You know the time has come. He just isn't the one for you and you know you're going to break his heart. He's been swooning over you for months and as much as you like hanging out with him, in the end, he simply doesn't rock your boat. The excitement you felt when you first starting going out left some time ago. He's been pressuring you for more time and more commitment but you simply resist. It's gotten to the point when you start to avoid his phone calls and are easily annoyed with his anxious requests. How To Break Up With A Man: Don't Be Ambiguous
It's never easy or pleasant to hurt someone but there are ways to end a relationship that ease the agony while establishing firm boundaries. Here are some guidelines to follow:
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- Don't make it about him. When you tell someone that he is "too this or not enough that" two reactions can occur. One, he can become defensive and attack you in return. Things can quickly turn ugly. And two, it gives him the opportunity to promise to be "more of this or less of that." This can make an uncomfortable conversation even more uncomfortable as he pleads for another chance to make things better.
- Make it about you. It's really about you anyway. Let him know that you are the reason things didn't work out — either you do not want the same things that he wants or you are unable to meet his needs and wants. It's hard to argue with that and it's the truth anyway.
- Do NOT give him any hope that you will feel differently in the future. Make the ending final. Be kind, but firm. Give him the freedom to let go and move on with his life.
- Do NOT agree to see him or talk to him after you end the conversation. Even if he begs to see you one last time. Even if you miss him and his devotion to you, do not reach out. Make it a clean break. Remember guideline 3 listed above.
- Take the time to reflect on what this relationship has taught you about yourself, your needs, your challenges, etc. Take this learning and apply it to your next new love interest. Appreciate the "gifts" that this person has given you. Appreciate the lessons that the relationship provided. Send him off with love and gratitude.
While it may be impossible to avoid breaking someone's heart when you are declaring a split, you can do it with integrity and compassion. At the end of the day, your ex will appreciate your approach and you will feel better about yourself. It helps the healing process begin.
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Julie Orlov, psychotherapist, speaker, and author of The Pathway to Love: Create Intimacy and Transform Your Relationships through Self-Discovery
Create Relationships in Your Life That Work — learn more at www.julieorlov.com