Ask Ava: How to Break Up like a Man

Q: Dear Ava, I’m screwed. I’ve been with an older woman for five months. It’s been intense and fun. I never expected to get into a relationship and I don’t think she did either. She’s a single mum of two. We’ve never called each other boyfriend or girlfriend, but it’s definitely more serious than anything I’ve been a part of before. I think she sees a long-term future between us and I don’t. I know I could just stay in it, enjoy the sex, her company, but I do care about her and think I should get out before it gets too hard. I probably sound like an asshole. How can I break up in best possible way?
Jerry, Keswick

A: Hi Jerry. Ending things sucks and we’ve all been there. It’s awkward, upsetting, and hurtful. But breakups are a part of life, and all men should have the skills to do it with dignity and respect.

There’s nothing worse than being blindsided by a breakup. I’m hoping you’ve had some talk with your lady about your concerns up to this point. If not, you may want to ease up to the final conversation, talk about the issues that have led you to this decision. It sounds like you’ve been wrestling with the decision, so you should be able to express yourself clearly.

Be sure to end things in person. Only a pathetic coward breaks up over the phone or worse, an email. It’s sad that this is becoming more rampant in dating circles. Yes, the situation will be awkward, but it’s respectful of her and the time you’ve spent together.

Let her know exactly what led to your decision. Saying, “I’m just not into it anymore” is like a slap in the face, so be ready to talk. A woman deserves to know what went wrong. After all, being dumped is always the worse position to be in and harder to get over.

It sounds like your decision is more about life goals rather than her as a person or the time spent together, so don’t hesitate to talk about the positives.

My last bit of advice is to make sure there is finality. Don’t do it if you have any uncertainty and don’t leave her with the thought that there’s a chance with you down the road. Moving on is hard enough without speculating about what could have been or what might yet be.

I hope this helps not only you Jerry, but also other men who want to end things in style.

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