How to Avoid a Bad Breakup

There’s no sugar-coating it: Breaking up sucks. Both parties tend to feel like crap, as wounded pride and bruised hearts mourn what could have been. But not all breakups are created equal. You could callously ditch her, and risk a lifetime of bad karma – or you could let her down gently, and let her remember you as the one who got away. How to break up like a champ.

1. Choose a quiet, private place. Go somewhere neutral – not your nostalgia-drenched regular hangout. Her place is safer than yours. If you live together, secure a buddy’s couch for yourself.

2. Timing is key. Don’t dump her the night before her job interview, and don’t broach the subject when you’ve got dinner plans in a half-hour.

3. Be a gentleman. She’ll be angry, and she’ll probably hit you below the belt. Don’t retaliate.

4. Be grateful if she smiles and blurts out, “What a relief!” This is about ending the relationship, not affirming your greatness.

5. Even if she seems utterly shocked, there’s a good chance that somewhere, deep down, she saw it coming. Appeal to this when you make your case.

6. Once you decide to end it, don’t waffle. That’s called mind games. Don’t play those with yourself, or her.

7. Don’t go back: Hide the photos, delete the emails and get back to playing squash, learning French, or whatever you did before getting sucked into that black hole of a relationship. When the drunk text impulse strikes, repeat to yourself: Clean break.

Image courtesy of Kerosene Photography on Flickr.

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