Not because you should, but because if you’re going to do it you should do it right.
So, obviously the dating-world is a process, and unless you’re really really lucky, your first relationship(s) is (are) going to be filled with strange, “I don’t know what I’m doing” moments.
Most people don’t consider breaking-up as a skill. In fact, the last thing we’re thinking about when starting a relationship is “Wow, I can’t wait to break up with her in a healthy way if this doesn’t work out!” If we’re completely honest, most of the time, the only thing we’re thinking about when that feeling hits our stomach and we realize the relationship is over (or about to be) is “Oh crap. Run, run, run.”
So, as someone who has been on both sides, as the heart breaker and the broken-heart (and sometimes both at the same time), here is some real advice from a poll of girls, because sometimes being a good boyfriend means knowing how to be a good ex-boyfriend.
- DON’T assume you know what is best for her.
“It’s not you, it’s me.”
“I’m not a good enough boyfriend.”
“You’d be happier without me.”
“You deserve so much better.”
Telling her this isn’t going to make her feel better. It’s almost as if you’re saying she’s the one breaking up with you, because you’re putting the words in her mouth. Stop pretending you can read her mind (when we know you can’t because that’s what half of the arguments are about).
2. DO be honest.
Be honest, tell the truth, don’t lie. I’ll continue to repeat myself to make sure everyone knows exactly what I’m saying. Don’t try and spare her feelings, because if you lie and she finds out something fishy is going on, she’s going to feel much worse, and you will look worse.(Lose-Lose)
3. DO break up with her before you break up with her.
In other words, when that “I don’t think this is going to work” thought goes through your head, please don’t pretend like the thought didn’t pop up, address it! Think through it and, if appropriate, don’t be afraid to talk to your girlfriend about it. Otherwise, when the break up does happen, it might have happened in your head weeks ago, while yah boo had no idea you were doubting the relationship. Give her time to prepare.
4. DO take responsibility.
“God doesn’t want us to be together.”
“It’s just not meant to be.”
“It’s just not the right time.”
“We’re too different.”
While some of these are valid in their own way and in your own mind, when breaking up with someone, you need to make it clear that you are breaking up with them. Not God. Not the universe. Not your job. Not your friends, relatives, or that old, wise, homeless man who said something really cryptic and made you rethink your life. Otherwise it just looks like you’re trying escape, which will make her feel like she’s “trapped” you. Ouch.
5. DO give her a reason. This doesn’t mean she wants you to justify your thoughts or feelings. This doesn’t mean she wants to argue over whose fault it is, or fight just to fight. She’s not going to try and force you to stay, but give her something to go on. It’s true, sometimes things just don’t work out, but the value of relationships is more than just the relationship, it’s in the learning. She wants to walk away with something more than what she had before, not something less.
6. DO talk to her in person. If you can avoid it in any way, don’t break up over text. It’s disrespectful; even if you don’t value her as you did before, you valued her at some point, and she’s still a person. She may not be your treasure, but that doesn’t change the fact that she is a treasure. Treat her like it, and it will reflect well on your character.
I know some of these blend together, but they are all things I heard over and over again, both from friends and in my own relationships. The purpose of this isn’t to bash guys, because some of these things came out of my own mouth: girls can be just as bad and even worse at break ups, and I’ll probably write a follow-up coming from a guy’s perspective. The point is that we should do the best we can in every part of the relationship… even if it’s the end.
To finish off, because I had such a huge amount of feedback from friends, I want to share the funny, cringe-worthy moments that didn’t make it into my list, because bad break-ups eventually do turn into things we can laugh about. Sorta.
1.”I’m breaking up with you because… I’m gay.”
2. Has younger sister call, “Hi! [Blank] wants you to know that he just wants to be friends now.”
3. “Your friend is really hot, can you introduce me?
4. “My Mom doesn’t think I should date anyone right now.”
5. “Long distance is too hard, and my love language is physical touch!”
6. **Literally just runs away. Runs.**
7. “Your Dad scares me.”
8. “I think you’d be a better fit for my brother.”
9. “You don’t like Christmas enough.”
10. “I like a challenge, and you’re not one.”
11. “God told me we couldn’t be together, but we can totally still make out and stuff.”
12. “I like talking to you better over myspace than in real life.”
13. “You’re not athletic.”
Aaaaaand that’s a wrap!
Thanks for reading! 🙂