Relationship problems don’t discriminate: They infect anybody, anytime, anywhere. The funny thing is, society is so focused on the demise of the romantic relationship that most people don’t know how to end the many other kinds of relationships in their lives. How exactly does one break up with a best friend? Or a community? Or even a sexuality or gender? Sex and relationship expert Jamye Waxman tackles this torrid topic in her new book, How to Break Up With Anyone, which explains how to put to rest just about any relationship you can imagine.
We attended Waxman’s book launch party and asked her some questions about the process of writing such a book, what she learned from the experience, and of course — how to break up with anyone.
Gasm.org: What inspired you to write How To Break Up With Anyone?
Jamye Waxman: My relationship with my best friend from high school ended over the phone, and I was devastated. It took me a long time to get over the loss, and when it happened a second time, 15 years later with another dear friend, I thought, someone really needs to write a book to help people get over an endship (a breakup with a friend). I kept that idea stored in my “brain file” for many years, and when the publisher approached me to write another book for them (my first book for Seal was Getting Off), I let them know about this idea that I had been mulling over for quite some time.
Gasm.org: Have you had to endure every kind of breakup you reference in the book, i.e. romantic relationships, best friends, family, etc.?
Jamye Waxman: I have never really broken up with a cult, although I’ve definitely been in one or two and just left when it didn’t serve me any longer. I never felt the need to break up in that instance, or in some other instances that I write about in the book. I’ve taken breaks from family members that could have been breakups, and I have done, or at least thought about, most of the other breakups in the book. I’d be lying if I said I always wrote a formal letter to break up with a waxer or a hairdresser — but when the relationship was important, a breakup was always the best way to end things.
Gasm.org: What surprised you the most while writing this book?
Jamye Waxman: I was surprised about how common it is for people to break up outside of romantic relationships, and how we make the process of breaking up so difficult on ourselves. I was also delightfully surprised to learn how much better it would be if we could end all of our relationships on a positive note. I discuss some research on that topic in the book, so you can check it out there — but I will say that it’s amazing how much easier we could make our breakups if we could just deal with them graciously (and we often don’t do that).
Gasm.org: What was the most difficult part of writing a book like this?
Jamye Waxman: I always wanted to add more stories or ideas, and when it was finally written and done with, I wanted to change things at the last minute. I would have loved to explore even more relationship types. I felt like I always wanted to get more stories and make sure I had detailed every option, but there were deadlines to meet and things to do, so it was challenging to balance the work/life/writing part sometimes.
Gasm.org: If you could give one piece of advice to someone who needs to break up with anyone, what would it be?