True love demands that all but one relationship come to an end. Otherwise someone will end up tied to a significant other, pet or Netflix subscription they’d rather not have. When the time comes for ending a relationship it’s important to remember that whoever takes charge will move on to a happier and healthier place; the rejected will disappear into YouTube, self loathing and tear-soaked pillows while their friends and family suffer through countless phone calls, tweets and Facebook status updates. This is why failing to cut things off at the very first sign of anything other than complete adoration from your significant other risks too much. That said, for the modern romantic the appropriate exit strategy is sudden apathetic disinterest, or S.A.D.
Like Poseidon’s trident, S.A.D. is a three-pronged approach:
Sudden – The shift from caring to indifference must be a surprise, lacking warning or justification and preferably after a seemingly connective event, such as a ski weekend or a pregnancy scare. Some historians believe Sun Tzu solely employed this element of S.A.D. during a break-up.
Apathetic – The choice must not appear malicious, kind-hearted or even logical. End schadenfreude-driven texts (“When will I see you next, baby?”) with confusing responses (e.g., “Sometimes. The Happening sure sucked. V.v.V?”).
Disinterest – Every effort must be wholly divested of interest…or not. Whatever.
While S.A.D. may be deployed without justification (and it should given the first requirement), your partner’s response will soon grant a more reasonable basis for discharge from the relationship. As you move on to a brighter future filled with laughter, joy and tickle parties, your new ex is surprised, confused and hopeless. This is much like the German forces on Omaha Beach during the Normandy Landings or an American driver entering a British roundabout. Indeed, these feelings inevitably lead to the kinds of erratic behavior that a healthy, independent and awesome person like you does not need in their life. The relationship will falter under the weight of your partner’s insecurity, and when asked to explain this failure you will be able to project blame with the simple riposte, “You freaked out for no reason.” This will leave you a highly and properly propitious youth, or H.A.P.P.Y.
EXCEPTION: This method fails when utilized by both parties. The result is marriage.