How to dump a man gracefully – Part 2

July 13, 2004

Remember that being dumped is excruciatingly painful. We?ve all been there so remember to be as kind as you can if you are the one who is doing the dumping. Admittedly it is a tough one. It requires a lot of finesse and as much friendliness as you can muster to dump him and not have him (and all of his friends, mother and workmates) hate your guts. Hopefully these tips from Kathy Buchanan?s book Charm School: The Modern Girl’s Complete Handbook of Etiquette should help!

Charm School Rule 1: Keep your cool even if he doesn?t
If the break-up doesn?t go well, then give him some time to cool off. If he was thinking of asking you to move in with him and you shocked him by dumping him, then make some allowances for that. If he gets abusive, then say, ?I?m sorry you?ve reacted this way. I?ll always choose to remember our time together fondly,? then walk out. You may have hurt his feelings but you don?t deserve to be verbally or physically abused.

Charm School Rule 2: Organise the ?swap?
Return anything of his and ask for anything you?d like back, within a week of breaking up. If you have borrowed any of his CDs, DVDs or books, or if he?s left any of his clothes or things at your place, then you should clean them and quickly give them back. If you really can?t face him yet then drop them by when you know he won?t be home but it is much better if you do it face to face. That way it?ll be done and dusted and you can both start to move on. If you broke or lost something of his, you should replace it, if possible. You should both keep your presents, even if you break up the day after one of your birthdays or Christmas unless he?s given you a family heirloom or his beloved dead grandmother?s necklace because he thought you?d be together forever. The only exception to this is if he gave you an expensive gift such as a DVD player or jewellery. If the break-up was completely your decision or your fault, then at least offer to give the present back if it was given to you within a few weeks of the break-up but there?s no need to present him with a half-used bottle of perfume he gave you last Christmas!

Charm School Rule 3: Don?t blank him socially
Don?t pretend you are going to be best friends but don?t blank him socially either. As long as you think he can handle it – and he?ll make a great catch for someone else – add him to your group emails after a month or so grace period and casually invite him along to drinks and parties. However, if you think he has strong feelings for you or that having him around would make you uncomfortable, then leave the drinks invitations but if you do run into each other socially, be brief but polite.

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