Break it to Me Gently: How to End a Relationship as Painlessly as Possible
To put it bluntly I'm going to be frank, no one enjoys being dumped & not many of us relish being the "dumper" either. The end of a relationship, often inspite of its length, can be a traumatic occasion for both parties involved where your emotions can run rampant. Understanding, compassion, patience & above all else, honesty, are the most important factors in any successful break-up, if there even is such a thing. You must learn how to let go of a relationship that you no longer wish to be a part of, while maintaining your dignity as well as theirs.
Do Unto Others
Put the shoe on the other foot, if you will, for just a moment and think of how you'd want to be treated if you in fact were the "dumpee" in this scenario instead. Respect the person's privacy after ending the relationship as well; anything told to you in confidence should remain that way whether you're together or not. After all, you'd want it to work the same in reverse.
Avoid trite cliches
What could be worse than the "It wasn't you, it was me" statement? No one believes that, and frankly it's insulting and really makes no sense. Since you aren't breaking up with yourself, how could it not have had something to do with the other person? Avoid using these lines as easy ways out since you know they don't really fool anyone. At least put forth some minimal effort and offer some sort of an explanation if the break-up is sudden.
Be as Honest as the Day is Long
This isn't a trite cliche; but rather it's a cliche that offers words to live by on a multitude of levels. Lies are insidious in that they must be fed by more even lies in order to be successful. Unless you plan on carrying around a notebook to keep track of all your fibs, white lies and down right untruths, it's best to just live your life honestly, which is after all, the best policy.
Don't Become a Puppeteer
Worse than silly cliches and excuses are when you're strung along like a puppet for months or even years on end while the other person decides on how to end it. Imagine how they'd feel knowing you wanted it over for a while now but just didn't have the guts or the gumption to actually do it? Drawing things out only create drama and even more hurt feelings. Quick and painless is always better than a slow, agonizing end to a relationship that's long been over.
Avoidance isn't the Answer
There are some people, cowards, if you will, who choose to end a relationship by doing nothing at all. Going out of their way to avoid the other person, not returning phone calls or e-mails and simply dropping from sight, are all common methods of ending a relationship by taking the easy way out. This leaves a host of unanswered questions for the other party, not to mention absolutely no closure whatsoever.
All of the above is provided of course with the assumption that the relationship is deserving of at least some of the common courtesies that are outlined here. We all know of people who has done something terrible or who is not worth the effort of striving for an amicable break-up. In either case it's you who will feel better if you handle the situation with as much honesty, dignity and maturity as possible.
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