Saying Goodbye with Finesse

Here are some answers to the question, "How do I tactfully break up with someone?" The first thing to keep in mind, something very important in tactfully breaking up with someone is that you don't do it where someone else can see or hear what is happening. You'll want to choose a very private place. Of course, especially with women, if you're dealing with someone who has been threatening, someone of whom you need to be afraid, privacy is the last thing you want.

In this case you might want a big strong witness or might even want to go the route of a letter, phone call or e-mail. If, however, the relationship has been genuinely good, and you're breaking up with a nice person, always end it in person. Anything else is cold and cruel. Another suggestion about how you tactfully break up with someone is to avoid doing it on special occasions such as holidays, birthdays, or heaven forbid Valentine's Day. You're already going to cause that person unavoidable emotional distress and hurt for a temporary time. The last thing you want him or her to have to do is relive the stress and the pain each time the anniversary of the breakup rolls around.

You could end up ruining each Christmas, or each birthday, or each holiday for them every year as it comes around again. If you want to tactfully break up with someone you want to be honest - up to a point. I once went out with a guy that seemed very nice.

He was polite, interesting, ambitious, good looking, not pushy about moving it to the sexual level. After several dates I was thinking that this might build into something long term. Then he invited me over to his house. The rugs were spotted, the couch and furniture caked with dust, and there was a plate with a fork stuck in the old food on the coffee table. I couldn't get out of there fast enough. The next time he called to go out I told him I had met someone else.

I just couldn't bring myself to say, "Hey, you're a slob." I wonder sometimes now if I should have, if it might have helped him change. I decided however, that 40+ year old slobs don't change and I would have caused him more hurt than the hurt caused by what I told him instead.

Another tip on how to tactfully break up with someone is to rein in your emotions. While you don't want to appear cold, you also don't want to laugh when they cry, or appear too happy to be getting out of the relationship. Don't give them five minutes of "I'm out of here" and no chance for them to say anything. Take it slow and tactfully. Then leave gracefully, not gleefully.

Jane Saeman runs a membership site that features thirty Private Label Articles on the topics of dating and relationships.

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