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Breaking Up - Find out what your break up type is
BOYS, January 2010, by Jenifer Merifield
Could you write an article on breaking up? I had a crush on this guy for like two years and he finally asked me out. So after like a month I don’t really like him like that anymore. I can’t really explain it but I feel bad. He likes me so much and I don’t want to be mean. How do you break up for good?
~ Want to break up, 14, Thornhill, ON
Great question! There are 4 main types of decision making. Answer this question to get an idea of what category you fit in to and see the break up suggestions below!
You’re at the dance when a guy you totally don’t like asks you to dance, you:
A) Look at him, scrunch up your nose, furl your eyebrows and say “No” then immediately turn around to resume the conversation you were having with your friends. You don’t like him and you could care less what he thinks.
B) You make up the first excuse you can think of to say “No”. Even though you lie about why you won’t dance with him you’d rather not hurt his feelings by telling the truth. White lies never hurt anyone did they?
C) You say, “Okay” and mouth the words HELP ME at your friends as you walk onto the dance floor. You know he likes you and you feel bad that it took so much courage to ask. Besides, it’s just one dance and you hate hurting people’s feelings.
D) You muster up a sweet smile and say, “Thanks for asking, but no.” You don’t want to hurt his feelings but you’re not exactly going to dance with someone if you don’t want to.
If you answered A, you are most likely in the Deflector category. If you answered B, you’re more of a Wishy Washy type. C’s are Yes Okay types and D’s are the Straight Aheaders.
Want to try another question just to be sure before we get into the descriptions? Answer this one…
Phone Call Scenario
You agree to let a guy you have been seriously crushing on have your phone number and he calls you that night. You know you have a ton of homework so you tell him you can only talk for half an hour. The conversation is so awesome and you are sooo happy to be talking to him but then you see that 45 minutes have gone by. You:
A) Freak out on him and get mad that he didn’t remind you of the time and tell him he must not respect your time!
B) You wait 10 or 15 more minutes hoping he notices first, then you pretend like you just noticed and say “OMG, I didn’t even notice how much time has gone by!” Then after he convinces you to stay on the phone for 15 more minutes you finally hang up.
C) You don’t say anything and act like you don’t notice. Time keeps going by and you feel uncomfortable but you don’t want to look silly so you say nothing. When he finally says something you act surprised and are easily convinced to stay on a little longer, knowing you’ll have to stay up late to do your homework.
D) As soon as you notice the time you say, “Whoa, check out the time. I love talking to you but I promised myself I was only going to talk for half an hour. I have to do my homework now.” Even though he asks you to stay on the phone longer you tell him you’ll talk another time then say bye and hang up.
Got it now? Okay, so here are the descriptions and you may be a mix of more than one. The point is that the way you behave in most situations where you have to make a decision, is how you will most likely handle breaking up when/if the time comes! Read on it will make more sense.
The Deflector Type
You have strong opinions. Deflector types tend to ‘deflect’ or throw it back at other people. You may be a touch ‘sharp’ when you have an opinion like In the dance situation where the most important thing was the conversation with your friends. The guy was an annoyance and you wanted him gone, pronto! His feelings were not considered. The good thing about your personality is that you won’t likely find yourself in a situation you don’t want to be in. No means no, period! In a breakup situation, deflector types have the tendency to be a little harsh and put the blame on the guy, 100% of it (like the phone call scenario). So while you won’t have trouble breaking up if you’re the Deflector Type, you may think about adding a bit of sweetness to what you have to say. Be gentle… everyone has feelings :)
The Wishy Washy Type
You dear souls have a heart of gold. You are empathetic and care about other people’s feelings. Wishy Washy Types have a hard time saying no, and if they really need to they tell little white lies (like in the dance scenario) so as to not hurt someone’s feelings. In a break up situation, you will most likely drag it out a little longer than necessary but you will eventually do it, in a compassionate way. Be careful though, Wishy Washers have a tendency to think of others’ feelings before your own. Sometimes you can be convinced to do things you don’t want to do when people figure out how to take advantage of your emotional sensitivity. Like in the phone call scenario, you were convinced to keep talking even though you knew you should hang up. For you gals, be strong and put yourself first. People love you and you are awesome when you are balanced!
The Yes Okay Types
This type is an exaggerated version of the Wishy Washies. Girl, you can’t say No! For you it’s always “Yes” or “Okay”. It doesn’t take much convincing for people to get you to help them out or do what they want, even if you don’t want to. Like the dance scenario you were willing to dance with someone you really didn’t want to because of his feelings. That’s sweet but not good! This will get you into trouble if you don’t set boundaries and be firm about them! In the phone scenario you went against what you knew was right for someone else. In a breakup situation you have the most trouble of all the Types. In fact, you are the type to stay in a relationship waaaay longer than you want to simply because you don’t know how to say no. :( You have such a loving heart and you forget about how worthy you are. Starting now, every day you need to practice saying NO. Or better, say “Thank you, but no”. If you get in the habit of saying yes to a dance you don’t want, you’ll find yourself saying yes to more serious things in the future with bad consequences. Love yourself, you are WORTHY. And say No more often.
The Straight Ahead Type
You are the balanced people in the world. You consider other people’s feelings, but you know that YOU are #1. The Straight Aheaders have very defined boundaries for themselves. Just like the Deflectors, they won’t have trouble breaking up with someone (other than maybe feeling sad), but they will do it in a mature and compassionate way. Just like in the dance and phone scenarios, you were honest while considering the other person’s feelings and you didn’t get convinced to do something you didn’t want to do. It’s rare to find anyone who is 100% of a Straight Ahead Type; depending on the seriousness of the situation they could lean towards being a bit Wishy Washy at times. These girls have less drama in their lives and tend to get through tough situations faster. We could all be a bit more like the Straight Ahead Type!
Once you know what your type is you’ll have a general idea of what a break up might be like for you. Breaking up can be very awkward and uncomfortable so my advice is to plan it out ahead of time. Know what you’re going to say, consider the other person’s feelings, but don’t get sucked into keeping it going if you don’t want to. When in doubt say, “I’m sorry but no. I’ve made my decision.” The Wishy Washies and the Yes Okayers may have to say that repeatedly if your guy doesn’t want it to end.
Start off by saying you need to talk. Then come straight out and say what you practiced. Something like, “I think we should break up” is getting straight to the point without beating around the bush and dragging it out. Then pause. Let him say what he has to say and that will give you some time to get your thoughts together if you’re feeling uncomfortable. Say the things you wanted to say and remember the, “I’m sorry, but no” if you need it. If there is an awkward silence and you don’t know what to do then just smile (if it’s appropriate) and say “I’ve made my decision.” Then walk away. No matter what your reason promise yourself you will get through it. You’ll feel so much better when you do. And hey, if you have a Straight Ahead type as a friend, ask her for advice!
ps: Feel free to write your break up stories or suggestions on how to break up in the comments below.