How to lose a guy without breaking his heart

When the chemistry is gone, but you still want to be nice…

After many humiliating and hilarious scenes, Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey live happily ever in “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.” But the film’s central question was left unanswered: how do you tell a guy that you’re just not that into him?

Breaking up is a nerve-wracking, anxiety-filled process, especially if you’ve been dating for several months. Although the chemistry has weakened, you don’t want to crush him by simply disappearing. You owe him a real breakup.

Patience and consideration are critical, believes life and “breakup” coach Chelsea Trescott. “Too often we underestimate the power of sincerity when we’re breaking up with someone,” Trescott said in our interview. “We want to protect the person we’re letting go of and we also want to preserve the image they have of us.”

Sympathetic separations can be difficult to approach, so I compiled the advice of four relationship experts to share how they would break up, without breaking his heart.

Openness and Honesty

Severing a relationship of several months requires an open and honest exchange. Yet, breakups have a self-serving nature. To avoid tarnishing their image, people usually offer vague and unclear reasons behind wanting to separate. “Your best approach is to be sincere, clear and patient with the person you are breaking up with,” said Trescott.  “Remember, this isn’t the time to be focusing on how you are being perceived by the person you are breaking up with, but rather is the time to make sure your ex isn’t left in the dark with a thousand miserable and misguided thoughts.”

Avoid blaming and instead, “make it about you and your limitations,” rather than pointing the finger at him, said the anonymous advice columnist at dearmrsweb.com.

Timing

While there’s no perfect time to break up, appropriate timing softens the blow. Particularly with longer relationships, take time to consider his personal life. Does he have an important meeting tomorrow? Is his birthday within the next few days? In other words, be attentive. However, don’t prolong the deed.

“When it comes to breaking up, I’ve learned that it’s way better to rip the bandaid off,” said Rebecca Harrison, blogger for Obvi We’re the Ladies. “Unless your significant other is going through a rough time, get out. It’s essential to be respectful of the other person’s life but you come first, always.”

Location, Location, Location

Some prefer breakups in privacy, while others seek the openness of a public setting. A private location is optimal, especially for long-term relationships, said Rachel Wilkerson Miller in her Buzzfeed article “How to Dump Someone (Like An Actual Adult).” Choosing a quiet, private  location shows your partner that you respect and care for their feelings. In contrast, Mrs. Web, of dearmrsweb.com, believes that many men prefer a public location. “Men tend to dislike drama, so a way to break up is in public with plans to go in opposite directions.”

Still, both sources uphold that being face-to-face is more important than the location. A breakup should be done in-person, not over the phone, and never through text message. “Even if you think you are being clear and cordial in a breakup text, you better believe that text is going to be read dozens upon dozens of times and reinterpreted based upon one’s immediate mood,” Trescott explained. “A breakup needs to be a conversation–a fluid conversation–and isn’t the time to think about what’s convenient for you.”

Just Do It

If your open and honest explanation isn’t getting through to him, be firm in your decision to end the relationship. You may be trying to spare the other person from grief, but avoid dancing around the subject. Actually se the word “breakup.”

Leave no room for misunderstanding and don’t allow yourself to be manipulated. You decided you want to separate, so stay true to your decision.

The Aftermath

Be considerate after the dust has settled. There’s no reason to publicize the emotional experience on social media. If you don’t feel comfortable with private information being displayed online, politely explain your preference.

The “let’s stay friends” scenario comes with its own complications, so a respectful approach is best. Be direct with what you want, but understand that he may not reciprocate your desire for friendship.

“Staying friends with an ex, in my opinion, is so extremely hard,” Harrison said. “There are going to be some mixed emotions on either side, and dealing with those can be toxic. I keep my exes at a distance. Advice for those who want to be friends with their exes is to make sure you’re both over the relationship 100% before you even try to communicate as friends.”

NOW WATCH:
More
The Tab NYU