A divorce is between two equal partners. But the UK is to the EU what Belgium, Austria or Portugal are to Germany: an entity eight times as small. If the EU informs the UK that “no soft Brexit means no soft Brexit” then that is what it is.
For the same reason the analogy of a “game of chicken” for the coming negotiations should be cast aside. The UK and the EU may be driving at furious speed into one another, each expecting the other to swerve. But if the UK is a Mini then the EU is a truck.
A divorce isn't always between two equal partners, either, but watching the Tories is like watching some guy trying to impress a woman by boasting about his fantasy football team. It's embarrassing and sad. Overall the EU would prefer if the UK stays in, though that it's just going to be a giant pain in the ass is the main reason. They don't really care that much. The UK needs to sweet talk every other EU country, and not keep talking about how they'll miss him when he's gone. Because they won't much.