Dumping Someone: Dumper and Dumpee

No one wants to be broken up with, that’s an obvious fact.

However, it’s also excruciatingly clear that most people don’t know how to break up with someone. Breaking up in a mature, sensitive, final, and affective manner is a skill.

A skill most of us will have to utilize at some point to break up with someone or deal with suffering the rejection of being dumped.

Applying what I’m about to share will prove helpful.  Be prepared, breaking up comes with drama so don’t be a scared, move forward with aplomb and be direct. You will most likely be met with resistance or questioning and it’s YOUR job to handle it with grace and strength.  Same holds true if you’re the Dumpee.

Breaking up with Someone [You’re the Dumper]:

One Night Stand: In a situation where he or she “didn’t get the memo” that it is what it is:)

Step one:is to simply send a text or email and say you had fun and end it at that. If they keep pursuing you it’s best to ignore them and they should get the hint.

Step Two: If they’re persistent, and won’t leave you alone, it’s best to try and give them their dignity and soften the blow to their ego by saying: “I like you, we had fun,you’re a wonderful person but I will not kid myself and I’m not going to lie to you, this ends here.  I know myself, by now, and it’s not fair to me or you to try and fit a square peg in a round hole…so to speak.”  BTW- if their “peg” is square that’s reason enough to run. LOL

Short Relationship:

If you’ve been with this person close to or under three months it is best to call them {and follow up with a kind email if you think they’re great, just not for you} and explain that you don’t want to continue any longer. I’ll get to the right words to use in a moment. 

Step oneCall them up and make sure they are free to talk, not distracted at work or driving etc, be polite and explain that you loved the time you two spent together but that after three months you don’t feel what you should feel and that you will not waste their time or yours.  Do NOT give the “I just want to be friends” line.  Friendship, if it ever happens, will occur when they’ve had the time to deal with the hurt and rejection and are able to place it in a healthy spot in their heart and brain and see you as a friend, not a sex toy ;)

Long Relationship [as defined by a year or more together]:

Step OneThis break up MUST HAPPEN FACE TO FACE. In preparation for the break up you must A. do some major soul searching and make sure that the decision you are about to make is something you can’t and don’t want to turn back on. B. Not an issue that can’t be worked out.  I say this because most people don’t realize relationships and love take effort and if you’re lazy you’ll never have love. C. DO NOT GIVE THEM ANY HINT ON THE PHONE, VIA TEXT, OR IN AN EMAIL THAT YOU ARE PLANNING TO DUMP THEM. Just call and set up a meeting.

I had a situation / client, not too long ago, where a woman didn’t approach breaking up the right way.  She sent her man a text and gave him a heads up she was about to dump him.  They had been in a serious loving relationship for over a year so this was the wrong way for her to handle it.  The can of worms was open and a dialogue ensued  via text and email. It was confusing and hurtful – at best – to both of them. I recommended she met with her guy face to face and when they finally did he was able to find closure and they may, someday, be friends again. We all need closure when we’re dumped. I asked if he was mad about the text and email stuff and she told me that he was but didn’t blame her for not “breaking up in a mature healthy way”. She said he loved her and realized she was never taught this procedure.

Step Two: Have respect for their feelings, the amount of time you shared on this planet, and set up a time and place to go through the break up that is NOT in public [unless it’s in your car in a parking lot or someplace neutral]. You don’t want to be distracted by waiters, incoming phone calls, or environmental noise.  This is serious business folks, you’re dealing with someone’s heart. If you’re breaking up with someone you have the power and they know that, they’ll feel powerless. Any comfort, however little, will be appreciated. So be firm but kind and very specific and clear in your reasoning.    Plan on being there for at least an hour to possibly two. Hell folks, you can’t just unravel a long relationship in fifteen minutes.

Step Three: Tying up the loose ends. If money was exchanged or personal possessions need to be returned, take care of it immediately

Step Four: Stick to your guns. If you made the decision to dump this person it will take time for your brain and heart to catch up with that decision.  You may second guess yourself, sometimes for good reason, you may have made the biggest mistake of your life.  They are gone now, no longer a part of your life.  The good news for the dumper – you in this case – is that if you want to reach out to them in the future, you can.  The person that was the dumpee – them- may not be open to it but you can at least try.  Everyone responds to being broken up with differently but one thing is for sure, you hurt them.  I’ve only been broken up with twice in my life and though both women made wise decisions to do so, it was difficult, even for me.  As a rule of thumb, it takes roughly a month for every three months you two were together for them to get completely over you. Everyone is different and this time frame can be slower or quicker depending on their maturity and desire-ability to other suitors.

Step Five: Answer any questions they may have and be specific and from your heart. When someone is dumped they need closure. If you loved them and they you, you owe them the respect to help them a little bit to get over you. If they are abusive with your time then going silent is fair. Keeping in touch will only make it more difficult for them to move on.


1.Because he / she cheated on you. They are now dead to you and cut all and every tie you ever had with them.  Feel sick, throw up, but realize every pain you feel inside is about you being lied to, it’s not about them. Give them nothing. They took away to much already.

2. Because they are moving away to pursue a dream.  Wish them well but do NOT follow them. Go over any details you need to find closure and begin the healing process.

3. Because the sex got boring.  It takes two to tango so if the sex got boring it’s their fault as much, if not more in many cases, than yours.

4. Because “they’re not ready” for the big commitment. As hard as it may be to stomach, as the hurt flows through your veins and flows from your eyes in endless tears, they are doing you a favor.  It’s best to get out while the getting out is good. If someone has unfinished business to pursue in their lives and it doesn’t include you, you don’t want to get in the way of that. It would always be a thorn in their side and eventually fester.

5. Because they need to be on their own to grow and discover who they are without you, even though they love you. Refer to the lyrics I’ve posted before from the Alanis Morrisette song: YOU OWE ME NOTHING.  I’m NOT one to get sucked into song lyrics and dogmatically follow their advice but this song, is the most clear and definite DEFINITION OF REAL LOVE THERE WILL EVER BE. IF YOU DON’T FEEL AND ACT AS THESE LYRICS DESCRIBE THEN YOU HAVE NEVER TRULY LOVED ANYONE.


A long time ago I was dumped and, after the initial blow, instead of fighting her and causing more drama, I decided to not only accept her decision but to offer help in any way I could so that she could pursue the dreams that she felt were right for her.  I didn’t do this by getting in her face, I did it by making specific overtures she could rely on and then fading into the background.

Folks, if you truly love someone , even if you don’t agree with  their decision or if it hurts you, you will acquiesce to their decision.

How it ended: What was her initially cold and rude coping mechanism soon turned warm and jovial, her entire attitude changed when she saw I supported her choice. There was peace and quiet and we left each other on good terms. It’s going with the flow.

Have healthy relationships and healthy break ups.

~ Steve Santagati |


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