(not personal, you can all stop freaking out.)
Firstly, it take two to tango. If a relationship ends, very very rarely is one person a candidate for sainthood, and the other Satan incarnate. Sympathy for the ending relationship should be extended to both sides. Nor should outsiders assume that the 'Dumpee' is the wronged party, and the 'Dumper' acting harshly or irrationally. Conversely, don't assume that Dumper is fleeing a horibble relationship, and Dumpee is an ogre.
There is no way for the timing and delivery on ending a relationship to be anything but sucky. Having seen prolonged endings, and sudden-seeming cutoffs, I couldn't say one is better than the other. Once someone decides the relationship isn't right for them, how long do they have to stick around? Is it better to get it over with, or keep going knowing in your heart it's not working? Is one deception, and the other harsh, or is one compassionate, and the other honest?
The decision for someone to stay in a relationship with you is not yours. You can work on the relationship, you can ask for counseling or marriage therapy... and you can manipulate, you can guilt trip, you can change in ways you think will hold on to them, but when it comes down to them deciding to leave, you don't get a choice. You can not like their choice all you want, but you can't force them to stay.