This week, the Girlfriends have let go of their runners-up, to concentrate on The One. But how do you let someone down gently? Dating expert Kate Taylor of match.com says – “we need to talk”.
1. Be very sure
The most hurtful break-ups are the yo-yo kind, where you are dumped, then wooed back, only to be dumped again. Avoid putting anyone on that rollercoaster by being VERY SURE you don’t want them before you let them go. This way, the certainty and finality will be evident in your face and voice when you have The Talk. You may feel it’s hurtful to tell someone you’re absolutely sure you no longer want to date them, but in reality, it’s kinder – the lack of hope will help them reach a place of acceptance much faster. So don’t dither or ask for a trial separation, just be direct.
2. Give reasons
Be tactful, but honest. Telling a partner, “I feel a really strong sexual attraction for someone else, whilst I see you as a rather cuddly hamster,” is only good if you’re keen to keep the Samaritans in business. Instead, give reasons that will help your date in the future. Amy handled this perfectly – telling Charlie that she found it hard to know where she stood because he wasn’t very vocal about his feelings, gave him useful feedback he can use in his next relationship. But if you’re sure you’ve lost all interest, be careful not to give reasons they can argue with, or fix: when Sarah used the excuse, “We live too far apart,” on Mitch, he immediately offered to move closer.
3. Don’t offer to be friends
Again, offering to be friends just prolongs any lingering feelings of hop. Similarly, don’t contact them after the break-up to see how they’re doing, or keep track of them via mutual friends. Leave them in peace to get over you. And they will – most of us survive, or even thrive, after a break-up.
4. Do it face-to-face
If you’ve been on dates with them *literally* just once or twice, then you don’t have to make an arrangement to meet up in person purely to tell them you don’t want to see them anymore. In that situation, you can use the phone but to call, not text or email. But if you’ve seen each other three times or more, it’s so much better to do it in person. The kindest way is to ask to come over to their house.
5. Don’t feel guilty
You’ll be tempted to contact them, or go back on your decision if you feel guilty. Instead, realise you’ve freed them up to find someone who is nuts about them. Soothe your conscience by reminding yourself of all the celebrities who have gone on to bigger and better things after a romantic split – Pink wrote her most-successful album ever, Funhouse, about her (temporary) split from husband Carey Hart, while Nicole Kidman split from Tom Cruise and went on to dazzle in Moulin Rouge. Losing you might be the spur your ex needed to succeed in the future.
So Amy, Sarah and Laura have made their final choice! If they didn’t choose your favourite guy, why not get to know him for yourself free now at www.match.com/girlfri3nds?