Breaking Up for Dummies

I have a bunch of women friends who have a common complaint. They go through a period of not knowing what is going on with the guy they are dating, and then he disappears completely after saying that nothing was wrong.

Look, it’s hard to end something directly with someone. Of course, you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. Further, few of us actually enjoy confrontation, so I understand the tendency to want to disappear without explanation. But there’s a reason they say that curiosity killed the feline.

Men, if you are no longer into the woman you are dating, have some consideration for the way in which you end it. Have some grace. Don’t just avoid her and hope she disappears through a hole in a floor.

And don’t say, “Everything’s fine” when it’s clear to both you and her that it’s not.

Talk to her. Maybe you fear triggering an unwanted reaction from a woman. After all, hell hath no fury, right? But, if there is a problem in your relationship, maybe it could be fixed if you just communicate with your woman. Tell her that something is bothering you without making it seem like an attack on her character or an accusation. Just tell her, nicely, how you feel. (It may seem like obvious advice, but clearly many guys need to hear it.)

Then, wait. Wait to see what she has to say. Maybe it’s just a misunderstanding. Maybe it’s not. If it’s not, and you still need time to figure some things out, then tell her you’d like a little time to process and that you will call her when you’ve had some space. Then, call her and tell her your conclusion. If you know by then that it isn’t working for you, tell her.

It doesn’t have to be a detailed and long conversation, but at least make sure it’s clear to her that it’s over and that it just doesn’t work for you. Sure, she may be upset. She may not want to accept the answer. Who likes to be rejected? But, at least, you will have done the right thing. She will be even more upset if you drag thing thing out and she is totally confused about what is going on.

I bet more women than you realize will appreciate your grace and honesty if you don’t be cruel to be kind.

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