One of the advantages of speed dating is that the relationships end simply. The whistle blows, you say “Nice to meet you” and you’re done.
Obviously, ending longer relationships is a little more complicated, but I used to consider myself pretty skilled at this. When my roommate was so nice about dumping a guy that he didn’t get it, I crafted a polite but firm email for her to send. And when he still didn’t get it, and showed up on our doorstep in the rain, I sent him away with reassurances that although it was definitely over, it wasn’t him, it was her.
But the more opportunities I get to practice the skill, the worse I get at it, it seems. I’m sure Miss Manners would be disappointed to know that I’ve dumped by email. I’ve also done it at 8 a.m. (In my defense, I had been itching to end things since about 4, so it felt like I had exercised eternities of restraint.)
That’s why I would like to propose some national standards for dumping. The solution could either be a form (“You are (blank) but this is not working out because (blank)”) or, better yet, a service. In his new movie, George Clooney flies around the country firing people for employers who are too chicken to do it themselves. Why not do the same for dating? I would gladly pay $100, maybe even more, to avoid that awkward final conversation. You, as the dumper, provide your reasons and any items that need to be returned (a complication I failed to consider before the email dump) to the consultant. They set up a meeting with your soon-to-be-insignificant other and offer an explanation and a shoulder to cry on.
Now I just need to find someone who wants to be a professional dumper. If we could get George Clooney to do it, that would definitely soften the blow.