“I Think We Should See Other People”: Breaking Up with Friends 101

You were attached at the hip. You were not only BFF’s, but bffaeaeae’s. (and we all know how major that is) You did everything together, from stalking your 6th grade crushes via Facebook to buying the same top (different colors, obviously!) at Urban Outfitters.

But the keyword here is “were”. Now, you just can’t stand her. Sure life was great when you were braiding each others hair and playing Pretty Pretty Princess, but now? You would rather be sitting in your freshman year Geog. lecture (you know, where you had the professor who spit so much you needed to wear a raincoat to class?) than spend a minute with her.

Everyone has “that friend” the one where you either feel you just don’t have anything in common anymore (her hobbies include, shopping and wait what was the other one? Oh yea, shopping. While you like to think of yourself as a more “worldly” person, you cultured person, you.)

Or perhaps she has become that friend who only talks about herself. Either way, if she was a he, this would be the part where you would say “ Peace out homeboy I’m just not that into you” (or more nicely put… “I think we should see other people”). But how do you do that with a friend, let alone someone who still thinks of you as her future maid of honor?

Enter the Phase Out Plan. I came across this a few weeks ago, and thought it was a pretty genius way of letting a friend go while keeping their feelings at heart (as much as possible)

The whole point of the Phase Out Plan is to make it appear to your (soon to be ex) friend that you guys just both slowly drifted apart (even though that is soo not the case).

1) Become the busiest person you know. Even if you’re not. Little by little, start spending less time with the person you are trying to phase out. “Having other plans is the most painless way to decline an invitation. My phase-out liked to schedule our next ‘date’ at the end of our current one (“So when can we get together next week?”) which made this part of the plan especially hard. (“You can’t be busy every day next week!”) Yes, in fact, I can. And I am. (It’s okay to lie, just don’t get caught.)”

2) Stop initiating. Gradually stop being the one who calls (and eventually emails) her to come along for that major sale or for a lunch date.

3) Stop being fun to be with. (Yes I thought this sounded bitchy when I read it, too). When you are forced to hang with your Phase Out, do whatever necessary to be the polar opposite of your kick-ass super fun self. Liken yourself after Debbie Downer. Show up late, make up an excuse as to why you have to leave early, stop being so damn funny (I know it’s hard). “Smile only enough to prevent the person from asking if you’re depressed. If you’re a drag to be around, the phase-out will stop calling.”

4. Except when they don’t. Some friends will still cling. In this case, treat her like you would an annoying date who is cleary not getting the memo, that surprise! I’m not interested in you.

5. Don’t slip. Just when you think the phase out was successful; you will run into her at Bloomingdales or at the bar in the bathroom. And while you may think it’s totally awkward, she will jump on the chance to talk to you like you guys had just had a major gossip fest yesterday. “Stand firm. Be polite (no need to earn the bitch title now) but be reserved. Respond in conversation as you would to a mere acquaintance, which is what your phase-out is to you now. Do NOT get suckered into making plans. (“It’s been TOO long…we need to get together!”) Keep the conversation brief, slowly backing into the bathroom stall if you must. Then sit on the toilet and don’t come out until she leaves.”

Most importantly, don’t feel guilty for implementing this plan. It is natural in life to grow apart from your friends. While you may feel like a real life Mean Girl, keep in mind that you are really just trying to end a friendship without hurting her feelings. And it doesn’t make you an awful person, just a person with a lot more time on your hands! Yoga anyone?

The Vegetable Orchestra: Amazing Music and Free Food!
The Vegetable Orchestra: Amazing Music and Free Food!
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