People spend a lot of energy getting together, the romance, the marriage the tingle of early love. Why not break up with the same grace and aplomb? Don't let anyone tell you it can't be done. Anyone, just about anyone can do better than taking the man in question on Jerry Springer and doin' it live. That's just nasty. Up there with having an affair. If you are having an affair in order to end things, you ought to stop. Know that the real way to end things is TELLING him about the affair. You can do that without actually getting a third person involved. Men worth having don't really want to cheat on the side anyway. So just say no to cheating. You can still leave that dull spouse/boyfriend if you wish.

Things You Will Need

You'll need some clarity. People don't like to be jerked around. Make up your mind and stick with it. If there is any chance of making the relationship work with a few tweeks, then TELL HIM WHAT YOU WANT. Men are not mind readers. Be as straightforward as possible. If getting him to take out the trash would solve all your dissatisfaction, then please, by all means, ask him to take out the trash. But if that is just a symbol of everything that bugs you about him: ie he's generally self centered, unhelpful and boorish - then don't even mention it to him. Kiss him good-bye. Tell him it's over. Say, "next, please."

Step 1

Have a sense of class about this. Dress nicely, do your hair and make up. Don't break up with a guy right after you've done something wildly intimate no matter how skilled he is. This is confusing to men. Consider this a "closing conversation." Dress at least as well as you did for your first date. Think about how he's feeling: angry? relieved? confused? Speaking of confused, you don't owe him an explanation for anything you are doing. I had a ex-boyfriend tell me once, "I feel like you're 'judging' me.

News Flash Captain Obvious! Yes! Yes! Yes! You ARE judging him. You are deciding who will be in your life and who will not. There is no more important place than THAT to judge. You don't want to spend you time around losers do you? So don't get backed into a corner with the explanations and whatnot. If he is a really good friend and he is serious about wanting feedback say what you can, nicely. But not unless he asks, and not unless you can say it nicely.

Step 2

Return all his stuff. I had a friend once who broke up with a woman and she kept the rather expensive walkie talkies he had loaned to her teenage kids. Feeling uncomfortable about asking for them back he was letting it ride. "For heaven's sake," I grilled him, "Was it meant to be a gift?"

"No," he explained. "We were all just playing with them one evening and then I forgot about them." I called her up and got them back. She obviously meant to hang on to them for spite. They were expensive and it hadn't been her idea to break up. But that's just tacky. Don't take things that aren't yours. Years ago the rule of thumb was to return all expensive jewelry as well. This can go both ways, you may not even want it any more. But if he has no use for it, he may not want it either. I would ask before keeping it, just to be sure. If he's still making payments on it, and you don't even want it, it's only right to give it back.

Step 3

Cool it with the phone and the email and the being "friends" until enough time has gone by that you can really be friends. Be gentle with any kind of information regarding a new boyfriend. Be firm, if you really want to dump the dude, don't confuse him with endless flirtation.

Everyone in life wants to be with someone who finds them special. No one, no matter how pathetic YOU think they are, wants to be second choice. So don't think you are doing anyone a favor by continuing a relationship when you're heart's not in it.
Be kind, be firm, be honest without blathering on too much information. Be classy. Be direct. Put on your big girl panties and deal with it. If you have already cheated, break it off at once. Don't wait for him to hear about it from someone else.

Tips & Warnings

Some guys can't take no for an answer. Don't engage them. My ex-husband was like that. He couldn't believe I wanted out. For a normal guy he went a little crazy. I ended up having to get a restraining order against him. Don't take chances.