10 Tips For How To Break Up With Someone You Love

Updated September 04, 2018

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Breaking up with someone you love is rarely easy. If you are lucky, the only thing you might need is a short conversation. However, a relationship is usually much more complex. You might live together, have friends in common, or work in the same place. No matter what situation you are in, there are a few things you can do to make the process easier. Take a look at these tips for how to break up with someone you love.

Give It Thought

Before you break up with someone you love, think about why you want the relationship to end. Consider whether the issue is something you are willing to or can work through. Many times, low points in the relationship can be addressed with communication. Talking with one another, compromising, or even going through relationship counseling just might solve some of the big issues at hand.

If breaking up is what you want, know exactly why you are choosing to end the relationship. This will help you to avoid jumping back into it at a vulnerable time or starting a new relationship that mimics many of the same issues. It may take time to come to a full realization of why you are letting go of someone you love, but confidence in your decision will make the process easier.

Plan It

Before your breakup, it is important to plan how you are going to tell the news to your partner. Use a method that is easy for you. While you never want to break up over social media, e-mail, or text, it might be helpful to write what you want to say. If you decide to write your thoughts in a letter, that is okay, but you should still be physically present while they are reading to answer any questions they may have.

If verbal communication is your strong point, spend some time rehearsing exactly what you are going to say. Have a list of anything you think is important and stick to your script as much as possible. You do not want to get stuck in a situation where you are leaving out crucial information or uncomfortably scrambling to find the right words.

Be Prepared

Avoid jumping at the first chance to break things off with your significant other. Breaking up will be hard on them and you. Do everything you can to make sure you are physically, mentally, and emotionally ready for the change. If there is any way you depend on this person in your day-to-day life, make sure you get your independence first to have a clean break.

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This is especially important when two people who are splitting up live together, commute together or have items of value together. Before breaking up, you must make sure that you have somewhere safe to stay, a reliable form of transportation, access to basic needs, and zero financial dependence on the person you love. You do not want to find yourself in a situation where you lack the essentials because a bitter ex-has cut you off.

Time It Right

Think about exactly how you want the situation to play out while speaking to your loved one. Do you need a public place? A private setting? Should it happen in the morning, or when they get home from work? On the weekend or during a weekday? Consider how your significant other might respond to the situation and plan accordingly. The last thing you want is a major scene in the middle of a crowded space.

Be mindful of how the situation is going to affect this person. You would not want someone to break up with you in the middle of a stressful week at work, or first thing in the morning before you head into the office. Offer the same amount of consideration to your partner and choose the right time to break the news.

Avoid Confrontation

Sometimes breaking up can get heated. What starts out as a polite conversation can turn into screaming-match, especially if the situation is not expected. You will only add more fuel to the fire by shouting obscenities, insulting one another, and saying hurtful words that cannot be taken back.

To avoid an outcome like this, plan exactly when you are going to step away from the conversation. There is a line between letting someone ask questions and speak their mind and having a back and forth argument over who is right and wrong. If you feel like the situation is starting to escalate, leave immediately. If the relationship is already ending, there is no point in wasting time simply to fight.

Never Ghost

Although it might be hard dealing with thoughts like, "when is it time to break up with someone you love?" it is important to answer that question without running away from it or avoiding it. It might be tempting to sidestep the guilt and confrontation that come with a hard conversation, but it is never okay to leave your significant other in the dark.

This does not mean you need to share your thoughts about parting ways before the breakup, but you should never leave them by simply cutting off contact with no explanation. Turning off your phone, changing your e-mail address, blocking your loved one on social media, all without saying a word to them is a form of "ghosting." Ghosting refers to cutting off all ties to a friend or romantic partner, with no explanation, and no one deserves being left without answers.

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No False Hope

When breaking up with someone you love, it is hard not to tell them what you think they want to hear. Although you may want to soften the blow, do not offer false hope of getting back together, unless you are truly interested in doing so. This goes for other compassionate lies too like, "I still want to be friends," or "we can still hang out."

Trust the old cliché, "say what you mean and mean what you say." If you want the relationship to end, with no more contact make that clear. If you do want to stay friends, clarify exactly what you want that friendship to look like. Never give someone a list of what they can change about themselves to improve their chances of rekindling your relationship. You never know where you will be at in the future, and you will only end up wasting their time if you move on.

Be Considerate After

You might be leaving your partner because of their behavior or actions, but it is important to keep that information to yourself (unless of course, they are a danger to others). While it's often therapeutic to vent with friends and family members or turn to social media to process your feelings, do not forget that what you say to others can impact your ex long after you are out of their life.

Treat the person you love the same way you want them to treat you. Talk about them respectfully, (or not at all if that is too difficult) and keep private information private. Never go out of your way to sabotage their happiness in the future or make them look bad. Not only will you come out of the breakup looking mature and confident, but you will also allow your loved one the privilege of moving on in peace.

Let Them Go

When you lose someone you love, it can be hard to stay out of their life. However, giving them space they need to care for themselves during this difficult time is one of the most important things you can do. Avoid frequently calling or texting them, set some boundaries on social media, and never show up unannounced at their home or place of work. If you are the one initiating a breakup, yet you can not seem to leave your loved one alone, you will send them mixed signals about what you want.

If you're forced to continue being around them often (due to friendships or work environment) aim for a polite relationship. Keep conversation to a minimum and treat them as you would any other acquaintance. Do not pry for information from others about what your ex is doing in their time and create as much physical and emotional distance as you need to stay comfortable.

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Take Care Of Yourself

When you leave someone, you do not just have to think about their feelings. You should also consider how parting ways will affect you too. When relationships end a lot of transitions take place. Caring for yourself during this time is a must. Take some time to do something you love and recharge in any healthy way that seems fit. Always remember that licensed mental health professionals are just one click or phone call away when you need them. Do not be afraid to reach out if a breakup proves challenging for you.

Breaking up with someone you love is hard to do. The close of a relationship often means a great deal of change. Ending the relationship the right way will make the process easier for you and the person you love. Stick to the tips listed here or reach out to a counselor today who can guide you through the process.


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