15 'respectable' ways to dump your partner
If you want to end a romantic association, there's no reason why you can't be thoughtful and civil about it. Illustrations: Uttam Ghosh
A relationship counsellor in Australia has suggested easier ways to break up with you lover, while showing respect to him or her at the same time.
"Being told 'it's over' is never going to be great news no matter how it is delivered," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Relationships Australia counsellor Bill Hewlett as saying.
"But you can make it more comfortable to some degree."
She suggests that a relationship should be called off in person. Do not deliver the bad news by e-mail or even worse, have someone else do it for you.
"Ending it in person shows that you have respect for the person and the relationship," said Hewlett.
The day to break it off
Apparently, April 2 is the date that more relationships fail on than any other, according to data released by Facebook, which tabulated the number of status changes from 'in a relationship' to 'single' and 'married' to 'divorced' over 2010 and 2011.
In any case, if you want to be one of the crowd, that's the day to break it off.
Tell the TRUTH
Always resort to telling the truth. The tired cliche, 'it's not you, it's me' just doesn't cut it. Tell your partner, with decorum, why the relationship is not working for you.
"Everyone needs closure," said clinical psychologist Jo Lamble.
"We find it very hard to move on from a relationship if the reasons for the break-up don't make sense. It's far better to be as honest as possible, for the sake of the person you're rejecting."
The feedback sandwich
Delivering the news in the form of a 'feedback sandwich' can alleviate the pain inflicted. It works by saying something nice, delivering the bad news and then finishing with a positive statement.
"The person getting dumped is going to feel rejected," said Hewlett.
"So it's important to give them some good feedback amongst the bad news."
Hewlett recommends highlighting a quality you admire in them and to finish by reiterating that your time together will not be forgotten.
You may need a counsellor
If you are uncertain about the next step, enlist the help of a counsellor for relationship advice.
"Ending a relationship requires serious consideration and that may involve the use of sounding boards including friends, family, or a counsellor," said Jo Lamble.
"But be aware that everyone -- except hopefully the counsellor -- may have their own agenda for any advice they give, so that's why I suggest using others as a sounding board so you can hear your own voice, not theirs."
Steer clear of the computer and get your timing right
Hewlett also suggests steering clear of your computer, as not only will you have to contend with social media's abrupt defriending and unfollowing, you may be receiving an e-mail from WotWentWrong.com, a site allowing dumpees to ask their dumpers for answers via a third party.
Timing should be well-chosen. Don't deliver the news on a special occasion or birthday, you don't want your ex associating that date with heartbreak and rejection forevermore.
And don't do it just before they are heading off to work or an event. It makes sense that Friday is the day of the week that most break-ups happen, according to the aforementioned Facebook study, as it gives you and your now-ex the weekend to help recover.
A detailed list and telling signs
To be clear why you are leaving, it might be a good idea to write yourself a detailed list with your reasons. This can be referred to later when you are feeling heartbroken after fixating on the good times.
Don't say 'we need to talk'. If you want to set off alarm bells that will cause a wall to instantly come up or for the person to run a mile before you've had the chance to say what you need to say, do not speak, text or e-mail these four dreaded words. Instead, get straight to the point, using the aforementioned feedback sandwich.
So that the news is not a massive shock, Jo Lamble advises to give some warnings that you are unhappy in the time leading up to the break-up.
Take a test
Counsellors also suggest taking a test first. Researchers have developed a test which can predict whether a relationship is going to last. Using automatic word association, Ronald D Rogge and associates from the University of Rochester studied 222 coupled volunteers automatic responses.
The researchers found that volunteers who found it easy to associate their partner with bad things, and difficult to associate the partner with good things were more likely to separate over the next year.
Threats, dealing with change, staying friends and dating again
While it is fine to give warnings, Jo Lamble advises against constant threats of leaving. If you say it, be prepared to back it up with the action.
Change can be scary, so it's wise to get your hands on as much information as you can in preparation for the life-changing event.
Setting boundaries is also quite vital. If asked 'Can we still be friends?', know that it might be best to keep your distance for a while.
Don't start looking for someone else first, as that is just in bad taste and you may end up facing the awkward situation of answering your own partner's want ad.