The best way to dump someone is so subjective. There's nothing wrong with the time-honored method of acting weird and distant in the hopes that your lady gets the message. And we'd also never want to impugn the foolproof tearful-break-up, drunk-and-horny-reunion, tearful-break-up, drunk-and-horny-reunion, rinse-and-repeat routine.
Turns out though, there are other, possibly better ways to end it, as we found out when we caught up with Ian Kerner, relationship expert and author of "She Comes First: The Thinking Man's Guide to Pleasuring a Woman." So if you're to extricate yourself from a failed relationship at any time in the future, Kerner's tips should help make that parting a little less difficult for you and your soon-to-be-former lady.
E-mail Is Not Always Your Enemy "A lot of people give e-mail a bad rap and say you should never break up with anybody via Outlook, but I think that's an old-school way of thinking. If you don't have that much invested in your time together, if you're just hanging out and hooking up, I am actually not opposed to writing a very honest, graceful e-mail -- not a text! -- to exit a situation that doesn't look like it's developing. I think sometimes that's an easier way than getting together with the person just for that very purpose (of breaking up)."
Don't Be Such a Dude "The standard guy thing is to avoid confrontation. Guys are really bad, for whatever reason, at breaking up. Whether it's guilt or responsibility or some evolutionary wiring where you can't ever abandon a woman, guys get themselves into these situations all the time, where they're avoiding somebody, or rescheduling, or saying 'I'm going out of town,' or saying 'my mom's died,' or just making up a lot of crazy excuses. It will put both of your anxieties at rest if you just do it simply, sweetly and definitively. And I think it's your responsibility once you've done that to make it a clean break and not call that person a week later when you're feeling a little bit lonely and a little bit horny and just want to hook up." Do Be Definitive "The first thing is to really know your own mind. There isn't really a middle ground. You're going to stay together and work things out, or you're going to break up. If you've made the decision where what you want to do is break up then the best thing you can do is stay true to that resolve. Once you've made up your mind the point is then to break up with them clearly and definitively."
Specificity "I think it's important to find one thing that's really the truth that you can hold onto. Where you're not lying, but it still allows you to be empathetic, be a good person and to not get into a million different reasons. Don't just be like, 'Oh, I need to grow as an individual.' It can be very specific: 'I think we have very different values about what we want out of the relationship in the near term, and I don't want that.' I think as a guy you have to be definitive, specific and kind."
Let's Not Be Friends "Going out with somebody is having a very special relationship that's different from friendship. Most people who break up and end up becoming friends, do so after a period of time has passed. So when you're breaking up with somebody I don't think you should be focused on the second prize, or booby prize, of friendship. I'm not saying that you should be mean but you're the one who's breaking up and you're hurting someone's feelings who still has feelings for you. The best thing you can do for both of you is to create the distance."
Skip the Clichés "Saying, 'It's not you, it's me,' is really lame. All the general clichés are probably to be avoided. I think you need to be able to give someone really specific reasons. If you're just not attracted to them any more or don't find them sexy, you can say, 'While I think this has been a great time, and you're an amazing person, I just don't feel for you what I felt in the beginning,' or, 'I don't think I have the feelings for it to develop into anything more serious.' It's about being specific and kind and not reverting to the clichés of 'It's not you, it's me,' 'I think we'd be better off as friends,' or 'I still have so much growth to do in my life.'"
It's always important to remember that if you break up badly, this could happen to you ...