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Lyric Problems: “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”

Paul Simon wrote a song entitled “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” then he didn’t come close to offering the 50 ways.

In fact, as far as I can tell, he only offers six alternatives to leaving your lover, and they all suck.

Just slip out the back, Jack… So just leave without even saying goodbye? Like a damn coward?

Make a new plan, Stan… What does this mean? Rent an apartment? Buy plane tickets? Hire a contract killer?

You don’t need to be coy, Roy… Coy? Who’s every been “cute, coquettish, or artfully playful” when breaking up? When was being coy while dumping someone even an option?

Hop on the bus, Gus… So public transportation? Just get yourself a bus schedule and you’re good to go?

You don’t need to discuss much… Paul Simon appears to be a big fan of avoiding conflict when it comes to break ups. No talk. Just get the hell out of there.

Just drop off the key, Lee… With who? The landlord? Your lover? Just leave the key beside the blender and leave?

None of these options are good.

I haven’t broken up with a partner in more than 17 years, but back in the day, I was well known as an outstanding relationship ender, maintaining friendships, at least for a time, with every woman who I dated.

Not a single bad break up.

My advice, Paul Simon:

Don’t be a terrible person. Understand that people can fall into and out of love without any intention. Remember that you can’t convince someone to love you once it’s over. Consider every break up as an opportunity for a new adventure.  Believe that you will find love again. Know that the heart heals with time. Try like hell to be kind and decent regardless of the circumstances. Give more than you take.

It’s not easy, but it allows you to remain in good standing with someone who you once loved, and it’s a hell of a lot better than opting for public transportation or walking out without saying a word.