Wed Oct 18 16:42:09 SAST 2017

Deliver the blow gently

2012-12-16 18:44:46.0 | Amanda Ngudle |

OK. So he was a lady boy who was clueless about foreplay; maybe she's a Bible-punching, judgmental type who sees fault in everyone but herself.

 Getting dumped for Christmas is hardly anyone's idea of fun writes Amanda Ngudle 

But to break up with her during the festive season?

That's cold.

It happens. The worst thing about being dumped during the festive season is that everyone else is in a party mood while you have to pick up the pieces.

Factors such as finances, family tensions, little space and intoxication can contribute to such decisions. And the fact that we're all in each others' faces fuels conflicts.

"Sometimes it can come from one party's reflection on the year gone by," says Sizakele Swakamisa, a couples therapist and family psychologist.

"During the year we're all in the rat race. Emotional issues are shoved to the corner with everyone trying to keep up with the pace.

"During the holidays people reflect on their accomplishments and shortcomings.

"That's when decisions about divorce, separation and break up are reached."

Breaking up is your prerogative, but beware the emotional trauma it might cause your partner.

The message might be brutal but the delivery can be kind.

Here are some tips on how to do it "humanely".

Don't do it over the phone.

" It's rude and cowardly.", says Swakamisa.

"Also, don't break up in a place where the person will feel too vulnerable. Breaking up in your home, a public space or her workplace isn't on.

"Your ex will need a safe place to let the news sink in. You don't want them to drive home, go back to work or go into a spin in a public space."

Choose a random day. Avoid hectic calendar days such as Christmas, and New Year's eve. You don't want your ex have bad memories every time that day comes around.

Write a letter if you must.

You will still have to break up in person but a letter is a better way of communicating feelings.

It also eliminates the risk of waffling over something this sensitive.

"Though not entirely decent, it beats disappearing," says Mkhuseli April, a reader who's ex made a clean getaway on Christmas eve last year.

"The time and effort to put pen to paper will be seen as your taking his feelings into consideration."

Give them a reason.

You can't just break up because it suits you and then give a flimsy excuse.

"Though you may not want to sugar coat it, there's no need to be brutal by saying things like you found someone better, they're not attractive anymore and such.

"It will only make you look the pig," warns Swakamisa.

Give back the gifts. Sometimes the dumpee will demand back gifts he or she gave you when things were okay. Don't hesitate to give them back.

"A lot of gifts come with terms and conditions," says cougar Maureen Motaung, who went through a holiday break-up trauma in December 2010.

"How could you insist on keeping a car that was given as a token of appreciation for good love, even when you've changed your mind?

"No. That's gold digging."

Keep it short and leave.

Lingering after the delivery of such brutal news could create false hope or conflict.

In fact Sergeant Bongani Mathenjwa of Wynberg police station says you should bring a friend or relative to the venue in case the dumpee loses it.

"Some men don't take kindly to the news. Some try to threaten or assault their dumpers, while women might run and scratch or smash men's cars. Have a witness in case something like that happens."; or Twitter @amandan777

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