With so much that can go wrong knowing the best way to break up with a girl can save you a lot of trouble.
Breaking up, like the old song goes, is hard to do.
It sucks to be on the receiving end of a breakup, but it’s almost just as bad to be the one pulling the plug.
The slow realization that the relationship has continued on for too long can start several weeks or months before you realize that you’re ready to break up with a girl.
And then it’s up to you to figure out the right way to do it, when and where to do it, how to minimize the bad feelings between you, and then how to pick back up and start over as a single guy.
No one said it was easy, but there are a few ways to make your breakup just a little less painful.
It sounds contradictory, but the best way to break up with a girl is to let her know as quickly as possible when the relationship has run its course.
You’re not doing anyone a favor by dragging her along and wasting the time that, to be perfectly blunt, she could be using to get out there and look for a guy who genuinely wants to be with her.
What’s even worse are the ways that you may be subtlety communicating to her that you’re out the door even while you are still together.
You know how so many guys claim that their ex went “crazy” right before he dumped her? It’s very often because she is reacting to rudeness and bad behavior on his part as he was gearing up to leave.
I know this is controversial, but I am a huge fan of mutual ghosting when it’s done right.
Ghosting (just fading away like, well, two ghosts) gets a bad rap when it’s used inappropriately, but in the right circumstance, it’s a huge relief.
For example, a few years back, I was dating a really great guy. He was good in bed, had an adorable beagle-basenji mix, and dimples for days.
But for some reason, it just sort of stalled out.
Neither of us had a reason to break up (that I know of, anyway), but we skipped seeing each other for a weekend, saw each other again and then, like two ghosts in the night, never got around to making plans again.
Now when I run into him in social situations, we don’t have the unpleasantness of a breakup lingering. We had good times and then they just faded out naturally.
Why did this work?
Because he and I were simpatico on the relationship.
Mutual ghosting only works if the girl is also complicit in the ghosting.
If she’s blowing up your phone and you’re letting it go to voicemail, you’re just being an ass.
I know phone calls are going out of fashion these days, but the best way to break up with a girl may be over the phone.
Unlike texts, a phone call is a little more intimate, a little more personal.
There’s less room for misinterpretation and definitely no room for autocorrect changing “I’m sorry, but I’ve met another girl” to “I’m sorry, but I’ve met your mother, girl.”
The best way to do this is to text her that you want to call her and see if she’s available for a talk.
Since pretty much every girl will get an inkling of what’s coming, try to send your texts when you’re fairly certain you can call her right away.
The wonderful part of getting dumped over the phone is that your own private reactions can stay that way.
Case in point: I was dating a spectacularly funny, gentlemanly dude who rocked my bedroom.
His texts had gotten slightly distant in between our dates and I had a sinking suspicion that our coupling wasn’t going to be long for this world.
He texted me when I was in Trader Joes, so I said to give me a call in an hour.
He called promptly on time and said that while he enjoyed the time we spent together (and that I have terrific boobs, which, yeah, truth), he just didn’t see it going anywhere.
It gave me the dignity to play it cool, thank him for being a great guy, and wish him well before hanging up and crying into my Cookie Butter Ice Cream.
Once again, when we run into each other, it’s friendly and he never has to know of the Two Buck Chuck tears shed over saying goodbye to his masterful sex skills.
Unless you were both born in the deep 90’s, be careful with a breakup over text.
Even if you are both very young the best way to break up with a girl is almost never through texting.
If you’ve only seen each other a handful of times, a thoughtful text might suffice, but as a general rule, if it’s been more than a month, think twice before you break up over text.
Whatever you do, don’t write a text like a Dear John letter: hit her up, make sure she’s not preoccupied with something like work or driving, and break the news.
I can’t stress enough how much this method depends on if you’ve already had deep, meaningful text conversations before this.
If you can’t bear the thought of making a phone call, an email is far better than a text.
It seems ridiculous to differentiate since, presumably, she’ll read it on her phone either way.
But there’s something more akin to a letter in an email.
It lets you write in a longer form, implies that you’ve put more thought into it, and it doesn’t demand the immediacy of a response.
In some situations, like if you’re confessing to having cheated or met someone else, email might be ideal.
You can express your regret, man up to your mistakes, and break the bad news in one terrible inbox message.
But if you’ve been seeing her for several months or you have reason to think that she’s gotten emotionally invested in you, your only right option may be to break up with her the old-fashioned way: face to face.
Some guys plan a breakup like it’s the world’s worst surprise party.
Don’t do that.
Don’t schedule fake plans that require a girl to get dressed up only to be let down.
If you need to break up with her in person, your first choice of location should be her home.
Unless she has nosy roommates or children around, this will be the kindest, most comfortable location for everyone involved.
If she needs to cry, argue with you, or tell you what a dirtbag you are, it’s the path of least embarrassment for the both of you.
If it’s a good breakup, you might talk for a while, maybe even have a little goodbye sex, and part ways.
If one of you is having a difficult time with it and you need to just end the scene already, it’s a godsend to be able to simply show yourself to the door.
If you know you never plan on having any future contact with her pack up any of her belongings she’s left at your home in the trunk of your car and give them to her at the end of the conversation.
Be cautious though—a girl will get the subtext of this move instantly.
It lets her know that this breakup was pre-meditated, planned, and certain.
It also lets her know that you want zero further contact with her.
If you’re naturally a Type A kind of guy, she might not be too phased by it, but if you’re the kind of guy who has never make a dinner reservation in his life, be prepared for her to take your prep work a little personally.
I don’t mean that you should rehearse a full speech like you’re in a Nicholas Sparks movie, but you should at least go in with a plan of how you want the night to go and what you plan on telling her.
You would be amazed at how well women can pick up on the slightest whiff of BS.
Did you meet someone else?
No one is going to be happy to hear that, but you’re also not the first guy in the world to fall into the arms of another.
Did you cheat?
Again, not gentlemanly behavior, but you can’t take credit for the invention of infidelity.
It’s far more likely that your reason is something like “I like you as a person, but I don’t see you as a partner” or “I want kids and you don’t, so this isn’t going to work.”
As much as just saying these statements can be scary, they can also be the best way to break up with a girl.
You’ve probably heard about the power of the “I-statement”, but it’s a cliché for a reason: framing your feelings as your feelings and not statements of fact is less likely to trouble the person hearing it.
For example, saying “you’re always picking a fight with me” immediately puts her in a position where the girl needs to defend herself.
Instead try phrasing it as: “I feel like our differences are becoming apparent to me and I think it’s best for us to go out separate ways.” See how that is a gentler approach?
No matter what, even if she retorts with some of your less than stellar qualities, do not use a breakup to leverage an attack on a girl.
Only a jerk uses a breakup to tear down a girl’s appearance, sexual skills, career, friends, or family. You’re better than that.
If you’ve been “Facebook official” or in some way announced your couplehood on social media, remove it right away.
It sounds harsh and while she might be upset (especially if you dragged your heels about it in the first place), it’s far kinder than any other alternative.
Similarly, if you became online friends with her friends and family, feel free to quietly unfriend them.
Don’t make a spectacle of it and don’t make any sweeping goodbyes—everyone will understand that this is part of your breakup.
And besides, they’re her friends: they are going to be on her side anyway.
If you really connected with someone you met through your newly minted ex, let them decide the future for both of you.
Just keep in mind that it’s completely fair if they opt to take her side.
Have the grace not to attempt to defend yourself to her friends. Grab a beer with one of YOUR friends and commiserate with him instead.
If it’s a traumatic breakup or there are hard feelings between you (which is possible even if you use the best way to break up with a girl), it is perfectly acceptable to make a clean, decisive break.
Delete her number, unfriend her on social media, and continue on with your life if the memory of her is only going to bring you pain and stress.
Remember, there is no obligation to maintain a friendship with an ex.
If it works for you, go for it! But don’t feel like there’s any obligation to keep in touch if it’s not going to benefit either of you.
If you had a mutually decided breakup and you actually want to stay in touch with her, set clear boundaries for yourself. Set aside at least two weeks for no contact.
This lets you grieve, panic, and salve your wounds with casual sex with privacy and keeps you from jumping back in each other’s familiar arms at the first sign of discomfort or loneliness.
After two weeks, if you still want to fall back into bed as friends, get back together, or just stay buddies, you’re doing it with a clear head and honest intentions.
Re-activate your dating profile and start again!
If you can, block her from seeing your profile. Neither of you needs to be reminded of the past.
The excitement of seeing a new person is one of the best cures for the blues of a breakup.
Keep an open mind, post some new photos, and enjoy the thrills of meeting someone new!