I have a big problem. A few years ago I started dating this great, funny, handsome guy. We moved in together a couple years ago and have since had a nice, happy and generally OK life going on. He’s 35 and I’m 31 so it felt good to be on “serious relationship” footing.
But since last fall, there’s been a rapidly growing elephant in our apartment. He likes Trump. He likes Trump in a way that is killing me. He’s started to use the rhetoric of the people I generally can’t stand. Almost no day goes past that I don’t hear some “lib-tard,” “radical Islam,” “social justice warrior” garbage. At first it seemed like he was joking and the shift didn’t really fit into the rest of his personality or ideals so I was able to see it as a misguided interest or poor satire. But now I know he isn’t joking. We argue about this all the time and his debate style is to talk over and belittle me. I can see we are both just further entrenching our views.
Do I have to break up with him? If I were talking to a friend, I would tell her to break up with him. I don’t know what to do. I want to find the person who told me he thought “everyone should be a feminist” on our second date. Can that happen? I feel like breaking up would mean blowing up my life.
Alt-Right’s Not All Right
Blow up your life! Fuck it. It’ll be hard, but you’ve been putting up with this gnarly shit for almost a year, so I’m sure you’ll make it out okay.
Here’s the thing: A lot of people voted for Trump and are watching what’s happening and they love it. And, unfortunately, some of those folks have big dicks that work nicely and sweet apartments and great relationships with their moms and can seem like kind folks who will come around someday, hopefully, probably not, but who cares because we hate them with all of our guts. I’m not going to tell you to break up with your boyfriend because he’s alt-right. You need to dump him because he’s a bigot.
According to Webster, a bigot is someone who is “obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his own opinions.” Ignoring all the dumb shit your dude is into right now, the fact that he talks over you and belittles you is enough grounds for ending the relationship. There is no relationship. That’s not “relating,” you know what I mean? Relationships are about connection, and sometimes rifts and repairs, but he’s clearly not interested in any of that. My guess is he’s always been this way, even when he was pretending to share your political views. We all present ourselves in the beginning of our relationships in the light we believe our desired partner will find most appealing. So he said a thing about feminism, and maybe at the time he meant it? But he probably didn’t want to have a discussion about it; not then and not now. He doesn’t want to have an active, meaningful discourse with you. Why would you want to be with someone who doesn’t want to talk to you about super important stuff? Over time, life just naturally gets harder in a lot of ways. Imagine what this guy will be like if you ever get into financial trouble or have a child with special needs or one of you gets cancer, which is, like, pretty much guaranteed. He will be a piece of shit with dumb opinions and he won’t listen to anything you have to say.
Blow your life up right now. It’ll hurt, but he is who he is and who he is is a bigot. Reminding yourself of the rest of his terrible qualities should help you out the door.
I need some insight and I’m hoping you can help.
I’m done with my relationship.
We’ve lived together for five years and known each other for nearly a decade. He is legit my best friend, but I’m DONE with the relationship.
I have a therapist and have spent several months talking through my fears and hopes and unhappiness. I don’t need your help in making the decision to break up. I’m pretty much there (mostly, sorta...WHATEVER). What I’m saying is, I’ve got a handle on the emotional side of breaking up.
What I need is some straight talk about how to break up...like, logistically. What does that process look like? I don’t know how to even start! I feel dumb and lost and shitty.
I’m a late bloomer to this—I’m in my early thirties and, outside of my high school boyfriend, I’ve never broken up with anyone. Ever. On top of that, he’s my first live-in boyfriend and our lives are tangled and enmeshed. On top of THAT, I have a lot of shit!
I know the actual breakup is going to suck and I am dreading that part of it—but I feel even more paralyzed by the idea of physically untangling his shit from my shit. How much planning should go into this? Do I secretly get a storage unit and start hauling stuff out, one box at a time? Or do I break up with him and get a U-Haul and move out completely in the same day? Fuck it—maybe just put everything in a big pile and start a bonfire in the front yard? Should I be looking for an apartment already? GAH I HATE THAT I DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO THIS.
Seriously, though, can you help?
-Dumb and Lost
Here’s what you do, not that I would know from personal experience—JUST KIDDING, I do this as a cleanse every few years or so. It’s part of my self care? Am I doing it right?
Anyway, first you have to find an apartment. Don’t talk to him about it. Just find one and sign a lease. Then call the movers and have them ready to go on moving day. Now you just need to pack and then do the breakup in some order.
If you are legit-legit best friends, I’d tell him one week before moving day and ask if he can go stay somewhere while you pack. If he says sure, he’s a pushover and good riddance! If he says “Hell naw, you’re the one who wants to break up, you go stay somewhere!” then you go to a friend’s house for the week and make a packing schedule with his help. He will start piling your stuff in a corner and you’ll come over for a few hours each night that week and pack while he goes out with friends or something. You might also want to consider throwing away most of your stuff. (I know it’s trendy, but I just did it and it is FUN.) And then you move.
Whatever you do, do not fuck him that week. Just trust me.
The end! It gets easier every time, I promise.
Have a question for Jane? Email her at email@example.com. Please change names and identifying info; this advice column unfortunately is not aimed at destroying lives.