of kindness. It is not!

You are sending the person who cares for you, loves you even, on an emotional roller-coaster. A soul racking, energy sucking ride, and they will end up thinking worse of you than if you had the nerve to make a clean break.

It’s the difference between a quick stab with a sharp knife, and slowly pushing a spoon into your “beloved.”

knife and spoon

A bit graphic, but there it is.

When you break up with someone unwillingly it’s a huge adjustment. You miss the person in your life. You have to erase the vision of that shared future, and create a new one or revert to an old one.

Perhaps worst of all you question your own judgement. How could I have trusted this person? Should I have seen it coming?

These are normal steps on the path to healing. The sooner that journey begins, the better. If you don’t understand why the breakup had to happen, or worse, when said partner actually let go…the pain is amplified, the self-doubt debilitating.

It’s hard to get things done.

And I’ve got shit to do.

A proper break-up can make the transition easier.

So here it is:

How to Break Up in 2 Easy Steps

1—Tell your partner, and do it timely.  Tear off the bandage—no ghosting or benching. The breakup should not take longer than the relationship.

2—Answer your former partners questions.  I mean real answers, not “I don’t know,” or “I can’t answer that.” You know why you’re doing what you’re doing, it was your decision, simply share your thought process. Be honest.  If you really don’t know why you do what you do, please work on self-awareness. It’s really a critical life skill.

There it is.  It’s hard to believe that needs to be spelled out.

I suppose it boils down to men and women thinking differently. I believe women need to process more than men do.  In order to process, you need information. If you have nothing to go on, you start making things up, trying to figure it out, creating a big, whirling vortex of despair. And men, I think they prefer not to know why themselves, leading them to ghost or bench.  That and not wanting to face the pain they’ve created. Too damn bad, ‘cause that’s just part of life.

If you can’t end a relationship, don’t start one.

I still love the idea of partnering up. Facing the world as a team should be easier than as a single. But for me it just doesn’t seem to work out. A year ago, after having taken myself out of the game for more years than I care to admit, I decided to give dating another go. Surely it would be better. The men would be more mature, experienced, they would know what they want…yeah right.

I loved the last man I was with. I truly thought we would last. That belief changed the way I viewed the world and the way I saw myself. Now I’m angry. I’m hurt. I feel tricked and used by all those fine words of love and devotion.

“Don’t break my heart,” he said. Really? I should have countered with “don’t try to do me in with a spoon.”

Broken hearted robot

It’s ok though. I like my single self. I’m smart and inquisitive, so I’m never bored. I can do what I want, when I want, and how I want. I have a life to live, just as much as you do. And now I have to face the exhausting task of reorganizing that life. I’ll do it of course, of that I have no doubt. And eventually I’ll be the Happy Spinster once again…because I’ve got shit to do!

PLEASE! I would love to hear your thoughts on breaking up, the right and wrong way to do it—is my thinking way off course? Guys especially, please share your point of view! Help us understand!

3 thoughts on “BREAKING UP: A USER GUIDE

  1. The word ‘spinster’ has a negative connotation. I prefer ‘single’. I like this term and others may determine if they want to think about the ‘happy’ distinction just as they might when thinking ‘married’.

    I don’t understand the need to check ‘divorced’ on a document, either. Nor ‘widow’, ‘widower’. After a marriage ends, I see no reason for the woman to ‘keep her married name’. Use our birth name with pride of identity. Children of all ages adapt, so I don’t want to hear it is for the sake of the children.

    Relationships in our 40s and beyond tend to not be for long periods of time, no matter how close and loving you feel at the beginning. Many already ‘did’ 20 years and more, and have no plan to repeat that even if most of that time was loving and fulfilling.

    Financial topics come into the relationship almost immediately after the initial glow and period of excitement. That can unfold as a ‘power’ struggle even when unintended. Joint decisions? More a question of who happens to have the most financial resources.

    ‘Happily ever after’ is a myth due to our lifespan. Love is wonderful, beautiful, and to be cherished while the relationship ‘works’. But, isn’t the word ‘work’ telling in and of itself?

    So enjoy a relationship until the joy feels like it is evaporating and it seems like constant work to continue. Single status, as you noted, has many advantages. Not surprisingly, it is looked at with envy by many longtime married women!!!!

    I suppose, as our mother’s taught us, the grass always seems greener on the other ‘side’.


    1. It’s fine Judy that you chose to go back to your birth name, but there is nothing wrong with keeping your “married name”. Since I was married at the age of 20 and married for almost 26 years, I just felt like this is my name now and it has been for my adult life. I also have a daughter and son with the same name and they’re my family, so I want to share the name with them! 🙂 It was also fine with me not to have to make all the legal changes, not to mention informing everyone of my name change. There are only a handful of people that I keep up with from my childhood and they know me as Branham.


      1. I absolutely respect your decision. My opinion differs; that’s all, and meant as a generic, not specific comment regarding your decision.


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