So, the fires of love and desire have fizzled, and you aren’t quite “feeling” your beau anymore. You want to call it quits, but there’s only one problem: while you’re ready to end it, he’s committed to making it work. If you’ve decided that your relationship has simply run it’s course, but don’t want things to go array, here are a few tips for dodging the drama and letting your guy down in a compassionate manner.
Do It In Person. While this is quite possibly the most obvious tip of all, this list wouldn’t be complete without it. Unless you’ve only casually been out a few times or you suspect things could get violent, there is no justification for breaking up with someone through text or email. You owe your soon-to-be ex some face time. Also, carefully consider where you’ll break the bad news. Your home may be too familiar, and your “talk” could come across as just another argument. I would definitely steer clear of restaurants or other similarly crowed places because things could turn sour, and there’s no need to broadcast your dirty laundry to everyone. And don’t, for the love of all things holy, take him to one of his favorite places to do it. That’s just cruel. Choose a place that is comfortable for you both instead.
Be Direct. In other words: don’t be vague or ambiguous. Avoid softening the blow by saying things like, “It’s not working out right now, but that doesn’t mean I will always feel this way.” Doing so will only leave him confused as to whether or not the relationship is truly over. Give him a definite reason for why you’re ending the relationship. Don’t be overly harsh, and avoid playing the blame game. Take responsibility for your role in your relationship’s demise as well.
Listen. You’ve said your peace and now it’s time to hear him out. Chances are he’ll have plenty to say, and at this point, your job is to receive. Allow him the opportunity to vent his frustrations. If he’d like some solo time, that’s fine too – don’t force him to talk. If he begins to speak in circles, take the reins and say something like, “I’ve heard you out, and I understand how you feel, but constantly rehashing this isn’t going to make me change my mind. We could go on forever, but it’s just not going to work out.” Doing so will communicate the seriousness of the situation.
Cut Your Ties. Continuing to speak as “friends” is a no-no – especially if you two were very much in love. If you’re serious about ending your relationship, I suggest at least eight weeks with absolutely no contact. And yes, internet stalking is considered contact. I know most of us would like to remain friends with our ex’s, but the healing process can’t begin if you’re picking at the wounds. It’s best to explore the possibility of friendship later down the road.
Another no-no? Breakup sex. Nothing complicates a situation faster than sex – especially the good kind. If he insists on “one last time” resist.
Be Mature. It’s always best to take the high road after a breakup. Just because your relationship didn’t end on the best of terms, don’t go airing his dirty laundry out all over Twitter. And sure, his new girl is cute, but stalking her Instagram while repeatedly proclaiming, “she ain’t got nothing on me” can’t be healthy. Jealousy and hurt are natural emotions when trying to properly heal from a meaningful relationship. Accept your emotions, but don’t let them get the best of you.
The Upside. Not all of our relationships will end in “I do” and that’s okay. It ended, sure, but don’t see it as a failure – not necessarily anyway. Because of that relationship, you’ve improved your relationship skills and have learned more about yourself – what you can deal with, what you can’t, and what you yourself need to improve on. You’re also a little more realistic about what’s out there, and who you are. Use your newfound knowledge to your advantage in your next relationship!
Have you survived a messy breakup? What would you have done differently if given the chance? Comment below.
About the author: Mariah Thompson is a 20-something year old writer living and loving in Atlanta, GA. Follow her on Twitter.