Breaking up – letting them down gently

You know he or she is not the one you want to be spending time with and you’ve put off the hard conversation long enough. You’ve been dumped before but now you’re doing the dumping.

You know how much rejection hurts and, while you need to move forward with your life, you don’t want to cause pain to the other person. How do you let them down gently?

Well, if the person is crazy in love with you, letting them down gently is a tall order. They’re going to hurt, no matter how you broach the subject. The key, though, is to not add insult to injury.

Breaking up via fax, e-mail, instant messaging, or SMS message is not good etiquette. For the person that’s being dumped, being told they’re no longer welcome should be done face-to-face.

From a selfish point of view, you want to minimize your own guilt – there’s actually no reason to feel guilty for wanting to get on with your life, but if you take the easy, electronic option, you’ll feel worse about it all. Breaking up in person also grants your soon-to-be-ex some respect.

Choose the break-up venue with care. The last place you want to tell someone that you’re finished with them is at the scene of your first date or anywhere that you have romantic associations.

Be honest with them about why you’re breaking up, but choose your words carefully. After the break-up, he or she will be wondering what went wrong – try to answer those questions for them in advance without being unkind.

It may be tempting to say that you’d like to stay friends – and it’s tempting because you think it will ease the other person’s pain. Whatever the case, don’t suggest to keep in contact if you have no intention to. Let the other person know where they stand.

On the website, Scott Kessman writes: “During the break up procedure, you should point out issues and concerns you’ve had about the problems within the relationship, and explain openly and to the point the reasons why you feel the breakup can’t be avoided. At the same time, offer some praises about the good times shared offering some compliments and talk about the good qualities you admire in your (now) ex. With this angle, your ex may be hurt by what he or she considers to be criticisms at the time, but approached in a genuine heart felt manner, and carried out by uplifting associations, they can hopefully start a positive bout of inner peace and except the realization too. “A real assessment of a romantic partnership can help many of us prepare better for the next time we commit to another person, and perhaps serve to rectify some of our negative characteristics.”

Often, the fear of breaking-up – of hurting someone you share your life with – can even keep someone in a relationship past its use-by date. But with a little dignity, consideration and care, you can make the break without any more pain than is absolutely necessary.

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