Remembering that “The Loser” doesn’t accept responsibility, responds with anger to criticism, and is prone to panic detachment reactions — ending the relationship continues the same theme as the detachment.
Explain that you are emotionally numb, confused, and burned out. You can’t feel anything for anybody and you want to end the relationship almost for his or her benefit. Remind them that they’ve probably noticed something is wrong and that you need time to sort out your feelings and fix whatever is wrong with you. As disgusting as it may seem, you may have to use a theme of “I’m not right for anyone at this point in my life.” If “The Loser” can blame the end on you, as they would if they ended the relationship anyway, they will depart faster.
If “The Loser” panics, you’ll receive a shower of phone calls, letters, notes on your car, etc. React to each in the same manner — a boring thanks. If you overreact or give in, you’ve lost control again.
Focus on your need for time away from the situation. Don’t agree to the many negotiations that will be offered — dating less frequently, dating only once a week, taking a break for only a week, going to counseling together, etc. As long as “The Loser” has contact with you they will feel there is a chance to manipulate you.
“The Loser” will focus on making you feel guilty. In each phone contact you’ll hear how much you are loved, how much was done for you, and how much they have sacrificed for you. At the same time, you’ll hear about what a bum you are for leading them on, not giving them an opportunity to fix things, and embarrassing them by ending the relationship.
Don’t try to make them understand how you feel — it won’t happen. “The Loser” is only concerned with how they feel — your feelings are irrelevant. You will be wasting your time trying to make them understand and they will see the discussions as an opportunity to make you feel more guilty and manipulate you.
Don’t fall for sudden changes in behavior or promises of marriage, trips, gifts, etc. By this time you have already seen how “The Loser” is normally and naturally. While anyone can change for a short period of time, they always return to their normal behavior once the crisis is over.
Seek professional counseling for yourself or the support of others during this time. You will need encouragement and guidance. Keep in mind, if “The Loser” finds out you are seeking help they will criticize the counseling, the therapist, or the effort.
Don’t use terms like “someday”, “maybe”, or “in the future”. When “The Loser” hears such possibilities, they think you are weakening and will increase their pressure.
Imagine a dead slot machine. If we are in Las Vegas at a slot machine and pull the handle ten times and nothing happens — we move on to another machine. However, if on the tenth time the slot machine pays us even a little, we keep pulling the handle — thinking the jackpot is on the way. If we are very stern and stable about the decision to end the relationship over many days, then suddenly offer a possibility or hope for reconciliation — we’ve given a little pay and the pressure will continue. Never change your position — always say the same thing. “The Loser” will stop playing a machine that doesn’t pay off and quickly move to another.