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[1, 2]

How to End a Relationship
Chapter 2

Location, location!

It is best to pick a private, neutral location if possible. If you are not living together, your soon to be ex would probably be most comfortable in their own home, (that way they can ask you to leave). A restaurant or other public place is almost always a bad choice. If your partner is going to have an emotional outburst, at least let them retain some dignity by way of some privacy. The only exception to this rule is if you fear that your partner will threaten you with physical violence, if this is the case, it is essential to stay in a very public place where help can be called if necessary.

A similarly bad situation would be breaking up with someone at work - that's simply cruel. You are putting them in a situation where they must conceal their emotions (if they can) and therefore can't discuss anything. They have responsibilities and duties to perform which are certainly going to be hindered by the resulting emotional state. The object here is the dissolution of a relationship, not trying to get them fired!

Never, never break up with someone on the phone or by e-mail, barring a long distance relationship. This is the most cowardly thing you could do. It's your decision as at least have the balls to back up your own choice!

A common phenomena that I don't understand is the "I don't want to be the mean one, so I'll just do something to make him/her break up with me" decision. What is that all about? Why would you do that if you really don't want to be with someone? All that ends up happening is you hurt the other person unnecessarily… and they might not even break up with you! It might just drag on forever this way with you being miserable, and you in turn hurting them. Not a good idea.

Similarly, simply not returning someone's phone calls or altogether avoiding them isn't a good thing to do. At least this situation occurs more often in a casual relationship, but that doesn't give you the excuse to be a coward. You are not saving them from being hurt. They may become perplexed, angered and come to confront you when it is most inappropriate. Alternatively, they may start phoning your friends and family, which also won't be appreciated.

If you are married or have common assets, work things out fairly between yourselves before going to lawyers! Whether you like the other person or not, why would you want to give all that money to divorce lawyers? Neither party wins when this game gets played. Whatever your ex did to you isn't going to change by nickel and diming each other into a state of frenzy. Same applies in custody battles - you're only hurting your children. Obviously this is the ideal way to handle things - unfortunately we do not live in an ideal world.

Dealing with "why"

If asked, save the it's not you, it's me line. It's almost always a load of crap, and no one will believe it anyway. Clearly state your reasons in a matter of fact way, but don't be derogatory and hurt someone purposely. Just because you don't want to be with them any more doesn't mean that you should emotionally scar them for life.

Another deadly phrase that should never be uttered is "We can still be friends." Women seem to like this one for some reason, although it's a bunch of malarkey unless you only had a very brief, casual relationship. This is like saying, "I don't want to be with you but I'm going to see you often just to remind you that you can't have me." Not only that but even the best intentions generally go out the window when either of you start dating someone else.

There is definitely no black or white with this issue, but rather, a huge gray area. How it happens depends on you, your partner, the situation and circumstances. The object is if you really want out, get out in a situation where both of you save face. This way all concerned will be able to get on with their new lives sooner and with a lot less guilt and unhappiness.


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