Monday, July 28, 2008

I'm Not Gonna Write You A Love Song

From my last post (and part 2 that is coming soon), you've probably gathered I've had to break off a few "relationships" lately. Some of you have asked me (after seeing certain Facebook status messages) to share my methods.

Last fall, when I was single for the first time in a long time, I had absolutely NO clue how to end things appropriately with someone I was just casually dating. I've since had some practice and have a few guidelines that I follow, appropriate or not... I'm sure you'll tell me (especially the few male readers I have).

  1. The Fade Away: This is when you completely stop responding to all communication, hoping the guy will eventually get the hint that you aren't interested in pursuing a relationship anymore. It's not the nicest thing to do, but if there is no emotional connection it's sometimes the easiest.

    My rule of thumb: I only do this with guys I've had one date with. It has the potential to severely backfire otherwise.

  2. The Text Message: I believe this is an acceptable way to end things with someone you've had only a few dates with, and also have used text messaging as a means of communication with before. If he sends you a message about getting together again sometime, the Fade-Away would be pretty rude considering you've been out more than once, which is normally perceived as being interested. So, the polite thing to do is to let him know that you aren't feeling it anymore. It can be tricky because you're normally limited to 160 characters. Keep it short, simple and to the point.

    My drafted response:
    I'm not really feeling a spark between us that should be there at this point. I hope you understand. Take care.

  3. The E-Mail: I find this to be the best approach when you find you get nervous or can't say what you really mean when face-to-face. Or, when you know you wouldn't be able to go through with it if you saw them in person again.

    Courtesy of my IBFF:

    Dear ______,

    I wanted to thank you again for the __(insert date location and activity here)___ the other night. It has been great getting to know you these past few (weeks, hours, days - pick one.) I do, however, feel that our connection is more of a friendship than a romance. Perhaps I am being presumptuous, and you may have felt that way too? Either way, thank you again, and I wish you the best.

    Sincerely,
    ________

  4. In Person: Yes, if you've been seriously dating and have an emotional connection with them, it is the right thing to do to break-up face-to-face. Do you really want to be perceived as a cold, heartless bitch?

Have anything to add? Share your methods in the comments if you want.


Disclaimer:
If the guy has been a complete and total asshole, there is no need to follow any of the above guidelines. In fact, knee him right in the family jewels. That should send the message loud and clear. (Only kidding!) ... ;)

47 comments:

Princess Pointful said...

Get my friend to tell his friend! Just kidding ;)

Tia said...

i totally inappropriately did "the fade away" once. i felt a little bad about it, but not really. oops.

Miss A said...

oooh i love this! i MUST bookmark this post for future reference ;-)

Laurel said...

Dude, I am so needing advice on this right now! Also, I've MISSED YOU!

Maxie said...

I'm all about the fade away. Maybe I'm just a chicken.

Daniel said...

Good rule on the fade away, don't do it beyond the first date. I just had a girl (I would say woman but she got downgraded for taking the cowards route) who I had been seeing for 2 months pull it on me while I was away for some Army training. It's just so cowardly and makes us guys have to take a hint (which we are sometimes not really good at doing). Something, even a text saying its over/no spark, is better than nothing.

*kb* said...

Ah this is good and very timely for me. :-) I just asked my bff about the text message way and she told me it was absolutely acceptable if he ends up contacting me that way. I'm so relieved! :-)

The one I'm dealing with is a total ass but I can't help but still feel badly. Oh well I'm sure I'll get over it. :-)

Daddy Dan said...

Of course the in-person method is the most appropriate way, but if it's only a casual thing then any of the four methods are ok, and also much easier. Easier is better, right?

The knee to the family jewels comment was definitely NOT funny! =)

Noelle said...

Have you tried the "you're like a brother to me?" Having gotten the "you're like a sister to me," I wonder if it has the same Earth-shattering impact.

legallyheidi said...

i'm a big fan of the email. the text is great though i've never used it.

either email, phone or inperson seem to be best methods.

Dabby said...

I was a big fan of the fade away back in my single days. 99% of the guys I dated were jerks anyway and probably deserved more of a mean text. Sometimes silence is nicer in a round-a-bout way.

Yoda said...

DANG! You are harsh with the txt msg!!

Katelin said...

i think everyone is guilty of the 'fade away' approach at some point in their life, haha. i used to utilize it frequently :)

Paula said...

I once was pretty nasty to a guy i'd been seeing for a couple of months until he eventually got the hint and asked me if i wanted to end it. I didn't have the guts to bring it up myself so was waiting for him to do that. I still feel bad about it but, in my defence, it was my first boyfriend and also he ended up going out with my friend a couple of weeks later so he obviously wasn't the greatest of guys anyway!

addy said...

Love the song in the title, and also the advice! I agree, but want to add one tiny thing. When breaking up with someone in person, don't do it at your place, or at theirs. Meet at some neutral place so you can just walk (drive) away afterwards!

serious/silly/me said...

Your methods certainly are a testament to society's technological age. breaking up was MUCH harder back in the day before email and txting. Here's one for your list..."through a friend." Has an element of personal touch but it's not you doing it. Probably for someone between the "in person" and the "email" levels. And probably for someone you want to keep on the line for the future, just in case. :o)

Lauren said...

Ah, i've done the fade away before. So sad, but sometimes it has to be done!

Letting things be said...

I'm am loving your blog! Just want to let you know that I am enjoying reading it! If you want to read mine, I'll send you an invite!

freckledk said...

Oooh...I'm such a coward. The fade away is my preferred method of extrication. I may start using that form letter, though. Good idea.

By the way, if you get a random Facebook friend request in the next 30 seconds, it's me.

Jess said...

This is a handy little manual! I'm assuming I'll never need it again, but still.

Raz said...

I broke up with the same guy twice, once to his face (the first time, when we'd be going out a couple of months) and then by email. He said he was pleased I was brave enough, but the look on his face means I think I'd be reluctant to do it again.

A brilliant entry!

L Sass said...

Hilarious!!

Kelley said...

I've always done my break-ups in person, but I was a bit of a serial monogamist. The idea of casual dating has always simultaneously intimidated and impressed me. You are much braver than I :D

Frankly, Scarlett said...

OO OOO I have one!

The FIZZLE - translation: you've gone out on more than 3 dates but it doesn't seem to be working. So you just stop returning calls, or you return them haphazzardly and hope they get the hint.

Gisela said...

This was a great read! Great advice on what to say too. I do agree that "in person" is the best way if you have been seeing this person for a while though.

brookem said...

i agree with your rules on the fade away (fade out, in my hood). it can be done, but only if there was hardly a connection there to begin with. same with the text- id only feel comfy doing that if there at been textual communication together already.

i think the more practice with these things, the easier it gets.

Dana said...

A text message? Come on!! lol I think an email is better, at least you have more space to let him know what's wrong with him!

Surfergrrl said...

I'm going to copy the email for future reference. Well, that is if i ever get a date sometime soon.

Angela said...

I wouldn't do an email, but the other ways, totally legit.

Annie said...

Oh man, I had been "dating" a guy who was crazy into me when my ex and I decided to get back together after a 8 month break up. Breaking the news to him may be the most uncomfortable thing I've EVER done, however I did it in person and he thanked me for being respectful and adult about it. It's great because we're still pals! Now that the ex and I are broken up (again!), it's nice to know I didn't burn any bridges! :)

Steph said...

There's always the route the guys take where they purposefully act like jerks and try to get you to break up with them....

kidding.

I think your guideline is pretty on point.

SarahKate said...

Hello there, I just stumbled across your blog today. I love this post! I've had to do the fade away many times, you hit each one spot on haha.

Katie said...

How about THE HANDOFF:

In the next conversation you have with the guy you've only been out with a few times suggest setting him up with a friend of yours. This makes it pretty clear you aren't in to him, but gives him the impression you think he's cool enough to introduce to someone else.

You dont actually have to make the introduction in the end, but it works out nicely for everyone.

ashley said...

I really just can't bring myself to call anything off through a text, phone call, or email. I feel terrible doing it that way. So for me..face to face is the only way.

Passionista said...

The fade away is my usually method of choice. I don't answer calls and when I do, I'm always "busy." Sometimes guys still don't get the hint and that's when I employ the "I'm just not that into you" spiel.
For those disclaimer guys, go ahead and leave them a post-it! lol

Andy said...

Nothing better than a form letter-break up. That's classy AND convenient. Even better if you fill it in, Mad Libs style, right?

Great blog...

Susie said...

I'm sooo bad at this. Horrible. I've faded away more than once. But it's usually after just 2 dates and when it would just be awkward to say there's no spark (bc technically there shouldn't be one...but I can tell there never will).

OMG. A guy I "faded away" on just walked into the coffee shop I'm sitting in. NOT EVEN KIDDING. wtf. Ummm, going to fade away into the corner now and pray he doesn't see me. And THIS, my friends, is an excellent reason why you shouldn't just fade away. Awesome.

Rachel said...

I've done the Fade-Away before...I felt terrible, but I just didn't know what else to do.

Shelley said...

I've gotten three fade-aways in the past year and a half. (yikes) Two were legit and made sense... the third one I had gone on least 4 dates with this guy and he stop communicating... after a week I had to call and make sure that he was indeed giving me the fade-away or just "busy."

Like your blog! You're not an Ohio State alum are you?

MrsTwink said...

That e-mail template is BRILLIANT!

I've never done the e-mail or text message breakup but I know people who have. The idea of breaking up via text just cracks me up!

Jack and Jill said...

I think kneeing a guy in the junk is ALWAYS a good breakup strategy. Then again, I'm not very nice.

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

oh man the fade awy is the worst when its you, and someone doesnt tell u they dont want u let just slowly stop showing u that that care...eeee

graffiti.girl.designs said...

michelle, michelle. oh where, oh where could she be...

Liz said...

If you changed blogs and did not tell me I will be highly upset. :)

Oh yeah, I changed blogs, and I don't know if I told you. You can now find me at http://willtherebecake.wordpress.com

Lea said...

I'm so sad that there hasn't been a post in forever....is this blog done? But I just started reading it within the past couple of months! :(

Daddy Dan said...

Are you doing the "fade away" on us? It's not fair, since we've had more than one date with you!

I hope things are going well for you, Michelle.

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