Breaking up is hard to do, it doesn’t matter if you are breaking up with someone you love, or someone that you may not like that much anymore. Or maybe you didn’t like them that much in the first place.
Either way, when you break up with someone you are stepping outside of your comfort zone. You have to have a difficult discussion after having made a difficult decision. This is especially the case when the person you are breaking up with is not a bad person, or someone that treated you poorly.
Just because someone is awesome, doesn’t mean that you are right for them or them for you. But when that someone is a good guy, like a really good guy, I feel like you owe them a little more than what you might owe a guy that didn’t treat you that well.
So when you want to break up with a good guy, what do you owe them?
First, you owe them truth. You need to talk to them. They deserve to understand what is happening and why, and to have a chance to talk to you about it.
It is generally easier to break up with someone by ghosting on them. Change your phone number, stop returning calls and emails, and block them on Facebook. But when you are breaking up with a good guy, most likely you and he have had good times together.
What you will do to him when you break up with him is hurt him, and confuse him, especially if he is deep in the relationship. I’m not saying that you have to continue the relationship just because he is good and he was good to you, but I am saying that he deserves to be treated well even in a breakup.
I don’t think we should go out of her way to hurt people or cause them more emotional trauma then we have to. When you are ready, let him know that you guys need to talk, and then tell him. Be open and honest with what is going on in your heart and in your mind.
Give him a chance to ask questions and to talk to you about it. Any feelings that he has, hear them and accept them. It doesn’t mean that you have to change your mind, but the right thing to do when you are breaking up with a good guy is to be present and hear him, and to be fair to him in the breakup.
Another thing that I think you should do with a good guy is be sensitive to whether or not it makes sense to continue to see him regularly. If he’s a good person, maybe you guys were friends before, and you would like to be friends afterward. If he is able to or ready to, find out what he would like, and then follow those boundaries.
If he doesn’t want to have any contact with you at all, I wouldn’t be surprised, and I would try not to feel hurt about it. Breakups are painful, and having to spend time with someone who just broke up with you, and maybe really hurt you, isn’t something that feels good or is desirable.
I think you also need to watch how much time you spend with him in the event that he does still want to see you and have contact with you. You guys have broken up, but he might want to continue on and spend a lot of time with you just like before. A breakup changes what is appropriate for two people to do together.
If he’s a good person, like a really good man, don’t continue to engage in physical relations with him if you don’t share his same feelings. This includes casual touching, holding his hand or kissing him. This wouldn’t be fair to him, because it muddles the lines that need to be really clear at this time.
I would love to say that there is a really good establish step by step process to break up with a guy, but really, what you have to get down to is that it just needs to be done.
If you are ready to break up with him, you need to just do it, and do it as painlessly and as maturely as possible. Don’t give him the runaround, don’t lead him on, and talk to him directly and respectfully about it.
It might be hard to have this conversation with him, because you don’t want to hurt him. While it is normal to feel that way, hurt is inevitable if you and he are not in the same place in your relationship.
What you may find though by talking with him directly and being open and honest, is that you aren’t the only one who was feeling what you were feeling. Maybe, by opening up the channels of communication, you and he find that you guys are on the same page and that the break up makes sense.
Another thing that could happen by having an open and honest conversation about a breakup, is that you can identify some areas of common ground, and maybe in having that conversation you can decide how the relationship can be changed or improved so that a breakup is not necessary.
In any event, what you really need to do is just have a real conversation with him and let him know where you are, and then accept what he has to say about it.
Unfortunately I can say that I have been the veteran of many breakups, some that I had to do, and others that it was done to me. In every case, it was painful, especially when you find out that someone you really cared about doesn’t feel the same way as you.
When I was on the receiving end of The Break-Up talk, I have always appreciated somebody who was willing to be open and honest with me and direct without beating around the bush or saying things that are confusing. I would much rather somebody say to me that while they liked me, they didn’t feel that the connection was strong and they didn’t see things going anywhere.
Things that I did not appreciate were times when people told me that they weren’t in the right place and that it was all their fault for The Break-Up, the it’s not you, it’s me speech.
The it’s not you, it’s me speech is a real cop out and it’s not believable. I think both knew that if I, as a girlfriend or potential spouse was super awesome in every way and hit all the bells for my him, that we wouldn’t be having the conversation.
It’s true that sometimes the timing just isn’t right, but most things can be changed or improved if the people involved are motivated to change.
I have tried hard to stay in good contact with some of my ex-boyfriends, the ones I broke up with, and the ones that broke up with me. When it was me who got dumped, at the time I appreciated maintaining contact with the individual because it made me feel better in the short term, but I think in the long-term it actually extended amount of time it took for me to move on.
I think that reducing my contact with them right away, like drastically after The Break-Up would have been more painful at the time, but in the long-term it would have forced the moving on process along that much quicker.
If you can take anything away from my experience, I would say that in any break-up, you should do what you can to end things quickly and move on if you can and give the other person the space to do the same. Especially if the person you break up with is a good guy.
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Emily Anderson is a mother of three children, ages 8, 6, and 3. Located in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, Emily is a full-time mom and part-time blogger, jumping in front of the screen when the kids are occupied. She can be reached through the Contact Us page.