I have been told I am an artful and fantastic dumper.
Not by the guys I dumped of course, though I have managed to stay friendly with some of them so that must say something. No, it was actually Bridie that told me I was a great dumper.
I am polite, but to the point. Just like tearing off a band-aid, though I suppose you don't have to be polite about that.
However, in my years and years of experience, I have noticed this skill doesn’t come as easy for everyone. So I am going to give you all a crash course in letting him/her down easy. Now, so I don’t have to continue with the “him/her” or the “he/she” I am going to write this for men who are interested in dumping women. However this advice can go both ways. I just wanted you to know, I am not being sexist. Just lazy.
Plus, I secretly hope that one day a publisher will read this blog and decide to collect all of my advice for men into a book that makes it to the New York Times bestseller list and gets me a spot on the Today show.
Now, the easiest way, in my humble opinion, to break the news that you no longer want this person in your life, is with a phone call. And if it is early enough in the relationship, this is perfectly acceptable. Of course you want to make sure you call her at a respectable hour, deliver the message, open up the floor for questions, answer them all succinctly, letting her know that this is not open for negotiation and then wish her well in all her future endeavors.
Note, I said call. Not text. This part is important. As I stated before, texting is never an appropriate way to end it with someone. I would almost rather you just never call again than have you send a text telling me it is over. At least if I never hear from you again I can imagine you were in a terrible accident and have amnesia or are in a full body cast or a coma. If you text me that we are through, then I have to face down the reality that is staring back at me from my iPhone. That I just wasted whatever amount of time with a total douchbag.
Because if you break up with someone in a text message, there is no other word for you.
But, wait you say, I can’t just not ever call her again. Well, then call her and tell her it is over. So long as you haven’t had sex with her or it is within the first two months of the “relationship.” After two months she has started to think about where this is going and possibly having the talk that the two of you should be exclusive and so you owe her more than a phone call.
Of course if you have already had the talk about exclusivity, then you need to do more than call her as well.
Now, here is where it gets tricky. Your instincts to not hurt her, or probably more to the point, to not see her cry, may lead you to take her out, tell her a bunch of lies and then end it in a very public setting.
Don’t do that.
First, if she is going to cry, it won’t matter where you are, so be respectful enough to let her cry in the privacy of her own home. Second, honesty is always the best policy, even when breaking up with someone.
So, go over to her place, unannounced is best, but you could call her on your way over to let her know you are stopping by. The less time she has to think about what is about to happen, the better. You go in, you keep it short, sweet and honest. If you’ve met someone else, you tell her that. If you are unhappy, you tell her that. If you are gay, well then god damnit, you tell her that. Of course you may wish to soften this blow to her self-esteem by explaining to her that she is so wonderful that you truly thought that if any woman could make you straight it was her.
My point is, do not think you can protect her by lying to her. Believe me she is a lot tougher than you think. She can handle the truth.
Then you leave, she may want to talk and try to work it out, but that will only delay the inevitable. So go, so she can get on with what she needs to do, which will include (not necessarily in this order) e-mailing and sending texts to all her friends and family, updating her Facebook page, re-activating her online dating account, changing your name in her phone from something cute to something awful and drinking a lot of wine before passing out and then getting up and going to work the next morning.
And after you leave, you leave her alone. For at least as long as you two were dating if not twice that amount. She needs time to heal and move on and you need to not be selfish and let her do that.
I am not saying you can’t be friends with her again. Just not at first. And really maybe not ever as I am unsure if “friends” who have seen each other naked can ever be just friends, but that is for another time.