5 Ways To Lessen The Blow When You Have To Break Up With Someone
Ah, the break-up talk.
It's never easy, no matter whether you're giving or receiving it.
When I was a teenager -- woefully unsure of myself and blatantly insecure in my relationships -- I jumped ship at the first sign of troubled waters.
I had no clue how to be in a relationship, and thus, I had no clue that when you fight, you’re typically supposed to try to work things out.
At 19, I was just like “Bye Felicia,” and I got the heck out of there.
Once I started to figure out dating a little more in college, I met a really good guy.
But more on that later.
Unfortunately, we were not on the same page about where we wanted things to go.
I made the difficult decision to break it off, and ended things messily.
The breakup was painful, and it hurt both of us for a long time.
I wish I’d done it differently, but hey, hindsight’s 20-20, isn’t it?
Fast-forward more years and more relationships, and factor in the addition of dating apps. Think about the plethora of dates and mini relationships that have spawned because of this.
It seems like we're all going on way more dates, having way more flings and going through way more breakups than we were a handful of years ago.
The “mini relationship” has become a reality for a lot of us.
It’s that person we meet, click with at first and date for four to six weeks.
It’s the ideal amount of time to get excited about someone.
You’re able to start thinking about actually dating him or her seriously.
But after a few weeks, when that initial buzz of newness wears off, you realize this person isn’t actually long-term material.
That’s okay. You just need to be respectful about ending it with him or her.
The more dates we going on, the higher the percentage of incompatibility.
Let’s face it: Not everyone you meet, date and get to know will ignite a spark.
You need to know how best to end it, so you don’t completely butcher any chance of staying friendly.
If you live in a city as compressed as Seattle, you're bound to run into that dude again.
Case in point: I saw this guy I met at a bar on a hiking trail months after ghosting him. I kid you not, I almost dove into the bushes in order to avoid seeing him.
It was very awkward.
To minimize the damage on both sides of a mini relationship that doesn’t have long-term potential, I've pulled together some tips to make it a little easier on the both of you.
Even if you're the one doing the dumping, you don't want to regret how you did it, or have that bad dating juju on you.
Here are five tips for lessening the blow of breaking up with someone:
1. Consider what really isn't working.
We are all so fickle in love.
"I don't like his teeth" or "She has an annoying laugh" are some lines I've heard from my friends.
But we're not in high school anymore.
You can’t be an immature schmuck.
This is adulthood.
You have to have your reasons for doing things, even if those reasons are screwed up.
I broke up with that sweet college boyfriend of mine because he wanted to get married young and settle down early.
I, on the other hand, wanted adventure and freedom during my 20s.
I chose a decade of travel, dancing on tables, kissing men and finding myself instead of saying yes to a white dress.
To me, that was a valid reason to part ways.
At the time, he didn't handle my reasoning very well.
But now, he has a wife and two kids, so I’m sure he would agree my decision to break up was for the best.
He got what he wanted, and I got what I wanted.
If you two are on very different pages about where you want your futures to go, it’s best to figure that out early. It's way better than dragging out a relationship for years.
It would only rip your hearts out when you realize you’re ultimately incompatible.
Nip it in the bud.
2. Think about the delivery.
I have broken up with guys (and have been broken up with) via texts, emails, phone calls and once, in person at a friend's wedding.
This was actually great because as soon as he left the party, I drowned my sorrows in tequila at the open bar.
There's no right way to deliver the news, but there's definitely a wrong way: That's by being a jerk.
Nobody likes to be dumped, but you don't have to be a complete dunce about it.
Here's a rule: The longer you've dated, the more you owe him or her the respect of explaining yourself with valid reasoning. Take care of business in person.
But if you've only dated a month, there’s less of a requirement to do the deed in person.
Personally, I suck at confrontation.
I will be that person to send that “I’m so sorry, but this isn’t going to work out" text. Then, I'll brace myself for his reaction.
Most of the time, the feeling is mutual. We usually remain friendly.
But occasionally, I hit a nerve.
You better believe those angry texts are not very pleasant.
But they sure keep my friends entertained during the day when I send them the screenshots.
3. Choose a neutral place.
I actually saw this advice online when I Googled “how to break up with a nice person.”
I am socially inept, apparently.
In all seriousness, one of the tips was actually clever. Choosing a neutral place is key because you can peacefully have that painful and private conversation.
If you're doing the dumping or being dumped, you wouldn’t want that sh*t to go down in your favorite coffee shop, surrounded by happy, caffeinated people. Would you?
You definitely don’t want to get stuck at a restaurant with a waitress hovering over you. You'd have to go through three courses before you got around to the dumping with a side of dessert.
My advice? Keep it quick, keep it clean and keep it out of the house.
You do not want to associate a specific place you like with a negative memory. So opt to meet somewhere neutral -- like a park -- so you can go on a walk.
Walking or standing side by side is less confrontational in terms of body language. This way, it won’t feel like either one of you is being attacked.
4. Leave him or her alone. Unfollow your ex and let him or her move on with his or her life.
If you got food poisoning from eating moo shu pork at the Chinese restaurant down the street from your apartment, would you go back there and eat the same food?
No, you nitwit.
So when relationships end, why would you keep them at the forefront of your mind?
The easiest way to let this person go in your mind is to stop seeing him or her on social media.
You don’t have to unfriend him or her, but you can certainly unfollow any and all updates.
Here’s a wild tip: You should probably not “like” his or her posts or comment on them.
Also please, please don’t be the person to drunkenly text him or her when you want attention weeks or months later.
Just let your ex go live his or her life, and you live yours.
5. Try to learn from your past relationships before repeating the same mistakes again.
The best advice I can give you is try to learn from your past.
If you are continually choosing the same type of guy and getting disappointed with the results, maybe you should take a step back and think about why you’re choosing that type of guy.
It’s true that we get the love we think we deserve.
If we’re constantly going for the same type of person and getting the same negative results, it’s time to think about what those relationships all have in common: you.
Rather than becoming a serial dater, worn down by breakup after breakup, it’s time to reevaluate who you are, what you’re looking for and what you’re giving in your relationships.
Be smart, be kind and be thoughtful about love.
Life isn’t a playground. You can't go around smashing hearts, or having yours smashed to bits.
Take a break from the dating game and take care of yourself.
When you’re ready to really start searching for that perfect someone, do it with the best of intentions.