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Once dismasted, I prefer to solve the "getting to shore" problem before the "why was I dismasted" problem.

So, depends on how far out I am.


Are you dumping the Iranian? I knew it wouldn't last.

Personally, I want very little information; unless I've obliviously done something egregious that should be brought to my attention, I don't want to hear reasons at all. (After a long relationship, a breakup talk is ok.)


we already know.

and if we don't already know, no amount of information will clue us in.

trust your gut. nothing matters as much as that.


I want to know every painful detail so that I can reaffirm my innate sense of self loathing. Seriously.


Depends on how far things have gone. If we've already set the wedding date, I want a good reason. If it's casual dating, I'm already thinking about who's next before you finish telling me it's over.
Anywhere in between requires judgement.


I'm with Rufus. I want to dwell on all of the things she found lacking that I know I can't change. One of the reasons Italian girl has been a long running sore with me is that she won't just tell me what's wrong with me in her mind. I'm pretty sure I know what it is, but I hold out futile hope until she finally tells me.


Depends on the guy, I personally want to know what is going on, its better to actually know then to wonder


depends on the guy. somaziro's right. If the guy thinks he's all that, then maybe he doesn't care. But if he's an artsy sorta introspective-type, then maybe he'd want to know. If he's one of those who wants to learn more about himself generally, then he'd want to know. Otherwise, not. I don't know which kind of guy is the majority, but I assume that whoever you would date would be the introspective-type.

Of course, Ogged may be quite right that the guy already knows. Successfully introspective people might understnad what's "wrong" with them to begin with, and announcing that might not provide them anything. So trust your instincts to evaluate his desire.

Richard Ames

We don't want to know a thing, thanks. And hey, why no call back from you when I was in Portland in August? ;)


How much information do you actually wish to know about the lack of the call back?


If it's a long term thing - the guy deserves reasons. If it's short term, I'd want to know reasons if it's a generic short failing of mine - something that society as a whole would find objectionable. OTOH, if it's a personality conflict, there's nothing to be gained from reasons.

Which isn't to say I'm not going to sit at home saying to myself "Huh? Wha' happened?"


One solution is to simply ask him how much he wants to know. Since his initial reaction will probably be "everything," tell him you'll talk about later on, and give him some time to think about it. Then, you can just speak in generalities if you have to, especially if it's just a sort of general "we don't gel" feeling.

But if it's something specific, I think he ought to know. For example, if you broke up with him because, say, he didn't want kids, he should know that's the reason.

Ultimately, I'm in the rather-know-than-not-know category, even if it's really demoralizing like she doesn't find me attractive anymore.

I guess my bottom line would be, What good would come of him not knowing? Is ignorance truly bliss? Trust your instincts, but I say tell him.


Depends on how long you've been dating. If it's only a handful of dates, and things just aren't clicking, no explaination necessary. If it's been longer, then the detail level is proportional to the amount of time you've been dating... three months could be a "We just aren't sparking anymore and I've run out of false compliments for your bad toupee," whereas eight years would probably deserve more. :)


I'm pretty much with the others. If I'm getting dumped because of a personal trait she can't stand, I'd like some feedback. If it's someone else she likes better, that's all I care to know.


I would secretly LIKE to know absolutely everything, but for the sake of my own dignity I would never give a brush-off the pleasure of realizing that I give a damn.


I'm basically with Ogged, altho since some of us have more than one area needing serious improvement, some details might be helpful.


This has never happened to me.


What, Patrick, you've never been dumped, or you don't date?


I tend to want to know as much as possible. Even if I don't agree with the criticisms, I'd rather have the option available than just be forced to guess.

I find the "we already know, if we don't no amount of info will clue us in," point of view to be breathtaking in its arrogance. I guess I'm too much of an empiricist. Because this basically says that outside opinions about our selves are irrelevant, while I tend to observe that my own self-assessment doesn't always match what others think. Many of the things I regard as great faults, some people don't care about. Other things will be mentioned to me as failings that I would never think of.

I guess what I'm saying is, we're not telepathic. To assume that *of course* my partner's image of me matches my own is just another way of saying one's thoughts rule the universe. Solipsism. On the other hand, to say I can't possibly be taught anything about oneself by someone else... I happen to believe what humans do best is learn. To say I *can't* learn sounds like an accusation of being less than human.

I want to learn, I want to improve, I want to grow. Failure equals feedback. And without feedback, we never get closer to the truth. Epigrammatic, I suppose, but it's what I think.

Others will almost certainly disagree. ;)


I was just on the receiving end and let me tell you... hearing all the reasons is very painful. That said, after I got over the initial *ouch* of it all, I realized there were a few useful insights tucked in there.


I'm obviously a girl, but I canvassed this exact issue with a couple of friends (one of which is my ex) on the weekend. And they all said the same thing - it depends on whether it's obvious that there's been a cooling of emotions, or that it was going nowhere.

Sometimes the reasons don't need to be stated because it's obvious to both sides that the relationship isn't going anywhere. So listing out all of the guy's faults isn't going to help but just hurt.

But in most cases, letting someone know why you're not interested in continuing the relationship is good. It removes doubt and if it's something that the guy doesn't see as a problem (eg a girl once broke up with my brother because he was "too confident"), then he can just think "so be it" and move on.



For example, if you broke up with him because, say, he didn't want kids, he should know that's the reason.
Ultimately, I'm in the rather-know-than-not-know category, even if it's really demoralizing like she doesn't find me attractive anymore.

Breaking up with someone because he doesn't want kids doesn't mean that you no longer find him attractive; it means that something is ticking louder than the call of the attraction. (And this holds even for women who don't want to have biological children.)


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