10 Tips to Let Him Down Softly
Posted by Casey Nicole on July 1, 2012 at 2:43 PM
It’s not always happily ever after. And too often do we stay in relationships past their expiration out of fear of the awkward yet inevitable breakup. Listen ladies, it is okay to put yourself before others sometimes, and very important when you’re in a relationship that you are over. As Friday's little life lesson stated, "Leaving someone doesn't say "I hate you." It says "I love me." You should know when you’re ready to leave a relationship, but are you too afraid of hurting someone’s feelings? Here’s our advice on letting him down softly.
1. Be Upfront
Honesty is always the best policy. You never want to lie to get out of a relationship. So, don’t make up some story of moving across the country or discovering you are into women, unless you actually are. Being honest, yet kind, gives your ex better closure which allows them to (hopefully) move on quicker.
2. Don’t Lead Him On
Don’t string someone along for weeks, let alone months, when you don’t feel the same way as them. If you’re not into someone, let them know from the beginning so they aren’t wasting their time pining for someone they can’t have. I’ve seen a few too many friends string guys along for the benefits, like free drinks and as a shoulder to lean on; however, it will come back to bite you in the end. If you are getting feelings of trying to break up with your current boyfriend, don’t keep the relationship going just because it’s comfortable. Break it off!
3. Put the Phone Away
It’s NEVER okay to end things via text. It’s just as bad as Berger leaving Carrie a Post-It note. It’s probably not necessary to end things in person for all relationships, like if you met the guy last weekend. But if it’s someone who you’ve been on more than a few dates with, have the courtesy to call him. Plus, it’s so easy for words to be taken out of context through email or text.
4. Keep the Past Out of It
Just like you shouldn’t bring up past issues during arguments, you don’t want to mention it during a breakup. It’s not worth the fight; just focus on how the relationship isn’t part of your future. Plus, if you pick at everything in your past, you won’t be left with any good memories about your time together.
5. Be Nice
This might sound like strange advice, but it’s possible to end things and be nice about it. Don’t use name-calling or insults when breaking it off. Getting dumped is already harsh enough, you don’t want to add any unnecessary abuse.
On that note…
6. Take the High Road
Just because he stoops to that level, doesn’t mean you should. If your guy thought things were going good, the breakup might come as a shock to him and his defenses will start working overtime. If he starts with the insults, just tell him you understand he’s upset but you won’t be dropping to his level.
While some guys quickly accept a breakup or get defensive, others will be in denial. So you’ll want to…
7. Be Firm
Some guys just don’t know when to quit. This happens often in the “wooing” phase, like if a guy just got your number. You might try blowing him off by not responding to texts quickly or at all, but he doesn’t get the message. Instead of ignoring him, just be firm and blatantly state that you’re not interested in a stern tone. He should get the idea and back off. If you’ve been with a guy for a while and he starts bargaining with you about changes he could make, you need to honestly answer that you’ve already moved on.
8. Make Sure You Want This
Before you go through the ordeal of dumping someone, make sure you know this is what you want. Few things are more confusing and unfair to someone than breaking their heart, then trying to get it back. You wouldn’t want it to happen to you, so don’t play with his emotions. If you’re not sure about your decision, give yourself adequate time to mull it over and even consider making a list of pros and cons to make your choice easier.
9. Pick the Right Time
Have a little tact and don’t break up with someone during an unnecessarily harsh day, like on his birthday or Valentine’s Day. You don’t want to forever tarnish that day with the memory of your breakup. Meeting with the person at an appropriate place and time is part of being respectful of their feelings. Our advice is to meet your (soon-to-be) ex at a public venue, like a park, or his place. The best time would be after work when you know you’ll have plenty of time to hash things out and enough time for them to collect themselves afterward.
10. Know When to Just Walk Away
There’s only so much to be said after dropping the breakup bomb. If things are starting to get mean, or you feel your resolve weakening, then you need to leave the situation. Just because you might feel guilty ending things doesn’t mean you need to sit there and be insulted. Communicate through body language that you’re ready to go by standing up and gathering your items. Then tell them you’re sorry things didn’t work out, but you need to go. It’s also a great idea to have an out, like a meeting with a friend. Even better if your friend is picking you up, because you won’t want to keep them waiting.
Letting someone down is never easy, but learning how to do so without hurting them will save you a lot of pain, too. Whether you are trying to end things in a relationship or stop things before they get too serious, you always want to spare someone their feelings. Are there any breakup stories or advice you’d like to share? Leave a comment and let us know!