Sometimes, love hurts. In fact, rejection is part and parcel of dating and romance: it just goes with the territory. But not everyone knows how to let someone down easy.
This often leads to ghosting, disappearing without explanation so that you don’t have to deal with the awful act of dumping someone. It might give you an out, but it also turns dating into a bit like the Wild West, where consideration for others takes a back seat.
Maybe you’re in this situation presently, wondering how to get out of a partnership you don’t really want to be in. Or maybe you’ve been on the other end of rejection and know how much it hurts.
And maybe ghosting is your noble attempt to spare the other person’s feelings. Yet it isn’t fair to disappear without so much as a goodbye.
Instead, you must give yourself permission to step into your authentic self and honor your heart and your own integrity. In turn, you allow the person you’re breaking up with to do the same.
Still, before you run off and blurt out “it’s not me, it’s you,” there are three tips to keep in mind. Including:
Tip #1: If you’re in the dating world, rejection is necessary
There’s no way around it: if you’re dating and looking to find someone to spend the rest of your life with, you are playing by a set of rules. You are playing a game where rejection has a place on the starting line.
Rejection is part of it, pain is part of it, hurt feelings are part of it, confusion is part of it. So, why do we keep putting ourselves out there? Because love is part of it too. And so is joy and connection.
In short, the bad is as much a part of dating as the good. And the more you realize that, the more freedom you give yourself to speak your truth, have a voice, and reject those who are not right for you. It’s in your best interest as well as theirs.
Tip #2: See their strength rather than their fragility
You may think you're their everything, but allow me to check you for a second: Their life will go on, even after you dump them. It’s important to remember this and rather than painting them as weak and fragile, remind yourself that they are strong.
Sure, your rejection might not be what they want to hear. But, by being honest, you’re giving them the gift of seeing them as a resilient person, rather than someone who can’t handle the truth.
Tip #3: Detach from their image of you
The last principle involved is detaching from how the person sees you. If you fail to do this, you can be held hostage by that person’s perception of you. Yet this doesn’t mean you don’t need to hone your delivery and how you convey your truth.
Do you blame the other person or do you take responsibility? Are you mean and spiteful as you're letting them go or are you solid and present with why you're moving on?
Remember, there are several valid reasons for walking away: lack of chemistry or an intellectual component; not feeling it or a failure to connect; too many red flags or incongruent values. But even if you communicate these clearly, the other person may react negatively. And there is nothing you can do about it—so cede what you can’t control and only accept responsibility for your own actions.
Ultimately, all is fair in love and war, but that doesn’t mean you need to rub salt in open wounds. Being open and honest (but not petty or nasty) is the best plan of action.
You can’t control how the other person thinks, feels, or reacts. The sooner you accept that lack of control, the sooner you’ll find freedom in ending the relationships that don’t speak to you and giving yourself permission to find the ones that do.