No one enjoys breaking up, even if you know it’s time to end things; even if both of you know you’re unhappy, it’s human to cling to a known situation, rather than face one filled with unknowns. However, there comes a time when we all have to perform this painful and downright unpleasant task.
Your main objective should not be to get out of any conversation, but to end things as finally and as smoothly as possible. This article will provide a series of guiding principals and helpful advice for men to ensure that both parties leave the room in one piece, and that the break-up conversation doesn’t drag out over weeks or months.
1. Be a Man
Guys who break things off via text, voicemail, or even FedEx earn the rightful brand of “wimp.” No woman is going to respect that. Even your friends may think less of you for such a move. Your primary goal should be to gain a woman’s respect when you end things. You’re both adults who have engaged in an intimate relationship. It was evidently serious and lasted for some time; otherwise breaking up wouldn’t be necessary in the first place.
2. Communicate With Your Girlfriend
Anyone who knows about women will tell you that the most important thing for your soon-to-be ex-girlfriend is going to be closure. Go ahead and have the conversation. Don’t take the “easy way out.” According to David Wygant, this can be that text-message or e-mail. Or it can be the lazy retreat.
We’ve all been there—the slow withdrawal from communication, which may take months, and the emotionally messy, painful ending. If you do it this way, you are wasting both your time and hers. You are also disrespecting yourself as much as you are she, because you are showing that you have neither the backbone to behave in an assertive, mature manner, nor the communication skills required to have a sensitive and informative conversation.
Is that the guy you want to be, whether or not anyone else ever knows about it? Lots of people are going to know about it, because your ex will talk, and so will her friends. Avoid the drama and screw your courage to the sticking place. All she really wants to know is why it has happened, why you aren’t happy, etc. Underneath any pleading for reconciliation or anger, this is the most important detail. Don’t neglect it, because it will come back to haunt you.
3. Take the Initiative
Do not take the lazy “non-confrontational” out of letting her bring it up. Not only is that just politically correct language for “coward”, it also gives her the upper hand in the situation. That’s because you’ve allowed her to assume the dominant stance of The One Who Is A Grown Up in the relationship. She’s not your Mom and you aren’t fourteen anymore. Gird your loins and take the initiative.
This also allows you to control the situation, from the setting to the tone of the break up conversation. You should be prepared to explain your choice. If you have to make a list prior to the event, do so. However, keep it to yourself, especially if you and your girlfriend have a close circle of mutual friends. This business is between you and she until its finished.
4. Public Places
While you want to keep your business private, having the conversation in personal space that one or both of you occupy is a terrible move. Not only does it tie the unpleasantness of the event to that space and anything you see, touch, or think of during that time, it also means that things can get ugly very quickly.
In a private space, we feel comfortable doing and saying things we would never dream of in public. This goes for everyone. You don’t want a cup thrown at your head. You also don’t want to behave in a fashion that is anything less than mature and manly. So, arrange to take her out to dinner. Choose neutral territory, where friends or casual acquaintances won’t interrupt the conversation.
This only bodes to increase both your suffering and hers. Calmly tell her that you aren’t happy, that the relationship is no longer satisfying for you, and that you feel its best for both of you if you break things off. She’s going to question you, so be prepared and do not lose your self-possession.
5. Make The Breakup Final
It’s always tempting to promise friendship. Don’t. No matter whether you want it or not, it’s become a common form of break-up lip service. It also leaves the door open for misunderstandings, inadvisable sexual relapses that can muddy the emotional waters for her and only hurt her more severely.
If she’s someone you really respect, and you want her to respect you, don’t allow this. You likely aren’t a sadist, and you aren’t out to hurt her. Make that clear. If friendship between is ever possible again, it won’t be anytime soon—not because she’s not awesome, but because time is necessary to allow the tensions and bonds created during a serious relationship to dissipate.
6. Listen To Her
If you are calm, assertive, compassionate, and firmly in control of both yourself and the situation, she will respect you for it in the long run. If you take the time to communicate your needs as a human being, she will be able to forgive you. Don’t mistake hurt feelings of the moment for long-term bitterness. Another successful tactic you should consider is listening. After you’ve made your case, hear what she has to say.
This doesn’t mean giving ground, but it will help provide closure for both of you. Let her know that she still matters enough to be heard. Whether your involvement lasted for months or years, this mark of caring is something that adults should do for each other. This will only increase her respect for you and help her to begin healing before you’ve even called for the check.