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It's not working out: The nice way to end a short-term relationship

Jan 13, 2012, 8:24 a.m.

When you are venturing back into dating and think that maybe you've met someone, it's not always a sure thing. Sometimes, after the initial infatuation has worn off, you get the feeling that you aren't compatible after all and you are headed toward a dead end relationship. If you do not think this short-term relationship is worth continuing, there is nothing wrong with moving on.

However, to end the relationship nicely, it takes a bit of planning and finesse. Our tips can help you get out of the relationship gracefully. The choice of where to have your discussion is an important one. Ask your soon-to-be ex to meet you in a neutral place. A public place is better than either of your homes. Each of you has the option to leave when you want and a public location means you are both more likely to keep your cool. A local coffee shop is a good choice.

Do not have the discussion over dinner, as that can lead to a long and uncomfortable meal. And, most importantly, do not break up over the phone or email. If you have been dating more than a few weeks, you owe it to them to break the news face to face. When it comes time to tell what is on your mind, the simpler and shorter your break-up speech, the better. Listing a litany of your beau's faults is both cruel and unnecessary.

The goal is not to hurt their feelings or get revenge; it's to end the relationship as painlessly as possible so you can both find something better. Chances are, if it's not working out, you have both seen the signs of ending relationship on the horizon. If you do choose to disclose your reasons for ending the relationship, make sure your statements focus on your own feelings instead of the other party's negative qualities. Statements like, "I prefer to spend more evenings at home," are better than: "You go out too much."

Unless you truly want to keep this person in your life, don't promise that you can be friends. That will only lead to uncomfortable meetings in the future, and possibly false hopes of a reunion. Some relationships are not meant to be, and that's okay. It's not a sign that there is anything wrong with you or your ex. By ending the relationship nicely, you can both find something better, and remember your time together fondly.

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