How To Break Up With Someone You Love
The end of relationships with people you love is rarely easy. If you are lucky, the only thing you might need is a short conversation for the breakup. 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, you can do a few things to make the process easier, one of which is speaking with an online therapist to help walk you through it.
When you’re feeling as if you are not connecting with someone anymore the way you used to, or are looking to explore different things in life than your significant other is interested in, letting your partner you’ve decided to leave is sometimes the best way to accomplish your personal goals. Let’s face it, breakups suck. Sometimes you can go through it alone, and other times, you need some advice from a professional to help give you the tools to gently back away from the relationship and know when to start cutting people in your life.
Give It Thought Before Breaking Up With Someone You Love
Before youbreak 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 attending couples therapy 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 falling into the same patterns with future romantic partners. 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.
How do I break up with my boyfriend if I'm still in love with him? 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.
Consider The Time Together
When you start thinking about ending things, your mind may wander to all of the fun times you’ve had together and the experiences you have . However, if you are getting a sign that your relationship that you’ve spent the last several months, or even years, has reached a point where you no longer have the same goals, it is usually time to end it. When you’ve decided that you’ve spent enough time with your partner to know they are not the one for you it may be easier to just break up.
Plan The Break-Up
Yes, you wish to have a break from dating, but before breaking up, 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, writing down what you want to say might be helpful. 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 in the moment.
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.
Relationships aren’t something you plan. You fall in love, and sometimes, you fall out of it. It’s not easy to make a decision to break up, and it can be challenging to plan it. There is no easy way to end a romantic relationship with someone. You may plan to do it gently. Your intentions are benevolent, and you want to express your decision with respect and compassion. The decision to break up is hard, and what makes it even more challenging is knowing that you will inevitably hurt your partner. Rejection stings, and also if you still love the person, telling them you don’t want to be together isn’t a pleasant conversation.
Staying Firm In Your Decision
Remember, you can still love someone and break up with them! There are many reasons why people don’t choose to stay together. You could deeply love your partner and crave their love and support, but understand that it’s time to end the relationship. When you know that you need to break up, it’s painful and the heart breaks, but when you love a person and want the best for them, you know that you need to do the right thing by letting them go. No matter how much you plan for this, it’s not something you can have a script for because this is real life. No matter how much you love your partner, you can’t plan how to end the relationship. You can have ideas about how to talk to them, but it isn’t something where you’ll necessarily have a concrete idea for how it’s going to go down because you don’t know how they’ll respond. Maybe, they’re on the same page with you, and you don’t know it yet. Perhaps, they’ll be very hurt, and you’ll have to manage how you react to those feelings. The most important thing is that, though you can’t plan for their reaction, you can be grounded in your truth and how you want to speak your mind about the fact that you feel that the relationship isn’t working.
Remember, you don’t have to hate someone to break up with them. Sometimes, you know the relationship is over, and you want to move on even though you still love your partner. Breaking up is never easy, but it can be especially hard when you still love and support your partner as a person. It’s best if you are preparing to have that awkward conversation that you don’t use cliches like, “maybe we can be friends” because you don’t know what’ll happen, and you can’t plan for it. Be open to what they have to say when you have a conversation with them, and remember that sometimes, during breakups, emotions are volatile. Be prepared to go with the flow, and make sure that both of you have the space to feel your feelings. No matter how much you try to plan for how the conversation will go, it would help if you accepted that you don’t have control over how someone else feels.
Be Prepared When Parting With Someone You Love
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, and zero financial dependence on your partner.
Time It Right
You found yourself constantly thinking, "I don't want a relationship," it might be time to break up now. it would be appropriate to have this difficult conversation. Do you need a public place? 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. For example, if your partner is a freelance writer, you wouldn’t want to break up with them right before a huge deadline. Plan ahead with consideration for your partner when choosing 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.
Never Ghost In Relationships
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 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. So, stop searching on ways on how to ghost someone, and confront them honestly. No one deserves to be left without answers.
No False Hope - Avoiding Further Heart Breaks
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 have reasons to stay friends after breaking up, 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 The Break-Up
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 your best friends or family 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. Even if you part ways, you’re constantly going to have some connection to them, either through a mutual friend, their siblings, or even a co-worker's friend; once a relationship is established, it’s usually engrained in stone for eternity in one fashion or another.
Treat the person you love the same way you would want them to treat 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
"My girlfriend wants a break." 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. How to let go of someone who doesn't want you anymore? 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. The last thing you want to do is lead the other person to believe that there is a chance of getting back together, which can be even more confusing and painful. Make a decision and stick to it.
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 To Heal After Relationships End
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 who can guide you through the process. When you’re single, you may feel as though you made the right choice and you should be proud of yourself for realizing that the relationship was wrong for you. That is not to say the person you were with was bad, they may have been fantastic; however, the relationship just was not what you needed. There are always signs you’re not in a place that is correct for you. Listening to them is key. If you feel like you’re trapped or smothered, these are surefire signs you’re with the wrong person. Perhaps at this point in your life, you are better not being with anyone at all. Every person and relationship is different.
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 people struggling with drug addiction 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.
Seeking Help For Relationships
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."
Conclusion For Breaking Up With A Person You Care About
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.
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Debra Jenkins - MSW, LCSW-C
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How To Break Up With Someone You Love?
There's no easy way to part with anyone, but it's particularly difficult to part with a person you still care about. Your heart breaks. First, be proud of yourself for facing the need to part. When you care about a person, the last thing you'd want to do is hurt them, and to lead that person on is likely to leave the other person in prolonged pain and confusion. While parting with a person, you want to be careful with your words. To part with a person you care about in a respectable and amicable way, plan your words wisely. Spend time thinking about what you're going to say beforehand and go into the conversation knowing that you can't control their emotions or their response; you can only control your actions. Make sure to find a quiet place and to pick a good time. It's true that endings suck and that there aren't really any good times or perfect times to start the conversation, but ideally, it's a good idea to make sure that your partner has sufficient time to talk things through and isn't on their way to work or any other commitments. Additionally, part in person if at all possible.
How do you break up with someone you love without hurting them?
Perhaps you have begun to start thinking about ending things with your partner, but you are hesitant to do so. You are constantly asking yourself when should you leave a relationship. It’s extremely difficult to think about hurting someone, especially someone that you have invested in and care deeply about. However, it’s important to remember that you have to make the decision that is best for you. Even if you break up with your partner with respect and compassion, there is no way to prevent them from feeling sad, confused or deeply hurt. The reality is that a relationship ending is often painful, and there is no way around this truth.
While there is no way to stop your partner from hurting, there are ways to make the time of transition a bit easier. For one, be sure to set boundaries around communication following the breakup. Oftentimes, a clean break with no communication is the best for both parties to spend time processing difficult emotions and grieving the loss of the relationship.
If you are in an "I broke up with my girlfriend" condition, it is absolutely normal to experience a wide range of emotions after the breakup, from grief to anger, sadness, and longing. If you are having challenges navigating the breakup process, seek professional help and support from a licensed professional who can come alongside you during this difficult time.
How Do You Know When To Break Up With Someone You Love?
When you part with a person you care about, it'll likely be due to an issue that is irreparable in one way or another. Perhaps, you have different dealbreakers for how you want your life to look moving forward and the reason you have to part ways is that there's no way for your needs and wants to align. For example, if your partner wants kids and you don't, you may decide to part despite caring for them. It could also be that there was a situation the partnership couldn't survive, such as repetitive cheating or substance use that impacted the family. Oftentimes, couples and families can move through these issues, but that's not always the case. You'll know when to part with a person you cherish when there's a thing that you absolutely can't compromise on or work through.
Is It Okay To Part With A Person You Care About?
Yes, it is okay to break up with someone you still love. There are a multitude of reasons that a relationship may no longer be working, even if you and your partner care deeply for each other. You might feel like best friends or even soulmates, but you can't stay in relationships that aren't right for you. Of course, in a few circumstances, there's hope. If that's true and both of you want to try to work through the partnership issues you have, give it a shot. This is an excellent time to utilize counseling or therapy for couples. Studies show that couples therapy can be incredibly helpful to those in romantic partnerships. For example, a popular form of couple's counseling called emotionally focused therapy or EFT has a 70% to 75% rate of partnership recovery. That said, relationships don't always work out; if the other person doesn't want to stay together as romantic partners, you have to let them go. It's essential to respect the other person's needs even when it's hard. If you're parting with a person that you've known you need to for a long time, give a gift of honesty and don't string the other person along. It's hard to be the one to initiate, but it's far more respectful not to lead that person on than it is to wait.
How Do You Break Up With Someone You Love Without Hurting Them?
Perhaps you are thinking about ending things but are scared of hurting someone you care about. It’s important to recognize that the end of a relationship can be painful and there’s no way to avoid this reality. Even stating your desire to part ways in a kind, gentle and respectful manner cannot guarantee that the other person will not feel hurt, sad or confused. There is no way to predict or control another person’s feelings or reactions; however, it’s essential that you make the decision that is right for you, even if it will be difficult to hear or accept.
After the breakup, you may experience a range of emotions as well- and that is absolutely normal. Perhaps you feel a sense of relief and assurance in your decision to end the relationship. Then you start thinking about the good qualities of the person you were with and the memories you made together, which may spur waves of sadness or regret. One thing that can be very helpful in navigating the breakup process is relying on support from friends and family. You might also find it beneficial to seek professional help as you grieve the relationship and take steps to move forward.
How do you break up nicely?
Breaking up is never easy, but it’s important to do it nicely and leave things on a positive note. Here are a few tips to do just that:
Plan ahead what you are going to say to them. Don’t just wing it and hope for the best. By scripting out your words beforehand, you can figure out the right phrasing that will get the message across but break things off with them kindly and with respect. You may want to consider discussing what you will say with a trusted friend or family if you need some feedback on how to do this.
Second, though it is important to be honest, don’t be brutal when telling them why you are breaking up with them. You don’t want to cause your boyfriend/girlfriend/partner unnecessary pain or play the blame game during your breakup. Just explain diplomatically why you don’t think the both of you are a good fit.
If possible, you should aim for the goal of remaining friends. If you believe both you and your soon to be ex could continue to have fun together and get along, then you can suggest that the relationship can continue as a platonic friendship. However, don’t force this on your soon to be ex or use this line of thinking to give your partner false hope that things aren’t completely over. Don’t imply that you might get back together in the future or suggest that by being friends, they can turn things around.
However, there is no such thing as a perfect breakup. It will probably be uncomfortable and may not go as well or as smoothly as you would like. If you two had a genuine connection, then your ex boyfriend/girlfriend/partner will probably be sad or show some emotional pain. Be as gentle as you can during this experience and act with empathy. It’s okay to feel bad at that moment, but if you genuinely believe this breakup is good for both of you, then know that those feelings will heal. Though breakups are hard, by following these tips, you have a greater chance of ending things in a good place.
What are valid reasons to break up?
People break up with their partners for a variety of reasons, with almost all of them being valid. Essentially, if you and your partner are unhappy but either can’t find a solution or don’t want to, then it is a valid reason to break up. Below are a few scenarios that are a valid cause for a breakup.
- The fights aren’t productive: Every couple fights in their own relationships. But fights should be productive and lead to a solution or breakthrough. If you and your partner constantly argue with no progress or healing, then this may be a sign that you are not compatible.
- You never have good times anymore: If you aren’t having any fun or enjoy being around your partner, then it may be time to move on and find someone you do enjoy being with.
- You see a future without them: If you don’t see a future with someone, then you should stop trying to make a future with them. We all deserve to be with someone we want to make plans with, so if this isn’t the case with your partner, then you should consider breaking up. There isn’t any point in wasting someone’s time if you don't see a future with them, so breaking up with them will show you respect their time too.
- They are exhibiting abusive behavior: Abuse** in any form is never acceptable. Everyone deserves to be in healthy relationships that uplift them and don’ttear them down. If your partner is controlling, harmful, or putting you down, then it’s time to break things off.
- It just doesn’t feel right: Some people just aren’t a good fit with their partners. There is nothing wrong with this. It’s very common to initially have fun with someone and then realize your personalities don’t work together long term. Most people have experienced this at some point or another, and it is a very normal reason to break things off.
These are just a few of the many valid reasons to break up with someone. But keep in mind that if you aren’t happy and can’t or don’t want to fix things, then you probably have a valid reason to break things off. Just make sure to break the bad news to them gently, so they don’t feel worse than they have to. Respect goes a long way in these situations and can perhaps pave the way to remaining friends or staying on good terms.
**If you are experiencing domestic abuse or intimate partner abuse, then call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for help and resources.
Is it OK to break up with someone you love?
Yes, it is absolutely ok to break up with someone you love. You can easily love someone and realize that the relationship isn’t working out. This normally occurs when you realize being in the relationship hinders your well-being, even if your partner is not doing it intentionally.
For example, many people lose their sense of identity the more they stay with someone. The more your sense of identity is lost, the more you feel your identity is glued to the relationship. We are often poor observers of our relationships and habits and can take a while to realize that we have lost some of our uniqueness and inner spark when with someone for so long. However, having the awareness that this has happened can make people want to break up with partners immediately as they feel incomplete, having lost their sense of identity. Though this concern could be worked out through talking with your partner or counseling, it is also valid to want to break up and be on your own for a while.
Another example is when partners have different paths or dreams that don’t align. Perhaps one partner wants to travel around the world, but the other wants to stay put. If they can’t find a way to compromise, they may make the difficult decision to break things off.
So yes, it is absolutely normal and valid to break up with someone you love because you realize the two of you just aren’t a good fit anymore. There are many people who were in healthy relationships but broke things off because they knew they weren’t a good fit. It’s hard to be this honest with yourself, but it does occasionally happen.
But when breaking up, do it with honesty but also be respectful. You don't want to make the person feel worse than they have to at that moment. They will already be sad enough about the end of the relationship. You should also take the responsibility of doing it in person, especially if you have dated for a while. Nobody wants to hear about their breakup from a text, voice message, or from another person, so be respectful and do it in person.
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