Unless if you’ve got a cruel sense of humor, dumping somebody you’re dating isn’t a lot of fun. But even though you’re aching with guilt about wanting to break things off, you have to remember this: it’s your right to end a relationship. In fact, it’s your responsibility. If you’re not happy in a relationship (or don’t see yourself even having a relationship with this guy) you owe it to yourself to break it off and not look back. Sounds harsh, I know, but…that’s all there is to it.
After Just a Few Dates
If you haven’t been dating a particular guy for long, the whole dumping process is a bit easier. Neither of you should have had a chance to develop a deep emotional attachment (at least, let’s hope he hasn’t!), so the break should be easier. Still, rejection is going to hurt him — guys hate rejection more than just about anything else. So if your main goal is to dump him without making him feel like a piece of gum on the bottom of your shoe, you have a few options.
Don’t call back. This sounds really evil, right? And doing this to a woman is evil. We’re a lot more hurt by the disappearing man than by the honest one. But for men, the most hurtful injury is the one made to their fragile ego. If you simply don’t return his calls, he can think anything he wants. That you’re in a coma, or suddenly moved away, or gotten back together with an old boyfriend. He doesn’t have to dwell on having been rejected.
Just don’t take this one past the first date or two — if you’ve seen him more than that, ignoring his calls will make you look like a real jerk.
Lie. Want to let him down gently after the first few dates, but can’t stand being the disappearing woman? Lie to him. Tell him that your old boyfriend called up and wants you back, or that you’ve got a new job and don’t have time to date or…something that isn’t about him. Remember that being kind to a man is all about soothing his ego.
Longer Term Relationships
Don’t do it over the phone. Dumping a guy that you’ve been dating awhile over the phone tells him that he means nothing to you. Avoiding personal confrontation is tempting, but don’t give in. If you have to dump him, do it in person.
Give him reasons – but try not to hurt him. Try to be honest with a guy about your reasons for dumping him…but don’t rub salt in the wound. If you have some really insulting reason for dumping him, like he’s terrible in bed, you’ll probably want to sugar coat it a bit (okay, a lot) to make it easier on his ego. However, if there is something concrete he did wrong, lying about it won’t help him to fix it for his next relationship.
Make yourself the reason. Getting dumped hurts. And getting dumped because of something you did hurts worse. If you blame yourself for the break-up, it might gentle the blow. “I’m not ready,” or “I don’t have time,” are both pretty transparent excuses for a break-up, but if a man wants to protect his ego, he’ll accept them.