A relationship coming to an end is never easy, but it is even harder when leaving someone you really care about. Maybe you are breaking up because while you enjoy your partners support, it is a platonic love and no longer romantic. Perhaps you were first friends and the relationship aspect is just not working out as well. No matter the case, splitting up with someone you truly care about while sparing their feelings can be tough.
Lots of people remain in relationships too long because they are worried about hurting the other person or experiencing life without that person. However, if there really is no future together, then delaying the breakup is unfair. If you do need to break up while causing as little pain as possible, try the following tips. While breaking someone’s heart is always hard, honesty is still the best option.
Be Honest with Yourself
Before making a move in any direction, be totally honest with yourself about your wants and needs. If you really are not happy in the relationship then you need to figure out why you have been staying together. It could be anything from not wanting to leave around the holidays to worrying about finding a new place to live. We can love someone without being in love, but that is not a good enough reason to stay in a relationship. Even though it will be painful, if unhappy, end it sooner rather than later.
Talk in Private
Be respectful enough of your partner to break up in private. Take a quiet walk or sit down in your home. A break up causes vulnerability that should not be on display for others. Allow them the privacy necessary to display emotion without embarrassment. The only exception to the rule is if a partner is hot headed and may become overly agitated. In this case, choose somewhere quiet, possibly with outdoor seating, but in which people will be around.
Try Not to Surprise Them
When planning to break up, choosing a spot that could be considered a date can make things harder. Your partner may be shocked by the separation so make sure to preface the talk with, “I’d like to talk to you about something.” This at least offers them warning.
Be Honest with Them
Having a clean and clear breakup is simply the most respectful thing to do. While it will be painful, it is better than ghosting someone and leaving them wondering what happened. Being direct means the other person has the chance to heal and move on. While you should be direct, also be positive, supportive, and empathetic. If you are not normally assertive, write out two or three reasons you are breaking up so you can keep your train of thought. Always end with something along the lines of “I don’t want to hurt you, but this relationship is not working and I want to break up.”
Be Sensitive to Their Feelings
Remember to remain kind to your ex and be aware of how your actions may affect them. This is true even after you have broken up. If you were the one that broke it off, do not try to contact them because it will send mixed signals. Only respond to messages if they are seeking closure, but not for other reasons. Be clear and consistent in this message for as long as it takes. Go as far as staying away from places that you are likely to run into them for a few months, especially with a new partner. This gives them time to heal. Also unfriend them on social media and be cautious of what you post so as not to hurt them further.