Bold Strategy: Guy Reads ‘Conscious Uncoupling’ Book Next to Girlfriend Every Night Until She Dumps Him, Mission Accomplished

Breaking up is hard to do. That’s why some of us avoid doing it for as long as possible, and when we finally muster up the courage to do the deed, we do so in a roundabout way. Such was the case of a young man who came up with a brilliant plan: to read the book Conscious Uncoupling by Katherine Woodward Thomas next to his girlfriend every night until she dumped him.

“Conscious uncoupling” is a phrase that was made popular by Academy Award-winning Gwyneth Paltrow and her then-husband and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin when they divorced in 2016. Conscious uncoupling involves reframing togetherness; rather than an all-or-nothing prospect, it advocates for seeing our partners as our teachers – whom we might outgrow, evolve beyond, or eventually realize are assholes. In ending a relationship, conscious uncoupling encourages people to treat their soon-to-be exes with respect and admiration for the lessons learned during their time together. Proponents of this breakup framework also advise self-reflection so that you understand your role in the demise of the relationship and can change what you need to in order to have a different experience next time. (If you want a really long and dull dive into these theories, check out Paltrow’s Goop post about it.)

But you don’t have to understand conscious uncoupling to use this dude’s “I’m leaving you” technique. All you have to do is get a copy of the book (from your local library if you’re a real cheapskate) and pretend to read it every night. Your girlfriend might wonder why you’re reading a breakup book, but more likely, she’ll just be pleased you’re reading for once (she wasn’t sure you knew how). After a while, though, she’s bound to get curious about the book’s contents and will likely acquire her own copy, after which she’ll hope that you two can read it together and have a discussion about it. When that doesn’t happen (how can you discuss what you haven’t actually read?), she’ll realize you’re passively-aggressively preparing for a breakup and just might do the dirty work for you. (She’s fearless that way. Which begs the question: why do you want to break up with her?)

There’s nothing “conscious” (or kind) about this form of uncoupling, but sometimes, a guy’s gotta do what a guy’s gotta do.

Cover Photo: Deborah Jaffe (Getty Images)

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