Ending your (Friends With Benefits) relationship

Well, since I wrote about how to go about starting a FWB r’ship, it would be useful to know how to end it, so here goes.

Many good things must come to an end. It is important to recognise when a good thing has (to) come to an end. Ending relationships of any type is not usually an easy task nor is it pleasant. Think it through carefully before making that final decision. Breaking a relationship off is painful, especially for the person being dumped. Respect their feelings and don’t go trying to damage them.

Now let’s just call a spade a spade, there are 2 parties here, the “dumper” and the “dumpee”. You figure it out. Below, I’ve listed a few ideas/strategies in making that final decision.

Be sure you want to end the relationship. Don’t use the threat of ending it as a manipulative tool. If you say it, back it up with the action. Discuss problems openly and directly with your FWB/partner before you make up your mind. Dont suffer in silence, if you have an issue, talk about it.

Think calmly and rationally when making your decision. That’s self explanatory. Dont make a decision while you’re angry or highly emotional

Get advice or a second opinion. Get input from trusted friends. If your parents are sensible people and you can trust their logic, they should have great insight.

Timing is everything.Pick a time and place that will allow you both to have privacy. Don’t break up with someone right before they have a big test or are about to go to work. Most people choose weekends to allow the “dumpee” a chance to drown their sorrows.

Plan what happens next. Be polite but firm about the boundaries that will determine how you interact after the ‘break-up’. Make the boundaries non-negotiable.  Do not cut them off without a chance to discuss what went wrong unless they become hysterical or unresponsive. If that’s the case then decide to continue the next day. Make it a valuable experience by learning and growing from it.

Learn from Nike – Just Do it! Don’t be wishy washy, thinking to let the other person down “easy.” Hold strong, you have already made your decision. Don’t draw it out. Ending a relationship on the phone is acceptable and even recommended in some cases. If the ‘dumpee’/ex is prone to outbursts or violence the phone is much safer and prevents the dumpee from the embarrassment of having you watch their torment. Also prevents you from being ripped to shreds or getting hit with a blunt instrument.

Prepare for the worst. The dumpee will typically react with anger or with wonder, shock, panic. If they respond with anger, try to remain calm and attempt to calm them. Don’t immediately hang up or walk away. If there are questions, give honest and direct answers. Lying will only frustrate your them. If you can’t answer the questions, be honest and ask for a little time before you answer. Make an appointment to answer their questions. Note: The more shocking this break-up is, the more extreme the reaction is likely to be. Prepare to allow your former lover to react as a normal human being.

Know when to walk away. Don’t beat a dead horse endlessly. When discussions become circular – in other words, you just travel around and around the same points without coming to a point of resolution – STOP.

Don’t try to be friends – just remain civil. You were friends before the sex and involvement, but now it’s over. Being “chummy” with each other makes it difficult, especially right after the break up. All you need to do is remain mannerly and courteous when you see each other. The friendship will return eventually after healing has begun, or destiny will determine if there’s to be a friendship.

General tips

– Don’t raise your voice, even if the other person begins to yell.

– Comfort the person if he or she needs it, but don’t take this too far!

– Don’t make a long list of reasons as to why you are dumping him/her. Really analyze your reason for leaving, and boil it down to the essential problem:

– Don’t wait until after sex to break up with someone. It’s hurtful and very selfish.

Published by Garth O. Williams

A seasoned journalist and communications practitioner; professional MC/moderator, voice-over actor and entrepreneur.

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