Ending a relationship is never easy. Even if you’ve only been dating a couple of months, the idea of calling it off yourself can produce sweaty palms, guilt and propel you to stand in front of the mirror rehearsing lines. You might wonder, “If only he’d breakup with me first, I’d be off the hook.” But no, he is growing more attached while you are looking forward to moving on.
If you are thinking about breaking up with someone who you grew close to, enjoyed the time you spend together, or even loved, how to tell him it’s over may weigh heavy on your mind. Yes, you want to say the right thing, let him down easy and not hurt him beyond repair. Nor do you want saying what you need to say to shatter you or turn the event into a hate session. Careful consideration and forethought can ease the process. Here are some tips that you may wish to consider for ending a relationship on a positive note:
Be Sure Breaking Up Is What You Want to Do
If you just had a big argument the night before and now you want revenge thinking that telling him it’s over will show him you mean business, you may need to curb your impulses. Give yourself a few days and decide if breaking up is really what you want to do. Sometimes women think that the threat of abandonment will turn their man around to appreciate them a bit more.
If breaking up has been on your mind for quite a while and you have come to the conclusion it is best that you part as friends, then by all means as a woman you have just as much right to end the relationship as he does.
Choose the Right Place and the Right Time
A phone or text message is not the way to say, “I think we should stop seeing each other.” A young man recently sent me his girlfriend’s last text message in which she terminated their yearlong relationship by saying, “I just can’t do this gooey thing anymore.”
Though you might have considered texting, you possess the maturity to know that a face-to-face conversation would set a more respectful tone. Plan to meet in a neutral public place, preferably somewhere you have not been as a couple. A coffee shop is better than a restaurant because the last thing on your mind will be food. Find a table in the corner where you can have a bit of privacy and the stage is set for you to have a serious and heart-felt conversation. If you meet at your place or his it is a set up for a long drawn out dramatic end.
Timing is also important to consider. For instance, don’t set the time during his lunch hour knowing he will be in a rush to get back to work or during finals week when he has to cram for tests in the days ahead. You wouldn’t want it on your conscience that you caused him to fail and ruined his career dreams for the future.
Bury the Hatchet Before You Meet
Women break up with their guys usually for good reasons. And you may have a list of things you just got tired of. You may also have a long list of resentments some of which you never told him in the moment. Thinking now is the time to vent a long list of grievances will only add more insult to the situation. Keep your list down to three reasons why the relationship isn’t working for you anymore.
Be Honest About the Reasons Why You Want to Call It Off
Honesty is the best policy when stating your reasons. If you lie to save face, he’ll probably find out the truth from one of your friends. Make it clear that you spent considerable time in coming to your decision and that you first had to be honest with yourself about your feelings and expectations of the relationship.
Don’t Kill Him with Kindness or Think You Can Mentor Him
If you are like many women, you may feel a bit guilty being the one to call it off. You want to be kind, but sweetening the conversation with too many apologies may only confuse him. He’ll think there’s a chance you’ll come to your senses, forgive yourself and come back running to him. Never use the break up session to give him advice as if you are coaching him for a future relationship. He’ll learn the lesson surrounding your break up in his own way and in his own time.
Consider His Baggage as Well as Yours Before Opening Your Mouth
If you were intimate for long enough you know your guy’s weaknesses and vulnerable spots well. He may have issues about being made to seem wrong or has a bit of abandonment phobia because his mother left him as a child. If so, you will want to choose your words carefully so that you don’t push any of his buttons. Stress that the bond of friendship is what you want now and that you have done a great deal of soul-searching, looking at your previous patterns in relationship before coming to your decision. Expand on that soul-searching process a bit so that he knows for sure that the break up was not a hasty decision.
Listen to His Response Compassionately and Learn From It
As long as he is being respectful, it is important to let him have his say. You may not like all that he tells you, but if you are bent on remaining friends this will be a good test as to whether that will be possible. Don’t let yourself be swayed in the moment to give the relationship another try. If he is extremely attached to you, he may try to make a good case for the two of you remaining together. Tell him you need space and time to consider what he has said.
Be Appreciative of His Friendship
Although many experts consider it inadvisable to pursue a friendship with someone you were previously romantically involved with, continuing the friendship is not impossible. In fact, it is preferable in cases when you stand on common ground and are connected soul to soul. If you valued your guy for his qualities and all he contributed to your life, you will want to let him know how much you appreciated all that he did. With time, the words of appreciation you express at the end of your romance will hold more weight than the fact that you had to end it.