‘Seinfeld’ Solutions — Breaking Up and Finding Happiness
It’s among the hardest things anyone has to do multiple times over a lifetime: Break up with somebody. There are a number of different approaches from totally ignoring the person to the “let’s just be friends” to “I think we should see other people.”
Guess what, though? “Seinfeld” has a solution to getting out of a relationship.
“Seinfeld” prides itself on no “aw” moments throughout its history. It doesn’t toil in deep emotions; there aren’t serious episodes during sweeps week. So it’s no surprise that when a relationship went sour — and there seemed to be one every week — the “Seinfeld” approach is both callous and hilarious.
This is a guide to break ups and finding happiness, the “Seinfeld” way.
George Costanza Approach
Let’s start with George’s approach to breaking up with a woman. His solution is usually to drag it out as long as possible. Anyone remember when George cries his way out of a marriage date?
That doesn’t work, and he eventually has to wait for death before he gets out of that one. But that’s an extreme example.
George also tries the one-up approach. And of course, his most famous line, “It’s not you, it’s me.”
George uses both classic examples of how to break up with someone in one scene. Brilliant.
Finally, George has a third way to break up with a woman: Have them witness him screwing up. In “The Lip Reader” George can’t get rid of a girlfriend despite several attempts, so he begins dating another woman, schedules a date at the same place and time, and in a hilarious twist of fate, neither are willing to leave.
Ultimately George chooses only one path to happiness. Do the opposite:
Kramer is a lover. He is the sex symbol of the show. He doesn’t break up with women so much as fade away.
But there was one instance that comes to mind where Kramer has to get out of something. He’s dating a long-nailed cashier from the coffee shop. He likes her only because of her back-scratching abilities.
When his itch is gone and he realizes that the woman isn’t really for him, well, things get a little weird. He positions his car within site of the woman and, well, here’s what she sees.
Elaine always mentions the best part about her relationships — the lobster bisque — and is never afraid to break it off (like a band-aid!).
In one of her most famous scenes, she doesn’t so much break up with a guy with whom she is in a long-distance relationship, but instead hopes that he catches his flight back never to be seen again.
We can’t mention Elaine Marie Benes without also mentioning David Puddy. The two had an on-again, off-again relationship throughout the second half of “Seinfeld’s” run. They broke up so many times it’s hard to keep track.
However, each one gives us the sense that Elaine really doesn’t have a ton of emotion. It’s done in a matter of moments. Take this approach and you’re sure not to be hurt.
Jerry Seinfeld is perhaps the most emotionless character in television history. He dates and breaks up more than anyone on the show and seems to move on without care.
Take “The Contest” when Marla leaves Jerry and he just turns to the window and watches the woman across the street.
Or the time he isn’t sure if a woman’s chest is real. He can’t have that, so he has Elaine find out for him.
Or the time he drops his girlfriend’s toothbrush in the toilet by accident and can’t look at her the same again.
Or the time he sees a fungus cream in a girlfriend’s medicine cabinet and obsesses over it.
You get the idea. Either way, the approach is to go through life nitpicking over insignificant things to the point where you can’t emotionally attach yourself to anyone.
It sounds bleak. But, then again, life is often even-Steven. When one fails there will always be another around the corner.
So when you’re breaking up with someone or they’re breaking up with you, just remember there is someone just as dysfunctional, emotionally screwed up and distant as you out there.