Ending It Etiquette

5 Steps to a (hopefully) more harmonious split

Considering my most recent breakup involved screaming through a phone on Grafton st. I got to thinking, is there a good way to breakup with someone?! We’ve all been through the break-up, make-up, break-up cycle, there’s no such thing as a good break-up, or is there? The existence of bad break-ups makes me wonder, surely then, someone, somewhere got it right. This led me to the conclusion that what we all really need, is a break-up guide. There’s no easy way to say ‘I don’t want to be with you anymore’ but surely there’s a way to soften the blow. Here are my five steps to a hopefully happier break-up. Bear in mind I have yet to

1 Don’t compare

All break-ups are different, just because you stayed friends with one ex does not mean you should feel the need to remain friends with every break-up, especially not if they broke your heart.

2 Cruel to be kind

Yes you’ll want to have one last cuddle, one last kiss, one last.. No! If a break-up has been initiated there is no going back. Be cruel to yourself, don’t text, don’t call, delete on Facebook if you feel you’re going to stalk him for the next six months. Its not healthy. Similarly if you are the one initiating the break-up don’t cave and respond to any dialogue that’s going to lead to another emotionally charged ‘can’t we just try’ conversation.

3 Clear and concise

You don’t need to list off every time you felt things were less than perfect. Reminding him now that never receiving a birthday present was bad form is totally irrelevant, be a big girl and tell him you just don’t want to be together anymore. Similarly if you’re the victim of break up and not the breaker upper don’t punish yourself by screaming ‘Whyyyyy’. If a break up has been instigated reasons are usually fairly obvious.

4 Face to Face

Don’t be a baby. Turn up for the ‘talk’, as hard as it is it provides essential closure. I’ve made this mistake and it makes moving on harder, it makes seeing each other for the first time harder, have the conversation.

5 Stick to your guns

There will be moments of loneliness, there will be times you just want to text him, you just want a quick word. No petal, don’t do it. Remember this golden little phrase:

fight for a spot

If he’s the one contacting you, seriously consider replying, it may feel unkind to ignore advances but refer to rule 2.

6 Listen to your mother

I know I said five steps but this is worth a mention! Listen to your mother, or your close circle, choose your advisers wisely. Mama knows best but the friend-of-a-friend you meet on a Saturday night does not.

Don’t be hard on yourself, buy cupcakes, buy shoes, be a boss.




Did Our Parents Settle?

While strolling into town with my housemate last night we shared our current boy dramas, a standard enough conversation, one which actually occurs daily. And as we empathized, laughed and shook our heads a question occurred to me; Did our parents generation simply settle? My own parents are completely happy after nearly twenty five years of marriage, but are they the exception? Did the majority of their generation just get married because they felt they had to?

don't settle

The reality is that we as young strong women have literally no idea what to expect from relationships, when are we expecting too much, when are we expecting too little? These answers can be pieced together by our Irish experiences of relationships and also by the filtration of the media into our everyday lives. As a country Ireland is still tentative about the subject of divorce. Divorce is still a strange idea in Irish public forum, with archaic administration and lengthy legislation dragging the process out. Divorce banishes the idea that people are together forever, and we are the first generation of young Irish women to have divorce be such a tangible reality.


Growing up during the rise of Celtic Tiger Ireland has left us with some confused ideas, we were the first generation given the gift of endless opportunity, we could be whatever we liked when we grew up, there were no limits, the world was our oyster, until the economy collapsed and it all suddenly went very very dark. This naive hopefulness has spilled over to our personal lives, we expect fireworks, princesses and unicorns when we set our sights on a relationship. What we are faced with is probably best described as jigsaw pieces that simply don’t fit. Should we abandon our hope and simply settle on the best frog we’ve kissed? Is this the recession buster solution to our relationships?

celtic tiger

Its no secret that films, books, magazines, and now even social media are projecting to us what to expect from relationships. The ‘Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus‘ and ‘He’s Just Not That Into You‘ debates pull and push our expectations. We shouldn’t expect a man to understand us… but we should also consider that he’s refusing to listen to us… not because he doesn’t care but because men can’t help us because they don’t understand… but maybe he does understand but he just doesn’t care… because maybe he’s not interested in you in the first place. Confusing? Yes!

men are from mars

he's just not that into you

Maybe there is no such thing as The One or Prince Charming. This is initially disappointing, but then I start to see that maybe this makes life a little easier. Maybe I don’t have to wait for the fanfare, maybe I let go of my Disney expectations of relationships. But I feel a sense of nostalgia, I want to ride off into the sunset, isn’t that what I was promised? By giving up on this am I already settling?

2 relationship quote

Every Girl? Perfect wedding, perfect man, fact or fiction? 

This is certainly a big can of worms, pass me a glass of wine and tell me your thoughts on this!