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Evan Starkman, the host of Cosmo TV's Love Trap, has had his fair share of breakups. Here he offers his tips on how to end a relationship the right way, all while saving face.
What to say and what not to say when you break up with someone
"I don't want to hear that I'm fat, have bad feet or am a slow starter with a quick finish. But in all seriousness, men want to feel like men. So, for our sake, make us feel like we are doing the dumping," says Starkman.
Instead of sitting him down for a serious talk, ask him how he feels about where the two of you stand, and encourage open communication. Chances are good that if you're not feeling it, he isn't either.
Before you lay down the punch line, though, let him voice his opinions so that it seems like a team decision as opposed to you blindsiding him with a breakup.
How honest should you be?
You might think you owe it to him to tell him the straight-up truth and that, the more honest you are, the more he'll respect you. According to Starkman, he doesn't really want to hear it.
"It's hard enough to wrap your head around getting dumped. Even if he asks you, the last thing he wants to know is that you've met someone else. In this sort of situation, less is more. Reiterate to him that your mind is made up and that you don't think he's the one, but don't go on and on about all the things he did wrong or tell him you've met someone better," he says. "It will only make him feel like less of a man and he'll feel more hostile toward you in the future."
Is it ever OK to rendezvous?
If you're out with the girls one evening for dinner and are feeling a little lonely after a few too many drinks, think again before booty calling your ex.
"If she calls, she just bought herself six to eight more months of our relationship," says Starkman.
Though you might think you can have a no-strings-attached rendezvous with someone who you have a history with, chances are it will open old wounds and hold you both back from moving on and meeting new people. And if you think it might be OK to see him as long as he's the one initiating the interaction – think again.
"Men in general are insecure," says Starkman, "so we're going to reach out to fill the void. Until we have someone else to call late at night, we're going to call you. If you're very sincere and you want them to find happiness, then don't respond or string them along."
Where to break up with him
You might think that breaking up with him via text will make it easier on the both of you. After all, you won't have to see his reaction, preventing you from feeling overly guilty, and he won't have to feel embarrassed and can have time to process the breakup. However, as easy as texting him might be, it's a surefire way to get a brutal reputation.
"Texting is a little cold-blooded, so try and be a human being about it and do it in person," says Starkman. "That being said, men like to cry, too," he admits, "so please don't do it in public. Just come over and have a chat and then don't let the door hit you on the way out."
How to look like a saint when you break up with someone
You still might be breaking the guy's heart, but Starkman admits that the best way anyone has ever broken up with him was by really meaning it.
"If you're dumping me, lose my phone number, my email. Let it be over," he says.
This goes back to not being the boy who cried wolf. If you're not sure you want things to be over for good, don't break up with him. But it's not fair to the guy if you reach out to him whenever you're feeling lonely or having doubts or because you just haven't yet met anyone else. If you want to save face and keep his respect, reach out to your friends and family members when you're having a hard day – not to him.
You're not a bad person for breaking up with someone if your relationship isn't working out, but know that people need time to heal and that everyone reacts to breakups differently. The best thing you can do is to not throw anything (or anyone) in your ex's face, and to avoid reaching out to him and avoid responding to him if he reaches out to you. It may sound harsh, but it will help him with the healing process and he'll be grateful for that in the long run.