Love & sex

Seven easy-to-apply football metaphors to soften the blow of breaking up with him at half time

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We’ve all been there. The big game, in the pub. Quality time with Harry, the boy you were sure would be too posh to like a traditionally working class sport, yet here you are, listening to him talk about ‘false nines’ and ‘trequartistas’ like a fucking coal miner. 

He likes you, but he will never like you as much as his one true love: men kicking balls at each other on live television. The beautiful game. You obviously need out of this relationship, but you need to make sure he hears you this time, and doesn’t just text you at 2am the next night and fucks you in his flat at 2.20am like nothing has happened. You need to speak his language:

1. “It’s a game of two halves!”

The first half being when I loved you. Funny old game, eh?

2. “Man on!”

Shorthand to explain your affair: “oh look, there’s a man on me.”

3. “At the end of the day, I’m over the moon”

Pre-empt this one by gently bedding in a new pet name for him (make sure it’s ‘the moon’) two to three months in advance.

Eugene Onischenko /

4. “He’s a mile offside!”

This works best if screamed repetitively before whipping out a tape measure and demanding to measure the length of the offence on the pub plasma screen. He might not immediately connect this to your intimacy issues, but he should twig something is up.

5. “He’s got good feet for a big man”

A neat way to needle him about his height and his amputated foot.

6. “But can he do it on a wet Wednesday night in Stoke?”

You want to move to Stoke and it’s an ultimatum. This is an unlikely bluff to be called*.

*Warning: may result in new life in Stoke.

7. “Go on, my son!”

If all else fails, pretend that you have a child from a previous relationship and that child is Arsenal’s Spanish fullback Hector Bellerin.

Cameron Loxdale

Cameron is a comedy writer and producer who has written for Newsjack and The Leak, plus a bunch of sketches, podcasts and shorts. His name is an anagram of Relaxed Cool Man, despite him being barely one out of three. The irony of a straight white man offering hot feminist takes is lost on him and it refuses to ask for directions.