You Owe Her An Honest Explanation.
There are few things worse in a break up than uncertainty. Breakups are bad enough; leaving her feeling uncertain and confused as to why you broke up is worse. Break ups fade, but the lack of an explanation can haunt people for years afterwards, doing untold damage to their psyche. Couching things in passive terms and using weasel words will only make things worse.”It’s not you, it’s me,” is possibly one of the most insulting things that you can tell a person; even if it is true, it’s going to sound like a tossed-off cliché and come across as though you have no respect for her or her intelligence.
Instead, you need to be honest: you’re simply not in love with her anymore. You don’t think that the two of you work. Ultimately: She’s not the one you’re looking for anymore and it’s not fair to her to drag things out any further. Keep it short, keep it simple and keep it about you. Even if you’re breaking up because of her flaws, you want to allow her to keep her dignity. If you’re breaking up because she’s lousy in bed or because you’d rather be seeing the cute girl at the bar, you don’t need to tell her that, just that you are unsatisfied and you don’t see things changing. The last thing you want to do is shred her self-esteem any more than you already have. You’re hurting her enough as it is; any more than is absolutely necessary is just cruel.
You don’t want to list a point-by-point reasoning as to why you’re breaking up; all this will do is start an argument about who is right and who is wrong. You can’t logic someone into wanting to date you, and you certainly can’t debate them into breaking up with you.
Take It Like A Man
It’s going to be volatile. She’s going to scream. She’s going to yell at you. She’s going to call you every name in the book. She’s going to malign your skills in bed, insult your taste in everything, stab at every single one of your insecurities, imply that she’d rather sleep with your best friend and tell you that you’ve got the tiniest penis she’s ever seen.
And you’re going to stand there and take all of it. Quietly. With a look of sympathy and regret.
Why? Because there’s nothing you can say that’s going to make it any better. You’re going to have to stand there and bear that torrent of abuse without trying to defend yourself or zinging her right back because frankly, she’s earned it. You’re breaking her heart; she’s got the right to vent at you. It lets her salvage her self-esteem as she’s trying to collect the pieces of her shattered dreams.
The only exception to this rule is if she starts to become violent. Allowing her to salvage her dignity is one thing; doing so at the expense of your personal safety is another. If she’s about to actually hurt you, get the hell out.
A Clean Break Heals Fastest
You don’t do her any favors by stringing things out. Once you’ve made the decision to break up with her, you want to make it as clean and as quick as possible. This means that you can’t cushion the blow. There’s no implying that this break up is temporary. There’s definitely no saying “We can still be friends.” Any hope of a future reconciliation – whether stated or implied – just prolongs the pain of the breakup and makes it even harder for both of you to move on. Even if you genuinely want to be friends, all you will end up doing is hurting her in the long run and sabotaging any chances of her finding another relationship… one that will actually work this time.
It’s admirable that you would want to try to maintain a friendship… but for now, neither of you is in a position to do so. The pain is too immediate, the wounds are too raw and neither of you have had any time to heal nor any perspective on where things went wrong.
You need a clean break. Just as when you’re the dumpee, this means cutting all ties. Delete her number from your phone, unfollow her on Twitter, de-friend her on Facebook and take her off your blog roll. There’s no point in making things harder for either of you with constant reminders of what went wrong. Leave her her dignity and let her have time to heal. If you’re going to still be friends, you can be friends later, when time has worked it’s magic and the pain has faded.