The most gentle and kind way to break it off with someone is really very simple. People often tend to over complicate ending their romantic partnerships. It is common to:
- Find reasons and excuses to delay having the conversation;
- Use ambiguous language and lots of fluffy language to try and avoid hurting the other person’s feelings;
- Push the person away with coldness and distancing tactics instead of boldy ending it; and/or
- Disappear altogether without a trace. This is called ghosting: (https://www.huffpost.com/entry/relationship-ghosting-now-you-see-me-now-you-dont_b_5a5e3efae4b01ccdd48b5fe9) )
- and 50% of people admit to either ghosting someone or being ghosted
These things are not gentle nor are they kind. These things complicate what can otherwise be a straightforward process. Avoidance techniques cause nothing more than a ton of sleepless nights, unnecessary drama, hurt feelings and damaged relationships.
Once you have clarity that your romantic relationship is no longer serving you, there is a way to end the relationship with gentle kindness. You must pull out your courage from wherever you keep it, and be direct, honest and unwavering with your soon to be ex-partner.
I recently broke it off with a man I was dating.These are the exact words I said to him on the phone: “I have spent some time reflecting and it is clear for me that we do not share the chemistry I am looking for in a romantic relationship.”
Now, before you dismiss or dissect this, it is not a one-size-fits-all statement. Let me break down the elements so you can create something that suits you and your situation.
1) Use Direct Language – When you use direct, no-fluff, language there is no room to create an argument. In my example, he wanted to keep seeing me so he attempted to bring up unrelated things he thought could be contributing factors, such as his family. I simply reiterated that we do not have the chemistry I desire and that reason alone is why I am choosing to discontinue seeing him. He said “okay”. You cannot argue a statement of ones truth.
2) Make it About You, Not Them – I shared my perspective and did not reference him. If I had made a comment towards him or his attributes then he may want to have the opportunity to continue dating so that he showcase change. It is unkind to give someone false hope that if he or she changed it could work out.
3) Keep it Short and Simple – When we use lots of meaningless words to try and soften the message we run the risk of confusing the other person and also come across as unsure of our choice.
Here is another example of a gentle and kind break-up that uses the elements above. Someone I loved broke up with me using these words: “As much as I appreciate the person you are and the time we’ve shared – you’re important to me – I have reconnected with my ex-girlfriend and we have chosen to try again.” I was so thankful for this directness, honesty, forthcoming, and clarity. I was sad but felt respected and honored. I cannot ask for more than that. And I am not alone in feeling this way.
The man from my first example, had a gorgeous bouquet of fresh flowers delivered to my door after I broke up with him. The card simple read: “You are very special to me.”
My being direct, honest and courageous, made him feel honored and appreciated. And I got flowers! Now, that’s my kind of happy ending.