Breaking up is not fun. And how to break up with someone is not written in stone anywhere. For obvious reasons, being the one who is being broken up with pretty much sucks. It’s an uncomfortable and sometimes sad situation. As bad as the person who is being dumped has it, we often forget about the person who is doing the breaking up. Because being the breaker-upper is pretty crappy as well.
There are a lot of things to consider before breaking up with someone, but once you are sure that the relationship isn’t right for you, you have to figure out how to go about everything. You need to choose your words wisely and go about things delicately so as to not hurt the person you are with or yourself anymore than necessary. There’s never a right way to do these sorts of things and each couple will have to go about it in a different way. But as a general rule of thumb, here is how to break up with someone nicely.
1. Do it in person.
If and when it is at all possible, break up with them in person. You hear the horror stories all the time about text message or over the phone break ups. Don’t be that person. Grow a pair and do it face-to-face. It’s going to suck, yes. It’s going to be uncomfortable, absolutely. But the best way to explain yourself and get the message clear is by doing it in person.
2. Pick the right time to do it.
First off, avoid major events and holidays. The emotional scarring from a break up at Christmas will stick with some people every year, ruining what was once a happy day. They will never truly enjoy that event or holiday again if the memories of your breakup linger in the back of their minds. And don’t do it the day before or the day after either. That’s not really any better. There are 365 days in a year, you’ve got plenty of options.
3. Choose an appropriate place.
Some things are best done in the privacy of one’s home. If you think your partner is going to be quite emotional, it would be preferable to do the break up at their place or somewhere close by so they don’t have to drive far or go anywhere once it’s all said and done. If you’re nervous or unsure of their reaction, do it in public. It doesn’t have to be at a crowded bar or restaurant, but maybe a park instead. Just remember, no matter how you decided to say everything or where you end up saying it, the other person isn’t likely to take it very well.
4. Tell the 100% truth.
Before you meet up, make a list to really focus on what’s gone wrong to make you come to this decision. Figure out how you want to communicate it. It’s so easy to remember the good times, but you don’t want to be bringing those up here. Whatever you do, don’t lie about why you want to breakup. The truth will come out eventually and it will hurt more if the other person finds out later.
5. Be clear.
Once you’ve told the truth, it is important that you stay on the right track and are clear about your decision. If the other person is upset, you may feel the need to soften the blow by deciding on taking a break first. It’s normal to feel compassion for someone hurting that you once cared so much about. But if you made the decision to break up before meeting up, then follow through with that decision. You don’t want to give them any sort of false hope.
6. Be sympathetic, but firm.
You shouldn’t be mean about the breakup but try not to send any mixed signals. Your kindness in this situation can help move things along more smoothly. Again, don’t give in to them asking for more time or a break. There is no point in dragging the relationship out any longer if you previously decided it was time for it to end.
7. Know that it’s probably not going to end pretty.
The person being broken up with probably isn’t going to be happy. And once it’s all said and done, you may not feel so great yourself. As hard as it is on the other person, it’s ok for it to be hard on you, too. Despite the fact that you know it’s the right thing to do, you may feel sad and that’s ok. On the other hand, sometimes people being broken up with react in surprising and strange ways. Don’t take it personally. Give them time to accept your decision and deal with their emotions. Most breakups don’t end as well as we imagine them to.
8. Figure out how to move forward.
This may be one of the harder parts of breaking up. Perhaps you could let the other person decide how they want to go about finalizing the breakup. They may not be ready to exchange personal possessions from each other’s’ houses. Let them process it and they will let you know when they are ready.
For you, pick your head up and look to the future. Surely, you’ve made the right decision and things will start to brighten up soon.