Breaking up – Which words to choose? What order to put them in?
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Breaking up is hard to do….or so says the song. Breaking up is something everyone will have to do at some point in their lives, if not many many times. Sometimes it’s actually amicable and both parties agree it’s “just not working” and they release each other with love.
But usually it just plain sucks. Either for one or both people. If you are the one doing the breaking up (aka: “The Dumper”) you most likely feel guilty, anxious, fearful, angry and a plethora of other Not-So-Awesome feelings because…well…you know why. It’s just a difficult thing to do no matter what the reason.
If you are the one being broken up with (aka: “The Dumpee”) it sucks equally as bad. I’m not even going to begin to explain why because either #1 You know and you don’t need me to explain or #2 It’s never happened to you (lucky son-of-a-gun) and there’s no way to even begin to convey in words how much it sucks being dumped, so I won’t even try.
But that’s not what this article is about. This is actually about HOW to break up with someone in the nicest possible way, using a very exact phrase or putting very specific words into a very specific order. There’s A LOT to be said with how you language anything, and breaking up with someone falls in the Top 5 situations where “Mean what you say, Don’t say it mean” is the slogan of choice.
You have no idea how many times I have been working with a client who knows, without a doubt, they need to end a relationship but avoid doing it for weeks…sometimes months…because of all the various reasons listed above. When they hear the very simple phrase that’s suggested, the first response I usually get is, “Can you say that again so I can write it down?” or “Can you say that again so I can record it?”
Before I reveal what this phrase is…let me say first, that this works with newer, shorter term relationships…ones that haven’t progressed to the Co-habitation phase, Planning Our Future phase, Picking Out Rings phase, Engaged, or Married. If you’ve entered any of those stages you do not get to have just one phrase that ends it. You need to have a loving, respectful conversation with Grace and Integrity.
For the rest of you out there in the dating pool, dating one person somewhere between weeks to months…this is one of the nicest, kindest ways to proceed with breaking up. Feelings will most likely still be hurt, tears will still be shed, and it will still probably kinda suck…but at least you can walk away knowing you tried your very best to treat the soon-to-be-ex with dignity and respect.
So…are you dying to know what it is? The phrase that kindly and lovingly makes breaking up not-so-sucky? Here it is:
I’m just not having the feelings that I had hoped to have for you.
See? Not quite as horrific as “It’s not you it’s me” or “I’ve met someone else” or “It’s just not working out” or whatever else you’ve said or heard.
I know…it still won’t make uttering those, or any words and phrases, any easier…but trust me…this one really does lessen the blow. Of course you can add on to it things like “You deserve someone who can return the same feelings you have” or something of that nature. Whatever you do…DON’T say “You deserve someone who can make you happy”…that just opens up a whole can of worms that we’ll discuss another time.
So…whaddya think? Yes? No? Questions? Thoughts? Comments? Please do share. And if you’ve discovered another set of words or a phrase for breaking up that has been successful (ie: Is loving, kind, respectful, etc) please let us know, cuz lord knows, breaking up is never easy.