azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
Azure Jane Lunatic (Azz) 🌺 ([personal profile] azurelunatic) wrote2018-11-26 06:42 pm

The ethics of breakups

Thinking about breakups again (a thing in my greater social circle happened a while ago) and the concept of fair play.

I am predisposed to skepticism when a person goes "But they didn't have to X; I would be so much less devastated if they had done it more gently." In more than one of the breakups I've witnessed, the less-injured party *did* try to do it more gently. And it didn't stick. So they're trying again.

Not universal, certainly. But sometimes a thing.
lilysea: Serious (Default)

[personal profile] lilysea 2018-11-27 03:04 am (UTC)(link)
I think there are things that are ok to say, and things that are unnecessarily harmful/hurtful/cruel.

"While I genuinely enjoyed the time we spent together in the past, this relationship is no longer working for me, and I want to end it. I am not going to change my mind about this." is okay

"You have all the following bad qualities/personality flaws of my ex-wife, my ex-girlfriend #1, AND my ex-girlfriend #2 [insert long itemized list of perceived personality flaws here]" is NOT ok to say. (and yes, someone really said that to me)
silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)

[personal profile] silveradept 2018-11-27 03:29 am (UTC)(link)
Sometimes it takes the bluntest hammer you have to make it stick.
snippy: Lego me holding book (Default)

[personal profile] snippy 2018-11-28 02:52 am (UTC)(link)
The fair play is making clear there is no change to change the outcome, in my opinion. But then, I've never understood why people want to be with a partner who doesn't want to be with them. That's an instant turn-off to me.
vass: Jon Stewart reading a dictionary (books)


[personal profile] vass 2018-11-28 11:32 am (UTC)(link)
"...if they had done it more gently"
"...if they'd done it more firmly"
"...if they'd eased me into it"
"...if they'd just spat it out instead of tiptoeing around it"
"...if they had been clearer about why they wanted to break up"
"...if they'd kept trying to make it work for longer"
"...if they hadn't let me invest so much time and energy in them before dumping me"
"...if they had at least told me why"
"...if they'd given me a better reason why"
"...if they'd given me more reasons why"
"...if they hadn't given me a long list of all my faults"
"...if they'd considered my mental health"
"...if they hadn't tried to act like my mental health is their business any more"
"...if they hadn't made me drive all this way to meet them"
"...if they had the guts to say it to my face"

(Inappropriate earworm goes here.)

There are definitely ways of breaking up that are not okay (the plot of Gone Girl comes to mind) and known individual needs that can be expected to make things harder one way or another, but I do imagine it's also very natural to "if only" how people break up with one, and attribute the pain of being dumped to the manner of dumping.