Real Live College Guy Dale: How Do I End Things With a Guy Nicely?

Tired of having to sort out the “nice guys” from the “bad boys”? Want to move up from one-night stand to full-time girlfriend, but unsure of how to do so? Stop worrying, because Real Live College Guy Dale is finally here to help with all of your collegiette love kerfuffles and help steer you clear of any unnecessary drama during your brief but ever-important time in college.

When a girl and guy are talking (i.e. have been on a couple of dates, text regularly, etc.) and the girl is no longer interested in pursuing anything further for whatever reason, do most guys prefer to be told flat out or is it better to just let things die out? I've had the situation a couple of times recently where I've been on a date or two with a guy and I don't feel a connection or think things could really go any further. I tried taking a long time to respond to texts or sometimes not responding at all, but this only made them text me more (typical guy, haha). The thing is, they didn't do anything "wrong" necessarily, and both seemed like perfectly nice guys, so outwardly rejecting them makes me feel so mean. Both times that I told these guys I didn't see things going anywhere I did it in a nice way, but I still can't help but think there's a better way to go about it. What's the general consensus? – Insensitive at Iowa


Insensitive,

I’m going to use a pretty abstract example as a comparison to your situation so I can best sort out your quandary. Here we go…

The general consensus for reason behind the extinction of the dinosaurs (stay with me, I promise this is relevant) is that a pretty big chunk of space rock slammed into Earth and just sent everything straight to oblivion. Surely when the asteroid hit, a large number of dinosaurs died instantly. But on the other side of the planet, there were dinosaurs that lived for some time before eventually succumbing to the now-toxic atmosphere of the planet. Some died instantaneously, some died slowly.

Which of those two categories would you have rather been in?

The same, oddly enough, goes for ending relationships. Some people choose to end things instantly and some people let things die out slowly. Since you’re asking for my opinion, I’ll let you know that I’m not a huge fan of people who waste my time, so I prefer the flat-out breakup method. If we aren’t working out and you feel you’d be happier elsewhere, let me know so we don’t waste time on something that isn’t going to work out in the long run. Why bother dragging things out longer than necessary? Why waste my time, and moreover, why waste yours?

So these guys you’ve talked to didn’t do anything wrong per se, and outwardly rejecting them makes you feel mean. That’s normal, but you (and they as well) should know that rejection is a fact of life.

The way I see it, you’re doing nothing wrong by simply letting them know that things aren’t working. This doesn’t mean you can’t let them down easy, you know? I believe there is a stark difference between letting a guy down abruptly (but nicely) and dragging things out in the hopes that he eventually “gets it.”

Don’t waste time by prolonging the inevitable; get it over with and meet new people over yonder in greener pastures.

But how do you let a guy down? How do you go about ending a relationship––fling or long-term––without completely breaking his heart? Your best bet is to be honest with him and be firm in your decision. Just say, “Hey, I feel like (insert reason here), and I think it’d be best if we stopped seeing each other––that way, no one’s wasting their time in something that I don’t think is going anywhere.”

By saying something like that, you’re shutting things down quickly but also being honest about it. Here’s our problem, here’s the solution; let’s move on so we can both be happy. Unless you’re hooking up with or dating a super needy dude, I think he’ll be able to understand.

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