Tell them they’re pretty as you close the bin lid? No, not that kind of (illegal, my friends) dumping.
We’re talking ditching. Breaking-up.
Giving them the Spanish archer (‘El Bow’. FYI: That is hilarious).
Yes, it ain’t pleasant to realise you’re not ‘feeling it’ anymore – and that ‘oh God, I’ve got to end this’ tummy drop is sickening.
The least you can do is end the relationship in a kind way. A nice way. A sweet way. A way that means they won’t go psycho on you.
How? Read on, you little heartbreakers…
Be honest and respectful
I love this story from one of my Facebook friends…
‘My mum woke up on her 21st wedding anniversary and said to my dad ‘It’s been a wonderful journey and I thank you for it – but now I want to move on and explore life on my own.’
”Fair enough’, he said. So Mum moved into the spare room – and within months Dad had found a girlfriend half his age and only a few years older than my sister.
‘We all lived together in the same house for many years until Dad’s girlfriend became pregnant.
‘I was 14 at the time and it did my head it. But Mum and Dad remained friends throughout and still look out for each other today, in their 80s.’
They are still there for each other. *Sobs* That IS romantic.
My friend continues: ‘My own wife ran off with a much richer man last year.’
Oh. Well one story at a time, eh?
Be sensitive. Especially if you’re dealing with a freakin’ freak.
Another Facebook friend…
‘At school, when I wanted to dump a girlfriend of six months because I’d found somebody else, I told her what a wonderful person she was – but it wasn’t quite working for me.
‘I was as careful and considerate as I could be.
‘She said she was very sad – but she thought there was somebody else in her life to make up for this. That made my conscience feel so much better.
‘But then she told me it was Jesus…
I still feel a little odd that me and Christ were rivals for her affections.’
Yes, break-ups can be kind
Madeleine Mason, Dating and Relationship Psychologist, and Director of dating expert company PassionSmiths, explains why it’s important to dump someone kindly.
‘Firstly, people get over nice break-ups quicker and they move on more easily. And being kind reflects on you and your energy going forward – which in turn makes you more attractive…
‘Secondly, knowing you have broken-up as well as you could vanquishes any baggage that loiters at the back of your mind. Baggage that would otherwise take up your valuable energy.
‘And lastly, breaking-up nicely, counter-intuitively, leaves the door open.
‘Should you encounter the person in the future and things have changed, perhaps you regretted not giving the relationship a chance, you are more likely to have a chance at rekindling the relationship.
‘And even if it’s not for romantic purposes, you may find a really good friend.
‘I know, as Neil Sedaka said, breaking-up is hard to do. And so it might be easier to simply disappear and not face breaking someone’s heart.
‘But ghosting is possibly the worst, most unkind form of break-up to experience.
‘People are left confused, more hurt, spending needless time agonising over what happened, and struggling to move on with a massive bruise to their ego and self-confidence.
‘It is definitely worth the effort to break up kindly.’
The last man to dump me did so by text. Does that make him a cock?
Mason has some thoughts on this: ‘Some people think that text or email is cowardly and feel that it’s proper to do it in person.
‘Conversely, others think this is kinder – as it allows the recipient to let the news sink in.’
How you should dump someone, depending on how long you’ve been dating
‘As a rule of thumb,’ Mason says, ‘I would say [dumping via] text is fine for those who have only been on a couple of dates and where the relationship was barely on the cards.
‘The person you no longer want to see deserves at least a message to let them know you don’t intend to see them anymore. Especially if you have met someone else…
‘While it might sound harsh, they will know WHY – and this enables them to move on quicker. Think ‘ripping the plaster off quickly’ versus slowly peeling it off.’
And longer relationships? How should you shatter someone’s hopes, future, joint account dreams then?
‘Email is good for those who have dated for some months and want to be able to express themselves more clearly,’ Mason says.
‘It can be difficult to deliver the message verbally – but writing an email can help you deliver your message without getting distracted by the other person’s reaction.
‘In this instance, I would recommend adding the opportunity for the person to meet you to discuss the break-up – they may well have questions they would like answered.’
And a full-on, long-term relationship? ‘I think it makes most sense to talk it through in person,’ Mason says.
‘If you choose emailing to get your thoughts out, follow up with a meeting in person.
‘Expect a lot of questions – and answer them as best as you can. It will be over soon.
‘If you can help the person get over the shock of the message, you stand in good stead to help them get over it and for you to be future friends.
‘Sometimes things just don’t work out and life sucks – and that is what the person is reacting to. Be there for them in the moment. That’s the kindest thing you can do.’
And, you know, not cheat on them with their sister.
Madeleine Mason has some suggestions for what you can say when dumping someone kindly.
- Simply deliver the message in clear, kind language… ‘Alex, I am really sorry as this may hurt you, but I am breaking up with you. I am simply not in love with you.’
- Add a few more ‘cushioning the blow’ words if you want…
‘Alex [Poor Alex. What did s/he do?!], I reflected over the past few days and weeks and I have tried to figure out my feelings for you – but they are simply not there. I am not in love with you and don’t see a future for us. I am sorry if I hurt your feelings, but I can’t be in a relationship with you anymore.’
- Don’t be ambivalent…
”I’m sorry’ and ‘I don’t mean to hurt you’ etc are good – but don’t use language that gives hope. ‘I wish it could be different’, ‘I don’t understand what went wrong’, ‘the time is wrong’ and, of course, ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ are simply not helpful or kind.’
- And don’t have break-up sex!
Bibi Lynch thinks dating sucks a big one. Sometimes… She writes about dating and ‘life’ bibilynch.com.