6 Guys Confess: The Best Way to End a Relationship Is…

Last week I had an interesting email from a young woman who couldn’t understand why a guy who told her she was “perfect” was still breaking up with her. I told her, “That’s one of the things guys say to lessen the blow.” What else do we say? And why? I asked my friends to tell us their strategies for ending a relationship.

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“If you don’t do it in person, you’re a coward. If you’re man enough to date someone, you need to be man enough to end it right. Unless it’s something super-casual, tell them face-to-face.”

–Jacques, graphic designer, 28

“I’m so bad at it. I stop calling. It sounds so immature but it’s just easier for me. I hate those conversations so much I will go to great lengths not to have them. Working at the bar puts me at a disadvantage. They know where to find me. But I’m good at looking busy. Funny, I wasn’t so busy when they were they cute girl at the bar I hadn’t slept with yet. I am a terrible person.”

–Terrence, 25, bartender/guitarist

“I talk about them. I try to steer the conversation to them, their strengths, their feelings, etc. It’s not about messing with their minds, it’s about taking the attention away from me, from the fact that I am doing the breaking up.”

–Jonathan, 30, advertising exec

“I use variations on the standard It’s not you it’s me’. It’s cliché, but it works.”

*—Michael, 21, student *

“Um, I have not broken up with anyone for a long time, and back when I was dating, I got dumped the majority of the time. When I have bad news for my wife, I tend to tell her I have bad news….I cooked the dog, and I burned him. So now there is no dinner and no dog’. Or whatever. My wife makes fun of me for it. Out of nowhere, she’ll say Arjun, I have bad news…you’re an idiot’.”

–Arjun, 30, insurance

“Straigh up. It’s always the best way to go: I don’t think we should see each other any more’, I think we should see other people’, I don’t feel that way about you any more’, We’ve grown apart’, etc. It’s very tempting to make excuses, to make it easier on everyone, but it just makes it worse, and it makes those conversations go on forever. And really, those conversations should be as short as possible.”

–Sean, 26, banker

Which of these seems like the best route to go?

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