To "bench" someone, romantically speaking, is to put them in relationship limbo without telling them. Let's say you have a sneaky feeling that you might want to break up with your partner soon, but you're not 100 percent sure, and in the meantime you don't want to screw things up just in case you're wrong. A grownup might confess these feelings of uncertainty, but that would lead to a Big Talk (not to mention an extended period of unreciprocated oral sex if you stay together after the B.T.)--and all that melodramatic over-analyzing is precisely what you're trying to avoid right now. So you bench your partner and kind of hang out in relationship stasis, marking time until you've made up your mind whether to stay or go. During this period, there are 8 basic rules you should follow:
1. Don't introduce your partner to any more friends or family members, especially by attending a family reunion together--nothing sends a mixed message like dumping someone the day after your sibling asks them to be bridesmaid/groomsman.
2. Likewise, don't commit to any double dates more than a week hence, don't book that nonrefundable vacation to Australia, and whatever you do, don't get a pet together!
3. Don't leave any large items of personal property at your partner's house (in extreme cases, you may actually start to clandestinely retrieve particularly valuable/sentimental items of property from your partner's house, just in case--but only do so if you're sure you won't be caught, otherwise you will be exposed as the lily-livered, half-assed boyf/girlf you are).
4. Don't try out any new and daring sexual acts that might lead your partner to later accuse you thusly: "I can't believe you're dumping me right after I agreed to strip for/use chocolate body paint on/rim you!"
Continue here to read tips 5-8!
Some of the above can be found in our book, "Buh Bye: The Ultimate Guide to Dumping and Getting Dumped"
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