When Did The Break-up Rules Change?

My friend Natalie had just broken up with her boyfriend.  So we did what any other newly single person would do after this traumatic event.  We headed to Earl’s in the financial district to get hot Suits to buy us drinks.  I grabbed a table and a dirty martini as I waited for Natalie to arrive.  Natalie wore ‘break-up’ really well because when she walked into the restaurant many Suits turned to stare at her in her gorgeous heels and low-cut blouse.

“This new Victoria’s Secret Push Up better get us some drinks,” was the first thing she sputtered as she threw her Louis on the table and gave me a kiss on the cheek.  Sure enough the Suits had smelt the scent of ‘single’ off Natalie and sent over a cocktail.  “Well, you look great for someone who has just broken up with her boyfriend,” I said to her as she waved with gratitude to the drooling Suit in the corner. “Now that I am free from my relationship, I  realize that I should have ended it sooner,” she huffed as she sucked back her drink and ordered a vodka soda.

Natalie spent the next hour updating me on her newly single life and the grief she was getting from her boyfriend and their circle of friends.  “Everyone is acting like I am the bad guy!  Just because I broke up with him doesn’t mean that this situation isn’t hard for me,” she said, which made me start to think.  Why are we labeled the bad guy when we are the ones that end the relationship?

Remember back in highschool?  You would desperately try to end the relationship before your partner had a chance in order to avoid social suicide.  But now when we are the first to initiate a break-up we are instantly labeled the bad guy.  When did the break-up rules change?  Is it more considerate to lie to your partner by staying in a relationship you are not happy with?  Why does everyone think if you end the relationship there is another man in the picture?  And why is it assumed that because we ended the relationship we aren’t mourning the break-up?

I then looked at Natalie and the collection of empty cocktail glasses on the table purchased by the Suits and said, “Well, at least that bra paid for itself!”


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