Ask A Dude: How Do I End Things Without Breaking His Heart?

Dear Dude,

I’ve been dating this fella for about five weeks.  We get along well, we enjoy each other’s company, he’s good to me, he’s always treated me like a lady, he’s changed some of his habits for me, and he’s a sweetheart.  Here’s the thing though: I don’t want him.  I don’t feel that “spark” with him. I want to end things with this guy, but I’m not sure how to.  I can’t exactly tell him the truth, although I have talked to him about the lack of “spark” I feel and that didn’t seem to bug him.  Yet, I don’t want to give the lame “It’s not you, it’s me” excuse.  He’s a good man, Dude.  He’s just not my happily ever after. So, what can I tell him that will end things but not break his heart?

Don’t Go Breakin’ His Heart

Dear Don’t Go Breakin’ His Heart,

The cigarette smoke’s caressing my scars. I think of her lips as they told me not to call her again. Not quite a pout and not quite a smile. She wasn’t my happy ending. She wasn’t much of anything. I didn’t think it when she lowered the truck onto my aorta back then but I’m thinking it now: thank you, angel, for cutting my strings…wherever you are…

It’s a harsh reality out there. Like a centipede’s bill at Payless, there’s a hefty price for barking up the wrong tree. You got a Joe that you need to get rid of but you want the job done clean. The craziest part of the world we crawl around in is a simple fact reinforced by fiction: You want to drive him away, you lay him out in the backseat and push it over a cliff.

Take it from a man who’s seen his fair share of heartbreak in this world. You got to be straight. Worse, you got to be brutal. The why’s of the world don’t amount to a hill of beans. You don’t have to spell it out, but you can’t leave a pause in the conversation that he can squeeze hope out of. A simple “no thank you” isn’t going to keep this monkey from swinging behind every tree you pass seeing if you’ll throw him a banana. Cut the fruit off at the vine. Honesty’s not pretty but you got you to put one right between the eyes if you don’t want him getting back up again.

Seems rotten don’t it? Like sour milk in a venti peppermint mocha. Well, nobody said life would always be pretty. Dating’s a gritty game. You want to play with the angels then go join a convent. You want your kicks you’re going to have to put a few into a man’s stomach every once in a while. The heart will heal faster and stronger if the break’s clean.

You’re doing the smart thing. I applaud any woman that doesn’t keep dangling the carrot when she wants the jackass to quit following her. Sad part is, heartbreak isn’t a landmine you can simply step aside of. It’s not your call how he takes it, you just have make sure he gets the message. You might have to be what he’ll call cruel. At the end of the line though, you have to make it clear that he’s a square peg and you’re a round hole. All the fighting in the world won’t make you fit and you don’t want to be involved in the struggle.

What you’re doing is an act of mercy. He might not see it that way but he’ll get over it. If you can find a way to pawn him off on another girl that could help. The next one’s a cure for the last one. Until that happens there aren’t any guarantees of being Twitter or text free from him.

I’ll lay odds he’s got an inkling it’s coming. When one person wants out the other can usually sense it. You might be surprised that he won’t be surprised. Fact is, you won’t know until you do it. He’s got to take the hit.  You got to lay it right across the cheek.

Gentle doesn’t come off as permanent. Play the arrow. You’re not looking to knock him down a few notches, you’re just trying to do what’s best for the both of you. He might not want to hear it. You’ll have to parrot a couple times over. Just don’t change your story and don’t give him a foothold in the decision. It’s yours to make and his to take. He’s got to take the hit.

Time to shake the tree and see what falls on you,
Dude Marlowe

[Isn’t he wise? Don’t you wish you could get more? You can! Check out The Dude’s other insights into the male mind right here.]



  1. loops says:

    whaaaaaat is with all these metaphors and similes. talk normally please

  2. Allison says:

    Woah, was this even written by the same person?

  3. tiger says:

    first of all, he's doing a character of a film noir detective. secondly, i have been in this situation and i would just sit down and say, "look, i have had fun with you the last few weeks but i don't think we are on the same page. to be completely honest with you, i don't feel like we're totally compatible. i think it's best if we leave it here because i don't want to waste your time." you are honest, you are straightforward, you don't leave any loopholes but you're not unnecessarily cruel either. but as the dude said, you can't be responsible for the other person's feelings or the way they take it (i have a hard time not feeling that way myself). do him a favor and cut him loose in a respectful way sooner rather than later.

  4. margiesque says:

    Someone was inspired. Are you a don? Or a beatnik poet? Seems like you drew it out just because the answer was a simple "be brutal and don't give him any hope".
    Dude's coming off a bit douchey, but it was amusing to read, because when someone I know says this in real life, I just know he's a douche, or in douche mode.

  5. Sarah says:

    Great advice! I am going to go break my guy's heart now. Couldn't have been a better day for this article to be posted.

  6. […] Apparently being in love is healthy…despite the fact that you’re probs binging on wings with your boyf. But if living longer isn’t worth dealing with that a-hole you’ve been seeing, at least break his heart gently. […]

  7. trom says:

    Here's a little clue, if you don't break his heart then he never like you and was using you for his personal pincushion.

  8. Matt says:

    is the spark because he is too nice? wow, girls on here constantly complain of not finding anything but dousche bags and when a nice guy who does everything you ask of him shows up you don't see a spark? the way I read it was this, "he is nice, but there is nothing for me to change, no drama from him cheating on me and no way that he could hurt me, why did I start dating him?"

    Sometimes darling, the spark takes flint and steel, you have to put in something to get romance. Like good sex, one person can't just lay there and expect it to be amazing.

    1. Liz says:

      That's a moronic response. First of all, you can't assume that they were sleeping together. Second, the whole spark thing is felt before two people have sex. Haven't you ever heard the song, "It's in his kiss?" Maybe she just didn't feel the "spark" because they weren't meant to be together. Obviously, she cares about the guy, or else she wouldn't care about breaking his heart. Being a douche does not a spark make. Not every girl wants her guy to change. In fact, when the guy changes for the girl, it always means trouble ahead.

  9. […] put the rumors of my unfortunate demise to rest…yes, last week’s “How Do I End Things Without Breaking His Heart?” was written by yours truly. It was a stylistic experiment that was a ton of fun, in case you […]

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