How to dump him -- gently

And what if you picked up the phone? What then? First, make a note to yourself to get caller ID. Then, lie. Please lie. Tell him that you just got back together with your ex-boyfriend. This is our very first choice for rejection. Second best is you realized that you are going through a period where you do not want to date at all and just want to focus on yourself. We can stomach this as well. Sure, these excuses might be transparent -- but better to live a lie than face the truth of rejection.

Another possibility, though not quite as good due to possible ambiguity, is the good ol' distancing technique. You tell him you are really busy for the next couple of weeks and will call him when things get less crazy -- a bit confusing for most of us men, but definitely effective and not too painful.

Rejection after Date Three or Four
You really gave it a chance, but it's not happening. What should you do? Again, lie. The ex-boyfriend is still your best bet. Do not tell him you met someone else recently. That smarts. Choosing someone you just met tells him he lost a contest. No one likes to lose. So, make sure to say you met "the other guy" months before and things sparked up again. Another option: Honesty, within reason. If it's simply a matter of chemistry -- or lack thereof-- tell him. Most guys can survive that after just a few dates.

Rejection after Date Five
As much as it's going to hurt, tell him the truth. At this point, honest communication is the right thing to do. Don't be too specific if it's for reasons no human should ever hear: you suck in bed, you smell, you are not good-looking enough, your penis is too small, you are boring, you're an idiot -- please, please, please refrain from using these. Be gentle, but do not be too vague. Just give it to him straight and say that you're really sorry. And do not try to be friends right away. It is really tough to swallow "can we just be friends?" If you two are suitable as friends then let that relationship take it's proper course, and do not initiate it while you're dumping him as a boyfriend.

Obviously, this all can vary depending on your circumstances. Just remember: Be gentle, lying can be good, and specificity, well, it can sometimes be too specific. And did I mention lying?

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