How to Dump a Nice Guy

Three Methods:Preparing Yourself EmotionallyTreating Him with RespectDealing with the Aftermath

You've been dating this really nice guy for a while. He is the type who is kind, considerate, and generous. But you’re not feeling it. Even though there was some physical spark, being with him just doesn't feel right, especially since he doesn't share a lot of your interests, such as being outdoors, hearing live music, and hitting up thrift stores. So how do you end the relationship? Keep reading to find out.

Method 1
Preparing Yourself Emotionally

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    Make sure that you are ready to let him go. Don't make a hasty decision. Take the time to think through the situation and consider all of the pros and cons about being with him. You don't want to regret ending it a few months later.[1]
    • Are you focusing on trivial things too much? Does it really matter that he doesn't always want to do what you want to do? Are there other things that you both enjoy doing? Answer these questions carefully.
    • Have your friends or family subtly hinted that he is not good enough and you're letting them get in your head? Evaluate your reasons for the break up.
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    Refuse to manipulate him. Many people choose to treat their partners poorly in hopes that they will initiate the break up. You could constantly nag at him about doing chores, criticize his clothing, break plans with him continuously, or even cheat on him so that he will end things with you. Then, you won’t have to do it. However, that technique will make you dislike yourself and harm him, too.[2]
    • Your partner might not understand what you’re doing. If you’ve acted consistently and kindly, but change your behavior overnight, he might not take the hint. He may even worry that something is going on with you.[3]
    • You might cause this good person to doubt his self-worth. Why do something like that? It might be uncomfortable, but just tell him the truth.
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    Shut down stress. You’re not doing yourself any favors by remaining in a relationship just to avoid hurting someone’s feelings. If the nice guy and you don’t have complimentary personalities or dreams, let him go or else you will become stressed. [4]
    • Stress heightens your cortisol levels, which can make you gain weight. Most women dislike gaining weight, and getting into a new relationship won't be fun or easy if you don't like how you look.[5]
    • Heightened cortisol can throw your immune system, your digestive system, and even your reproductive organs out of wack. Keep that stress in check--don't procrastinate having this conversation![6]
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    Recognize how important it is to have closure. Most people dread breaking up with someone and may choose to procrastinate or simply stop interacting with that person altogether. Leaving your significant other in the dark is bad form and will make you both feel worse.[7]
    • The end of something significant, like a relationship or a job, is heavy stuff. Recognize that the break up will emotionally impact both your boyfriend and you.[8]
    • We recall beginnings and endings more vividly than the middle parts of our experiences. Don't end things in a way that will tarnish the memories that you had of one another. [9]
    • When people have closure, they feel at peace instead of obsessing over went wrong. As a result, they exert energy on other people or life pursuits rather than on mulling over the relationship. Both of you deserve the ability to quickly move on. [10]

Method 2
Treating Him with Respect

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    Speak to him in person. Breaking up with someone by sending an email, text, or even a voicemail is all the rage, but it will not satisfy him, it is ineffective, and it is inconsiderate. If he is a great guy, he deserves an explanation.[11]
    • Talking to him face-to-face will allow you to clearly explain your reasons for breaking up. Doing so will benefit you and him.[12]
    • People can experience long-lasting negative psychological effects if they don’t receive enough information about why a significant other left them. [13]
    • Nonverbal signals like touching him or smiling can let him know that you value him as a person, which would not come across electronically.[14]
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    Choose an appropriate location. This can not be an afterthought. Environment affects mood, ability to focus, and how we interpret what is said. Find a place where you both feel comfortable.
    • A lakefront park, for instance, might be a good idea since the waves can provide a calming distraction.
    • Going to a cozy café might be a poor choice since strangers will sit within earshot and the romantic vibe might make you both uncomfortable.
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    Focus on the task at hand. During the actual interaction, keep the importance of the situation in mind. This person is someone that you value, and you have something that you need to say, so convey the message clearly and fully.
    • Don’t allow your mind to wander. Thinking about getting the conversation over with will just distract you and disrupt the flow of the conversation.
    • Don’t pull out your phone. Keep it in your pocket or purse and make sure that it's silent. Checking Instagram or your email can wait.
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    Do not lie or use platitudes. Your nice guy doesn’t deserve false explanations. Take the high road. If he simply isn’t the one for you, tell him that, but be tactful.[15]
    • Don’t be like Chandler from the show Friends who told Janice that he was moving to a foreign country. It would certainly be awkward running into him later on!
    • Using the cliche that you’re just not in the right place for a relationship will come off as insincere, so avoid that one, too.
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    Shut down any discussion of past conflict. Couples usually aren’t in alignment when it comes to whose fault it is that a certain argument got started. Rehashing previous disagreements or negative experiences won’t do you any good.[16]
    • At this point, it doesn't matter if he never wanted to go hiking or that he didn't like seeing concerts.
    • It also doesn't matter if you were sometimes short with him or ignored him. Don't let the conversation take an unproductive turn.
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    Feel free to mention the good times. Let him know that you enjoyed the time that you spent with him overall. Highlight some things about him that you might miss. You can even express regret about ending things, but only if doing so is sincere.[17]
    • Did you appreciate that he always responded to your texts or calls in a timely manner and that he sent you cute cat pictures because you like them? If so, tell him!
    • Was he good in bed? Definitely emphasize it to keep his ego intact!

Method 3
Dealing with the Aftermath

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    Be prepared for how he might react. It can be difficult to predict how even a nice guy will act during a break up, even if you know him well. Imagine different scenarios and build your deflection skills before having the big conversation.[18]
    • He might throw insults at you. If he wants to hurt you, he may target an area that you are insecure about, such as your career or parenting skills. Tell yourself that he is upset, and that what he says doesn’t define you. [19]
    • Silence might be the response. If he shuts down and refuses to converse, all you can do is say your piece and be on your way. Let him know that you are willing to talk once more when he is ready. [20]
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    Cut off communication. It is important not to remain in contact with your ex--at least right away. You might want to be friendly, but Facebook chatting him or asking him for coffee too soon won't help him detach.[21]
    • Our bodies become addicted to having another person around. When that person leaves, we have to process the withdrawal, just like a drug. Your ex can't move on if he sees you around.[22]
    • When we see pictures of our ex-flames and still care for them, those old lustful feelings rush back. It might be good to unfollow or block one another on Facebook until several months have passed--or even longer.[23]
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    Remind yourself that the break up will affect you, too. Even though you initiated it, you will probably not feel relieved right away. Be aware for signs that the break up is affecting you, and take proactive steps.[24]
    • If you start telling yourself that you are a bad person, cut it out. It’s normal to feel this way after making someone else feel badly. You should counter those thoughts by focusing on the legitimate reasons for the break-up.[25]
    • Tell your closest friends and family members that you are ending the romance. That way, they aren’t blindsided and they won't ask you a ton of many questions, which will further upset you. More importantly, they can help you cope.[26]
    • Positive results can occur. Many women grow as people after ending unsatisfying relationships. You can, too![27]


  • Don't avoid him instead of breaking up with him. It shows a lack of respect both for him and the relationship you had.
  • Try to imagine how you would feel if you were him.
  • Remember that he will retain memories of you for the rest of his life. If he is a truly wonderful person, don’t break up with him in a way that will add dating you to his list of unpleasant experiences.[28]


  • Don't try to make a joke out of the break-up. It may be easy for you, but your boyfriend will be going through a living heck at the time. Laughing it off will only upset him even more.
  • Don't come off as being indifferent.
  • Don’t show up looking your absolute best. Wear some around-the-house clothes so he’s not focused on how sexy you can be and what he will be missing.

Sources and Citations

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Categories: Breaking Up