Author Topic: How to end a rel[color=black]ationship[/color]?  (Read 5908 times)

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dearabby

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How to end a rel[color=black]ationship[/color]?
« on: July 25, 2012, 02:37:42 PM »
I've been dating a guy for a little less than 3 months and after a lot of thought, have found that my feelings for him don't run deep enough to make a go of a long-term relationship. I've always broken off a relationship in person, vs over the phone, but there are some complicating factors:

He rents a room in a person's house and we never hang out over there. So it's always at my place when we do get together. Our normal routine is for him to bring his dog over to my house. I'd like to break up with him in person, but I'm not hugely in favor of doing it at my house, where I live alone. I don't think he'd be violent or anything, but in past breakups there's been an extended discussion, hashing out, or begging and I don't want to get into that with the lack of an "out" I have to be able to leave a place. (Prior breakups have happened at the partner's place or in a shared living situation which was necessarily drawn out)

Is it OK to do it over the phone? If I ask him to meet in a neutral/public place, he'll pretty much know what's going on, because that's never how we've done things before. Should I ask him to do that anyway & just give him the option of meeting to discuss it? Help?

TurtleDove

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Re: How to end a rel[color=black]ationship[/color]?
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2012, 02:40:49 PM »
You could try calling him and explaining you want to meet at [nuetral spot] to discuss some things on your mind.  Sure, it would signal something's up, but frankly, something IS up.  Don't be guilted into having someone in your home if it makes you upset.  He may say, "no need to meet up - I get it" or he may want to meet with you but at least it won't happen in your space.

bah12

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Re: How to end a rel[color=black]ationship[/color]?
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2012, 02:55:15 PM »
I think that tipping him off that something is up is ok...you are planning to break up with him.  He can know something is up.  Break ups don't always have to be surprises.

That being said, you haven't dated him that long.  So, I don't think that breaking up over the phone is necessarily wrong.  I'd have a different opinion if this was a longer, more involved relationship.  If you really feel that the phone is your only option, then go ahead and do it that way.  I would just say that if an in person break up is only prohibited by the fact that you  two never hang out outside your place, that shouldn't be a concern.  Does it matter if he's tipped off?  Do you think he'd do something even if you're out in public?

WillyNilly

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Re: How to end a rel[color=black]ationship[/color]?
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2012, 03:01:06 PM »
Its summer and he has a dog - can you meet him at a park?  Its a nice neutral, and safe location.

And you know honestly if that doesn't work out... yeah you can do it over the phone.  Is it ideal?  No.  But you know what?  You are breaking up.  Its ok to leave him thinking a bit badly of you over your methods - its over anyway.

SleepyKitty

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Re: How to end a rel[color=black]ationship[/color]?
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2012, 03:09:52 PM »
I think meeting in a public place to break up is terrible advice, frankly. If you're afraid of an extreme reaction or violence or something like that, I think it's safest to end the relationship over the phone. Etiquette doesn't matter in cases where you fear for your well-being. If you're not afraid of a bad reaction, then the poor dumpee has to deal with controlling their natural reactions in public or risk making a scene, potentially embarrassing them and making the break-up worse than it had to be.

Since it's been a short relationship, I POD everyone else in that you're fine to do it over the phone. TurtleDove has a good point in letting him decide how to proceed - say something like, "I don't think this relationship is working out, and I'd like to discuss it. Would you like to meet up?"

And, if you do have the talk at your house, don't be afraid to ask the dumpee to leave if you're being subjected to endless discussion, hashing, or begging to be taken back. It sounds cruel or harsh, but honestly, cutting it short is kindest for the dumpee. Say your piece, give them a chance to respond, and then say something like, "There's nothing more to discuss. I'm so sorry for hurting you, but this is final and I don't want to drag it out. Please go."

Sheila Take a Bow

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Re: How to end a rel[color=black]ationship[/color]?
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2012, 03:11:47 PM »
I think that tipping him off that something is up is ok...you are planning to break up with him.  He can know something is up.  Break ups don't always have to be surprises.

That being said, you haven't dated him that long.  So, I don't think that breaking up over the phone is necessarily wrong.

This, absolutely.

Years ago, I was dating this guy.  He wanted to break things off with me, but he didn't want me to know what was coming.  So he called me one afternoon and said that he wanted to see me that night.

I was in the middle of a very rough day at work, so I told him I really just wanted to go home and rest and wasn't in the mood for seeing anyone.  He insisted he really wanted to see me, he wanted to take me to dinner.  I said I was too tired to be any fun.  He swore he'd come and we'd order in and he'd take my mind off my bad day at work.

So I agreed to let him come over after I got off work.  And then he walked in the door and dumped me.

I would have much preferred a phone call.  It would have been kinder.

dearabby

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Re: How to end a rel[color=black]ationship[/color]?
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2012, 03:25:41 PM »
Thanks for the help, everyone.

Arija, this is kind of what I'm concerned about. He's had a stressful week and I don't want him to go to all the trouble of loading up his dog and driving all the way over here (not a huge distance, but on top of his long normal commute), just for me to shoo him back out. I'm not concerned about the "surprising" him, and I've got to imagine he knows something is up, because I haven't been very affectionate/encouraging the past few days.

And I guess in the back of my mind, one of the reasons I'm breaking up with him is that he processes things as people taking advantage of him - like a bitterness - and the one time I saw him angry (at his dog) he was really loud and kind of scared me. So not keen on doing this at my place.

I think I'll ask him to meet me at the park and if he pushes to see what's up I'll just do it on the phone.

jmarvellous

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Re: How to end a rel[color=black]ationship[/color]?
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2012, 04:10:39 PM »
Phone or public, open space (like not after you've ordered dinner). But I think phone.

Good luck! I know that this is tough.

SoCalVal

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Re: How to end a rel[color=black]ationship[/color]?
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2012, 03:57:29 PM »
I think I'll ask him to meet me at the park and if he pushes to see what's up I'll just do it on the phone.

This sounds good.  I recently had someone "dump" me for something (not a break-up but an unusual request nonetheless).  Someone from work (my committee chair) sent me an e-mail the day before I was to go on vacation asking to meet for lunch while I was going to be on vacation.  I thought it odd so I called her from work (at work) to ask what was up, and she just said, "Oh, I just want to meet for lunch" so I thought she wanted to socialize (which, while I like her just fine, I don't usually go out of my way to make friends as it just happens).  Anyway, I was wondering why she would, out of the blue, want to meet for lunch so we did when I was back from vacation (I was just too busy during vacation).  Turns out she was meeting with me to tell me I could not continue as vice chair since she needed someone with a more flexible work schedule, which was fine.  I just wish she'd had this discussion with me over the phone so I didn't have to lose my lunch break doing work-related things (am glad I didn't have the time to do it while on vacation).  The reason I mention my experience is that while I realize she was trying to "soften the blow" by doing it in person, I would've preferred to hear it over the phone as it was inconvenient for me to set aside my lunch break (my one time to relax during the workday) to do something that totally was not for social reasons at all.



gramma dishes

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Re: How to end a rel[color=black]ationship[/color]?
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2012, 04:06:31 PM »
I would consider this a relatively short term relationship.  I think the phone is fine.  I like SleepyKitty's words.


...   Say your piece, give them a chance to respond, and then say something like, "There's nothing more to discuss. I'm so sorry for hurting if I have hurt you, but this is final and I don't want to drag it out. ..."


Cat-Fu

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Re: How to end a rel[color=black]ationship[/color]?
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2012, 04:33:36 PM »
Maybe I'm just weird, but if I'm going to be dumped, I prefer it to be over the phone. That way I am able to break down/cry/dance with joy by myself.
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whiterose

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Re: How to end a rel[color=black]ationship[/color]?
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2012, 08:13:20 PM »
I wonder if he will still be blindsided.

Would you ever go to his place?

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Twik

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Re: How to end a rel[color=black]ationship[/color]?
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2012, 11:38:01 AM »
Most of my being dumped is the "disappear until Twik realizes it" method. Personally, although I've never been dumped by telephone, I think it would really be the easiest. You're not in each other's home, and you're not in a public place where everyone is trying to keep a lid on their emotions. When you're both finished, you can hang up, and it doesn't seem as if one person is storming away.
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SleepyKitty

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Re: How to end a rel[color=black]ationship[/color]?
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2012, 05:27:09 PM »
Maybe I'm just weird, but if I'm going to be dumped, I prefer it to be over the phone. That way I am able to break down/cry/dance with joy by myself.

Yeah, I have to be honest, I agree with this and with Twik. Maybe it's strange, but even in a long-term relationship, I would rather dump and be dumped over the phone. I don't dump people over the phone, because there's a consensus that it's wrong and disrespectful, but I had to admit I really don't understand why it's so wrong. Probably because I am an intensely private kind of person when it comes to negative emotions (like anger, shame, or sadness). I don't want a witness to it, and I certainly don't want the person who is causing those emotions to witness it. So, when I try to treat others how I would want to be treated, I imagine them desiring the same privacy, and it doesn't seem disrespectful to dump someone over the phone. But I do get that for people who aren't me, they would prefer it face to face.

dearabby

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Re: How to end a rel[color=black]ationship[/color]?
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2012, 02:03:42 PM »
Just wanted to add an update with the outcome!

Thanks for all your help and advice. When we talked after work about getting together I just said "Well, I was wondering if we could meet someplace because we need to have a talk" and he asked what was up so I told him. I apologized for doing it on the phone and offered to meet if he wanted to talk. He said he appreciated doing it over the phone so it didn't leave that awkward feeling at the end of an in-person break up. So all went as well as that sort of thing can.

Thanks again!