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Breaking Up On the Down Low - How and Why Men Sneak Out of Relationships

Apr 4, 2008
After six months (or even years), the man of your dreams, the sweetest guy in the world suddenly needs space.

You've noticed a change lately...he's been unhappy, uncommunicative, argumentative. Sex has dropped off to the point and he is either not interested or "too tired" most of the time. You begin to wonder if he is seeing someone else. He doesn't care what you think and no longer tries to please you. He may have begun to become somewhat rude - calling you names like dummy, stupid or worst - or become physically threatening or abusive.

He's busy a lot and doesn't have time to call or see you as he did before. You KNOW something is different, but he either denies it when you mention it or says that the relationship has taken him away from other important things in his life that need to be taken care of.

He needs a break from the relationship; he needs time to think and sort things out. He's not sure what is going on but whatever it is, its somehow made out to be YOUR FAULT. OR he may say he loves you but he is not IN LOVE with you anymore but you're still special, you're the most wonderful and beautiful woman he's ever met. He is going to try to work it out. This has absolutely nothing to do with YOU.

Yeah, right.

Even though this method of breaking off a relationship is rather cowardly, in a certain sense it's perfectly understandable.

Men don't tend to deal well with women's high levels of drama and emotion. The tears, the accusations, the fighting and screaming "how could you use me like this!" It takes a special man indeed that can calmly say to a woman he's been dating, living with or married to: "Hey, you know what? I don't want to string you along or play you. I have too much respect for you as a person. But this relationship is over."

Still confused about why men aren't straight when it's time to break up? There are many other reasons why guys do this Tiptoe Out the Back Door routine, but here are the main three.

Reason #1
Sometimes when men aren't happy, but not ready to give up a stable sex partner while looking for a replacement, they'll tiptoe out.

Reason #2
Sometimes he truly has legitimate reasons for easing out of a relationship at present such as finishing grad school, being recently divorced or separated, going away for a year to study snow seals in Antartica, or his Mom is dying of cancer and he's needed back home to take care of her.

Sometimes when a man has been with you for years and years, or made many promises that he now knows ain't gonna happen, the more scared and guilty he feels about hurting you. So he'll tiptoe out.

In fairness ladies, we have to say that reasons given under category number two are very realistic. Although we may not be happy about the situation, reality must always be acceptable.

But how can you tell if he is being straight with you, or doing the Backdoor Slide?

By talking to him. Ask he exactly what he is so confused about, and why it is confusing. Ask him what he feels are his options to straighten out the situation or "unconfuse" himself.

If he comes forth with his thoughts and willingly shares with you his concerns and options and perhaps even asks for your input, then you know he probably does still care for you and is just facing a rough spot in his life.

On the other hand, if your guy tells you, NO, I need to do this alone, I don't want your help and I don't want to talk about it, then you know he's doing the dance!

Most women argue about it, or start reminding him of the years they have together, the baby that you have together, or start crying and demanding to know how he could do this to you.

Your best bet though is not fight with him about it. Don't waste your time and energy trying to convince him that he is making a big mistake! Don't press him to stay with threats of alcoholism, harm to himself or his property, or suicide. The best thing to do is to calmly open the front door and gently kiss him goodbye, close the door firmly behind him and go on with your life.
About the Author
(c) 2008 Deborrah Cooper. Deborrah has authored dozens of relationship articles and advice columns on Ask HeartBeat!, which focuses on modern relationships for teens and adults. Her dating guide Sucka Free Love! provides street-smart, hilarious insight into the toughest issues facing singles today. Check out The Sucka Free Dating Radio Talk Show on Wednesday night at 8:00 pm PST.
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