Author Topic: How to break up? I don't like this part of d@ting.  (Read 3078 times)

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CuriousGeorge

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How to break up? I don't like this part of d@ting.
« on: September 23, 2011, 12:41:11 AM »
I've posted before about a guy I started dating back in March/April:  http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=98651.0

I've been thinking about it the past couple weeks and I think I'm finally ready to admit that it's over.  He never brought up the love part again and we haven't really discussed long-term since then (we dropped the exclusive part back in late July-ish).  He knows that I was very doubtful about this being long-term back when he told me he loved me - and when I brought up the fact that I didn't think it was going to work a few weeks after he said that, he was upset and I felt so bad for making him sad (that was when we dropped the exclusive part and I agreed to continue to date casually).

Problem is, I like spending time with him in general, but like I said above, I just don't see anything long-term happening, and I guess a part of me kind of feels like we're just wasting each other's time.  If that makes any sense.  But when I would think about breaking it off, I'd always end up deciding not to for the above 2 reasons (1.  I hate the thought of possibly hurting him; and 2.  I still enjoy spending time with him in general).

There's a part of me that wonders if he's maybe starting to feel the same way (we normally talk every night, but have missed the past 2 nights), but then he'll text or send a kind message that shows otherwise - plus his new schedule began a couple weeks ago and he's a lot busier than normal, so there's that, too.

I'm supposed to go see him this weekend and I'm trying to work up the courage to say I just want to be friends if he's willing - but don't want to date him anymore.  And I'm dreading it.  :(  How do I do this?  What's the nicest way to say/do it?  I'm so going to chicken out, aren't I?   :-\

TurtleDove

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Re: How to break up? I don't like this part of d@ting.
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2011, 01:26:50 AM »
There is no "nice" way to do this, but it is also not nice to lead someone on when you are not feeling it.  This will suck, but it sounds like you have thought it through and made up your mind.  Good luck.  You will hurt him.  There is no guarantee that some magic word or method would soften the blow.  But you would hurt him more to prolong a relationship that isn't happening.  Be strong!  And do what you know is right. (And only you know).

blarg314

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Re: How to break up? I don't like this part of d@ting.
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2011, 05:36:17 AM »

It's like ripping off a band-aid. Do it quickly and do it as soon as it's time.  It hurts, but it's going to hurt more the longer you wait.

There are two possibilities. One, he's more into you than you are into him, and he's going to feel bad. But it's better to feel bad now than finding out five years from now that your long term girlfriend never saw you as long term relationship material.

The other, he feels sort of like you do, and you can transition to friendship.

If he is hurt by it, don't try to move to being just friends; back off for a few months, tell him you'd like to be friends in the future if possible, and let him make that move.  One thing that sucks worse than being dumped by someone when you didn't want it is being dumped and then having them trying to be 'friends' while you desperately interpret everything they do as a sign that they really want to get back together.

shhh its me

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Re: How to break up? I don't like this part of d@ting.
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2011, 06:34:05 AM »

It's like ripping off a band-aid. Do it quickly and do it as soon as it's time.  It hurts, but it's going to hurt more the longer you wait.

There are two possibilities. One, he's more into you than you are into him, and he's going to feel bad. But it's better to feel bad now than finding out five years from now that your long term girlfriend never saw you as long term relationship material.

The other, he feels sort of like you do, and you can transition to friendship.

If he is hurt by it, don't try to move to being just friends; back off for a few months, tell him you'd like to be friends in the future if possible, and let him make that move.  One thing that sucks worse than being dumped by someone when you didn't want it is being dumped and then having them trying to be 'friends' while you desperately interpret everything they do as a sign that they really want to get back together.

POD , being friends only seems to work when both people are in the approximately same "place" when the relationship ends. "I do not want to date you anymore. I like you as a person but not as a romantic partners (depending on how the conversation goes up to this point)if you are every ready to be JUST friends give me a call"  Short is better , it doesn't sound like there is anything about him the particularly bothers you , you just don't feel it.

Lynn2000

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Re: How to break up? I don't like this part of d@ting.
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2011, 03:07:10 PM »
Is it the kind of relationship where, if you just didn't get back to him for a few days, or turned him down the next couple times he tried to set up a date with you, you two would gradually drift apart? I haven't read all the backstory, but if you're not even exclusively dating anymore, I'm not really clear on what exists to "break," you know? He knows he can date other people, you know you can date other people, just stop... dating each other.

If he's really into you I think this approach would be rude; but if he feels the same way you do, maybe the relationship could just die a natural, quiet death if you two simply ceased communicating/doing things together for a while. Am I totally off-base here?
~Lynn2000

CuriousGeorge

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Re: How to break up? I don't like this part of d@ting.
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2011, 03:01:52 AM »
Is it the kind of relationship where, if you just didn't get back to him for a few days, or turned him down the next couple times he tried to set up a date with you, you two would gradually drift apart? I haven't read all the backstory, but if you're not even exclusively dating anymore, I'm not really clear on what exists to "break," you know? He knows he can date other people, you know you can date other people, just stop... dating each other.

If he's really into you I think this approach would be rude; but if he feels the same way you do, maybe the relationship could just die a natural, quiet death if you two simply ceased communicating/doing things together for a while. Am I totally off-base here?

Thanks for all the replies.  I would never lead him on or anything like that - I've actually even been behaving towards him as more of a friend than anything lately.  Due to a death in the family in the past couple weeks, I haven't even been to his place in nearly a month.  He visited here twice in the meantime, but just for a few hours both times and they were more of a hanging out a friends kind of thing.

Even though we're not exclusive, there is still something to "break", so to speak.  And gradually drifting apart would definitely not be appropriate in this situation.  Back when I told him I wanted to take a step back, I brought up the fact that I wondered if it would be better to break up.  He was upset at the thought and said he didn't want that - which is when I agreed to just drop the exclusive part and just date casually and see what happened.

I felt awful for making him feel bad and I admit that breaking up did seem kind of harsh and somehwat of an overreaction at the time.  And I was fine with removing all "labels" and whatnot (that just sounds silly, but I don't know how else to put it), but it still almost seems like there's an unspoken label to the whole thing.  I know it doesn't make any sense - I don't know how else to explain it, sorry.  :/

At any rate, I guess I just don't feel anything anymore and even though he's so nice and smart and has all these good qualities, I just don't think "us" is working (or ever will).  And rather than waste his (and my) time, so to speak, it just seems like it'd be better to just be friends.  Or if he's uncomfortable with that, then a clean break I guess.

I'll take the advice to heart and do my best.  I'm going to go visit him tomorrow night and we're going to go shoot some photos on Sunday.  I'm going to see if I can work up the courage to at least bring up the topic and see how he's feeling.  Shoot, he may surprise me and agree with it.  I guess I'm hoping that it turns out I'm worrying for nothing.

Either way, however, thanks for all your help.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2011, 03:03:53 AM by CuriousGeorge »

Ondine

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Re: How to break up? I don't like this part of d@ting.
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2011, 01:40:08 PM »
Honestly, there is no 'good or easy' way to break up with someone. However, as soon as you are feeling that the relationship is not working, then it is time to call it quits.

I have been in relationships where it was honestly 'over' long before the breakup, and nothing irritates me more than feeling like someone is 'faking' it to make you happy. I would rather be happy knowing I had a great friend, than feeling like someone with an absent lover.

Allyson

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Re: How to break up? I don't like this part of d@ting.
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2011, 07:37:01 PM »
It sounds like you feel guilty that you aren't romantically attracted to him, because he is to you, and he has all these positive qualities so you somehow *should* be interested in him. It's not surprising that you feel that way--I've felt that way myself. But I think it's quite false. You are attracted to who you like, not who fits an itemized list of what you 'should' want. All you owe him is the truth--you don't owe him a relationship just because he wants one.

There seems to be a bit of this belief that if someone is nice and doesn't have any glaring awful personality traits, they are 'owed' a relationship. I see this a lot in movies/tv shows--the nice, but maybe nerdy or awkward, guy 'deserves' the hot girl over his rival, because he's just so gosh-darned good! The implication being that the girl is shallow if she prefers the other guy..even though often Nice Guy is only interested in the girl because she's hot! And it's somehow 'character development' when she realises she really wants Nice Guy.

Sorry, kind of went off a tangent there..I just think that that sort of attitude leads to people (women especially) feeling like they are doing something wrong just by not being interested in a guy who likes them. Sometimes it just doesn't click both ways, unfortunately.

Winterlight

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Re: How to break up? I don't like this part of d@ting.
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2011, 09:10:30 AM »
It sounds like you feel guilty that you aren't romantically attracted to him, because he is to you, and he has all these positive qualities so you somehow *should* be interested in him. It's not surprising that you feel that way--I've felt that way myself. But I think it's quite false. You are attracted to who you like, not who fits an itemized list of what you 'should' want. All you owe him is the truth--you don't owe him a relationship just because he wants one.

There seems to be a bit of this belief that if someone is nice and doesn't have any glaring awful personality traits, they are 'owed' a relationship. I see this a lot in movies/tv shows--the nice, but maybe nerdy or awkward, guy 'deserves' the hot girl over his rival, because he's just so gosh-darned good! The implication being that the girl is shallow if she prefers the other guy..even though often Nice Guy is only interested in the girl because she's hot! And it's somehow 'character development' when she realises she really wants Nice Guy.

Sorry, kind of went off a tangent there..I just think that that sort of attitude leads to people (women especially) feeling like they are doing something wrong just by not being interested in a guy who likes them. Sometimes it just doesn't click both ways, unfortunately.

This. You do not owe him a relationship because he's a good guy. You owe him the honesty of ending it so he can find the right person for him.
If wisdomís ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
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CuriousGeorge

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Re: How to break up? I don't like this part of d@ting.
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2011, 09:12:53 AM »
Just an FYI:  I agree with not leading him on and staying with him just because he's a good guy.  I never said otherwise; just trying to explain what was going through my head while coming to this conclusion.  I just wanted to hear from others on the most polite way to go about it (as polite as one can be, I guess).

Thanks for all the info, everyone.  :)

Winterlight

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Re: How to break up? I don't like this part of d@ting.
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2011, 01:05:41 PM »
Oh, no, I do understand. You don't want to hurt him and you want to be as polite as possible. I just don't think that delaying is going to help matters any. Think about it this way- if the situation was reversed, would you want to be looking back on your relationship wondering how long he'd been planning to break up?

This is indeed a sucky part of dating:(
If wisdomís ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls