Delivering "The Talk"

April 7, 2004

If you have ever been in a relationship that ended you probably had "the talk". Not the DTR (defining the relationship) talk, but the break up talk. In this Planet Bic I will discuss "the talk" from the female perspective (mainly because I am female and have not yet mastered the inner workings of the male brain) and more specifically on how poorly men execute it. I apologize in advance to anyone that may be offended, as I know I cannot generalize the entire male population into one category, but this is my view from the limited life experiences I have had. To preface the rest of the article, what I am about to write is not exactly from my personal experiences, but those of people in my life. Thus far I have been "lucky in love" or maybe more suitable "lucky not in love". Also, This Planet Bic is not a "how to" as you may infer from the title, but rather a tool to learn from and reflect on past experiences.

Nowadays the scene begins something like this: a girl sits down to her computer to check her email and has received one from the male she has been dating. The subject is vague and after reading it she finds the message is just as vague, yet she clearly understands that the relationship is over. It starts: I don't know how to say this... or I wanted to talk to you in person, but... then there is the "it's over" part. From there it goes on to say a multiple of the following phrases: I'm sorry..., I just want to be honest with you..., I'm a jerk..., I've met someone..., I still want to be friends..., I don't want to hurt you..., Don't be angry at me..., etc. Less technology adept men may choose to use the alternate form of this scenario with a phone call.

Right now, some men might be saying to them selves, "This is crap. I have never done that." Or "That is totally me." Or even "What's wrong with doing it that way?" Well, I will tell you. First, communication is a key factor. Guys like to deliver personal conversations in the most impersonal ways. Phone is bad, but AN EMAIL??? Give me a break! Maybe it is a way to disconnect from the emotional aspect of what is transpiring or so you don't have to listen to any yelling or crying that may accompany the situation. Either way I say be a man, suck it up and tell her face to face. Why would you think that someone that you probably have seen naked would want to read or hear over the phone about breaking up? Second, boys always write or say the same crap. It is like there is some generic email/prepared speech floating around amongst guys where they just fill in the blanks and hope women will buy it and feel better. But women don't want your sorry-ass excuses that you give in hopes of making them feel better. When it comes down to it, "the talk" only serves to make you (the guy) feel better and make you feel like you "made things right" by confessing your sins.

We all know "the talk" has to be done. Face it, the majority of our relationships "fail" or don't work out. Just try to put some thought into "the talk" ahead of time, rather than using the male template outlined above. She will thank you for it, but probably not verbally. Then you can write a Planet Bic on How to Deliver the Talk so we all may learn.

- Stacy J.

If you've got anything to add, e-mail us and let your opinion be heard!