10 Tips For How To Break Up With Someone You Love
By Mason Komay
Updated February 11, 2020
Reviewer Karen Devlin, LPC
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. 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. Sometimes, low points in the relationship can be addressed with communication. Who knows, you may discover that talking with one another, compromising, or even going through relationship counseling just might solve the issues at hand.
If you really want to end things, you should know exactly why you are choosing to do so. This will help you to avoid mimicking the same issues in a new relationship. It may take time to come to a full realization of why you are letting go of your significant other, but having confidence in your decision will make the process easier.
Breaking up with someone you love can be heartbreaking, which is why it can feel so easy to ignore the underlying reasons for wanting to break up in the first place. However, before you go through with things, it's important to understand why exactly you're feeling like it's time to move on. There might be several possible reasons for wanting to break up with your significant other, such as cheating, mental illness, or anything else that's causing you to feel unhappy. Whatever the reason, a licensed counselor can help you sort through your emotions and realize exactly why you want to break up, and how to approach the situation rationally. Breakups are hard, but you can make the process much easier by speaking to an expert who cares.
Before your breakup, it is important to plan how you are going to confront your partner. Try to stick with whatever method is easiest for you. While you should never break up over social media, email, or text, it might be helpful to write down what you want to say. If you decide to write your thoughts in a letter, that's totally okay, but you should still be physically present while they are reading so that you can answer any questions they may have.
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 don't want to get stuck in a situation where you forget to mention important information to your partner.
Avoid jumping at the first chance to break things off with your significant other. Breaking up will be hard on both of you, so try to do everything you can to make sure you are physically, mentally, and emotionally ready for the huge change. If there is any way you depend on this person in your day-to-day life, make sure you are confident that you can adapt to an independent lifestyle.
This is especially important when two people who are splitting up live together, commute together, or own items of value together. Before breaking up, you should make sure that you have somewhere safe to stay, a reliable form of transportation, access to basic needs, and zero financial dependence on your partner.
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? Would you prefer a private setting? Should it happen in the morning, or when they get home from work? Should you do it 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.
Sometimes breaking up can get heated. What starts out as a polite conversation can turn into a screaming-match, especially if the situation is not expected. Although it can be challenging to hold yourself back, 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 honest questions and having a back and forth argument over who is right and wrong. If you feel like the situation is starting to escalate, you should leave the room immediately. If the relationship is already ending, there is no point in wasting time arguing with each other.
Although it might be hard dealing with thoughts like, "When should I break up with someone I love?", it is important to answer that question without running away from 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 email 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 without any explanation. No one deserves to be left without answers.
No False Hope
When breaking up with someone you love, it's easy to tell them what you think they want to hear. Although you may feel obligated 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 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 rebuilding your relationship. There's nothing wrong with either of you, but sometimes things just don't work out between a couple.
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). It can be therapeutic to vent with friends and family members or turn to social media to process your feelings but don't 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 would want them to treat you. Talk about them respectfully (or not at all if that is too difficult) and keep private information between the two of you. Never go out of your way to sabotage their happiness in the future or make them look bad. If you can successfully do this, not only will you come out of the breakup looking more mature and confident, but you will also allow your loved one to move 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 the 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 cannot seem to leave your loved one alone, you're going to end up sending 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 try to create as much physical and emotional distance as you need to stay comfortable.
Take Care of Yourself
When you leave someone, you don't just have to think about their feelings. You should also consider how parting ways will affect you personally. When relationships end, a lot of transitions take place, so caring for yourself during this time is a must. Take some time to do something you love and recharge in any way that seems fit. Always remember that licensed mental health professionals are just one click or a phone call away when you need them. Do not be afraid to reach out if a breakup seems to be too much for you.
Breaking up with someone you love is hard to do. The close of a relationship is a significant change. However, 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.
No matter how well-prepared you are, a breakup with someone you love can create mixed emotions that leave you feeling confused and frustrated. Throughout the process, you're likely going to feel hurt, relieved, or downright miserable at times - but this is completely normal for most couples who are in the same shoes. However, you can shed some light on the situation by seeking the help of a licensed counselor.
During a breakup, you might feel as though you're alone without anyone to express your feelings to, but that's far from the truth. In fact, counseling has been proven to have lasting positive effects on both partners. Speaking with a licensed counselor can help you gain a better understanding of the reality of the situation. For instance, did you know that it's completely natural for most people to report having intense feelings of love for their ex-partner? This is because, according to a recent study, people may experience cravings for their ex similarly to the way addicts crave a drug they are withdrawing from. Learning more about the realistic scope of things can help you cope without feeling hindered by confusion and uncertainty.
Breaking up with your loved one is difficult enough as it is, and the last thing you should be dealing with is traffic on your way to a counseling session, or accidentally running into someone you know in the waiting room. This is where online counseling services like ReGain offer solutions. With the guidance of one of our licensed therapists, online counseling cuts out the need for long drives and inconvenient appointment times. Instead, you have the freedom to reach out to your counselor whenever and wherever you want, at a fraction of the cost of in-person sessions. Below are some reviews of ReGain counselors for you to review, from people experiencing similar issues (and decided to break up, or stay together).
"Sonya provides a neutral sounding board for couples. She listened and asked the right questions. She gave great homework that really honed in on our areas of improvement. Through therapy I discovered that I did not want to continue the relationship. Sonya was able to provide a couple joint sessions and a couple individual sessions to close out the relationship which really helped out."
"Dan is amazing at what he does. We were recovering from a potential breakup and what Dan did was focus on why we were together in the first place. Within the first couple of weeks we've noticed a huge increase in morale and a stronger bond to fix our issues when they arise."
If you're feeling a bit overwhelmed after reading this article, it's completely normal. Your mind is probably in a stressful place right now, so it can be easy to get lost in a void of confusion and despair. Luckily, our licensed counselors can help guide you away from that dark place and into a brighter future for you, in which you can enjoy truly fulfilling relationships.