Vanishing act is not a healthy way to end a relationship
Q: I have been dating a guy for three months, but I already know he’s not the one for me.
I want to break up with him but don’t know how to go about it. I have been trying to avoid him, but he still calls. He doesn’t seem to get the message. What should I do?
A: There is a reason we date. We date to get to know each other to determine our compatibility. This is a two-way street. Not only must we find our partner compatible, but our partner must find us compatible too.
That compatibility extends to many aspects of our lives, such as how we view the world, our social preferences, the role and extent that family — extended kin — play in our lives, how we view and handle finances, our preferences for socializing, our views on matters of faith and whether or not we use intoxicants. Based on these and many other reasons, we may not seek to continue or develop a relationship.
In the absence of telling someone you no longer wish to see them, that person may be left hanging, not understanding what is happening. Your moving on leaves many unanswered questions as well as ambiguity about the situation. In view of that, the fellow will be wondering what’s going on. Upset and anger may set in. Given the circumstances, these are reasonable emotions.
For him to bring closure to his situation, he may continue to try to contact you. He is seeking to allay his feelings, not understanding why you have seemingly disappeared.
Assuming he is not otherwise abusive and you are not keeping a distance for safety reasons, it’s common courtesy to tell him that the relationship is not working for you.
It may be challenging to be forthright or assertive in the situation. However, by practising this difficult conversation beforehand, you will develop your skills at making your feelings, needs and wants known — and this can stand in your favour should any other difficult situation arise.
Life being life, other challenging situations will indeed arise. Learn to handle them directly and honestly and you may find yourself meeting your own needs more effectively, too.
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