Once you set a precedent by vacationing with a girl, leaving her behind takes finesse. Our twenty-first-century rogue tells you how to break free from the anchor weighing you down.
Illustration by Celia Calle

Dear Scoundrel,
For the past several summers, I’ve been going to the beach for a week with my college friends and our current girlfriends. My girl has come with me for the past three years, and she loves it. But this year, the guy whose name is on the lease just broke up with his girlfriend; he’s insisting on making it guys-only and sold the other dudes on creeping for girls Jersey Shore–style. That’s fine by me, except I don’t know how to break it to my girlfriend. She’s already been talking about it for months. But there’s no way I’m bringing her—my buddies would never forgive me for raining on their pussy parade.

You’re going to turn the beachside love shack into a ballsto-the-wall stabbin’ cabin? Bob Vila would be proud. There’s nothing wrong with your brokenhearted bro craving some motion by the ocean, but whatever you do, don’t tell your girl the plan is trolling for shore whores. Before she’ll see you off to Margaritaville, she’ll grill you like a pig on a spit and bust your balls so hard you’ll feel like they’re clams dropped on the rocks. Instead, bury her head in the sand by telling her your boy has completely lost it and has joined up in Robert Bly’s “mythopoetic man’s movement”—you might want to Google this. Say he wants to awaken his friends’ repressed masculinity via fireside drum circles. “I know it’s ridiculous,” you’ll say, “but he’s in a bad place and we feel like we should be there for him.” (You also should mention that part of the mythopoetic men’s movement is taking out the trash more often.)

In short, you want to paint a picture of animal pelts on head, not bikini bottoms on face. She’ll leave you to your “retreat” when she realizes it entails going into the woods and reconnecting with your lost father, not getting wood and asking a stripper, “Who’s your daddy?” That said, you will have to make it up to her by taking her shopping in Paris, or on some other gay-cation you’ve been avoiding. Even I can’t help you with that.

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