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How to Break Up With Someone …

I felt every single one of the feelings below and it sucks! Typically strong, confident and secure, I felt weak, unwanted & not good enough

How to break up ...

Let’s be honest, if breaking up with someone was easy, you wouldn’t be reading this (and I wouldn’t need to help you). The real challenge isn’t just about ending a relationship but also about doing it in a way that sidesteps heartache, uncomfortable moments and messy misunderstandings as much as possible. It’s certainly no small feat!

Breaking up with someone you have been close to, is tough for many reasons. Perhaps you’ll miss their family, the love and support they provided during a particular phase in your life, or even the intimacy (which is completely valid). You might be genuinely concerned about causing pain to someone you care for, or perhaps you’re worried about how your mutual friends will perceive you. The bottom line is, that no matter how necessary it may be to move forward, breakups are never a walk in the park.

There’s no such thing as a “perfect breakup”. But if you’re the one who needs to share the sad news, there are ways to make it a bit less painful for both of you. Here’s some advice on how to break up with someone as kindly and effectively as possible.

1. Make sure you REALLY want to break up for good.

If you are contemplating ending things with your partner it’s so important to be sure that this is the route you want to take. Keep in mind, that calling it quits should always be a thought-through decision, not a spur-of-the-moment reaction. If there’s a storm of doubts and worries brewing in your mind, it’s only right to share these feelings with your partner before making any big decisions.

Have you heard of the term ‘surprise breakup’?

It’s when everything seems to be sailing smoothly in your relationship, then out of the blue, your partner drops the bombshell – they’re leaving. These unexpected endings can be heart-wrenching and a real challenge to bounce back from. But what if we chose a kinder, more understanding path? Start by sharing your worries and uncertainties as they crop up. Who knows – this openness might just reignite that spark in your relationship!

Also, bear in mind that breaking up should never be used as a weapon during an argument or as a means of controlling your partner. That’s just passive-aggressive behaviour – possibly even manipulative – and it certainly doesn’t contribute towards building a healthy relationship.

2. Think about what you will say.

Deciding to end a relationship is a big step. It’s crucial to give yourself some breathing room to ponder over what you want to express before diving into the conversation. Let’s face it, these discussions can be quite stressful and under stress, our logical thinking tends to take a back seat. A handy tip? Write down your thoughts and rehearse them beforehand. This will help you stay focused on your message even when emotions are running high.

Moreover, giving yourself time to plan ahead lets you think about the best way to convey this news. Strive for an even-handed tone – not accusing or assigning fault, but rather being empathetic, direct and truthful. Keep in mind, that it’s not only about the words we choose but also how we deliver them!

Truth be told, the perfect breakup speech is a myth. It’s completely normal to search for those ideal words, believing they might ease the pain of your soon-to-be former partner. But let’s not kid ourselves, breakups are hard and feeling sad is part of the journey. There will be a moment when you have to acknowledge that you’ve said all there is to say and bravely take that challenging step forward.

3. Practice being kind.

When you’re making plans to split, try to see things from your partner’s perspective. It’s not easy being on the receiving end of a breakup.

So, demonstrating a bit of empathy can help cushion the impact. Do you recall how effortless it was to empathise when you first fell head over heels in love? Of course, when you’re contemplating calling it quits, it might be tempting to disregard your partner’s feelings.

Believe me, a dash of kindness at this moment can prevent a world of trouble down the line. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a breakup, then you know precisely what I mean – recalling those emotions can significantly influence how you convey your message.

4. You won’t be able to control their reaction.

Regardless of how carefully you choose your words or how much empathy you pour into them, the reaction of the other person remains out of your hands. It’s a bit like sending a letter – you can ensure it’s well-written and heartfelt, but once it’s posted, how it’s received is beyond your control. There are no guarantees in conversations because while we can manage what we say, we can’t dictate how it will be interpreted.

Many factors can influence how your words are taken in. That’s why it’s so important to think ahead and figure out the most effective way to start the chat. For example, if you’re so wrapped up in ending things that you forget today is their birthday, they’re probably going to be more hurt than usual.

5. It’s completely OK to break up if you are not happy.

Parting ways with a partner never feels great. Especially when you hold deep feelings for them. But remember, there’s nothing wrong with choosing what’s best for YOU. So, let go of any guilt that might be clouding your decision. It’s okay to prioritise your happiness and well-being.

Remember, it’s perfectly fine to step away from a relationship that isn’t fulfilling your needs. It’s a decision you’re making for your own well-being because you can’t envision a shared future. And if the relationship doesn’t suit you, then it likely doesn’t suit them either, even if they haven’t realised it as much as you have.

Give your mental well-being a little boost by reminding yourself that not every relationship is destined to be the perfect fit. This doesn’t make your partner a wrongdoer or imply they’ve done anything amiss. You have a responsibility towards yourself and them to voice out when you feel the relationship isn’t fulfilling your needs. This way, both of you can move forward towards brighter prospects.

6. DO NOT DO IT BY TEXT!

If you’re comfortable with meeting your soon-to-be ex in person, it’s worth having that breakup conversation face-to-face. Yes, it’s a bit more challenging and awkward than doing it over the phone. But by choosing this approach, you’re showing that you respect them and the relationship you’ve shared. It’s about demonstrating care even in the most difficult moments.

Just a gentle reminder, though their feelings matter, your safety should always be your top priority. If meeting in person to end things doesn’t feel safe for you – whether due to a sense of threat from your ex – it’s perfectly okay to conclude things virtually. A phone call or FaceTime can be just as effective. Your well-being comes first, always remember that.

7. Pick your setting.

Choosing the “perfect” place for such a conversation isn’t straightforward, is it? It’s all about considering your partner’s perspective and figuring out where they might feel most comfortable hearing what you have to say. Just remember, places teeming with distractions – like a noisy restaurant, for example – may not be the best choice. You want to create an environment where you can fully engage, listen attentively, ask thoughtful questions and genuinely hear their responses.

Steering clear of public places entirely. “It’s not considerate to the person on the receiving end to have to manage a potential emotional overflow,” “This is a personal conversation that requires a private setting, ideally at your partner’s home, giving them the choice to ask you to leave whenever they feel it’s time.”

Remember, this advice is only relevant if you’re in a safe situation. If there’s even a hint of concern about your partner’s potential reaction, it’s crucial to put your safety first.

Choose a public location like a bustling park for the meeting, where you can have a friend close by for support. Alternatively, consider ending the relationship over the phone if that feels safer for you.

8. Do not use Dutch Courage.

You might feel the urge to have a few drinks before you dive into that breakup conversation. After all, alcohol can sometimes make words flow more easily. But trust me, it’s not the best idea. When we’ve had a drink or two, we’re not fully in the moment.

When it comes to ending a relationship, being present is crucial so you can be truthful and considerate and remember all those important things you want to say.

9. Prepare that it might hurt them.

When you’ve been in a long-term relationship with your partner, any difficult conversation will likely cause them some distress, especially if it’s about parting ways. It’s natural to feel this way even when both of you realise that moving on is the best course of action.

Remember, it’s okay to acknowledge their pain but also understand that you’re not to blame for how they feel. As the saying goes, “Everyone is on their own journey.” Your aim should be to communicate honestly and openly without feeling overly responsible for their emotional response.

Here’s something crucial to remember: No matter what you say, it might not bring them the closure they’re hoping for. So, don’t enter this conversation to wrap things up neatly and transition from lovers to quiz night buddies seamlessly.

10. Use “I”.

When it comes to expressing your feelings, it’s essential to speak from your perspective, without pointing fingers or laying blame. You’re the one who has concluded that this relationship isn’t quite right for you and you’ve decided to step away. So, the most constructive approach is to own up to your emotions using “I” statements rather than saying things like ‘You never really liked my family’ or ‘You don’t enjoy going out as much as I do’.

11. Be straight up.

Avoid skirting around the issue or subtly implying that you want to end things without actually verbalising it. It might feel like a gentler approach at the time, but believe me, it’s not. The most compassionate thing you can do is to be honest and say, “We’re just not right for each other.”

12. Be gentle.

Steer clear of rattling off a long list of reasons why the relationship isn’t quite right for you.

When your partner asks for the exact reasons behind the breakup, it’s perfectly okay to recognise their need for more clarity. You might want to share a reason or two but remember to express it from your perspective, using “I” statements. This way, you’re sharing your feelings without blaming them.

In essence, you need to echo the overarching feeling that you simply don’t believe you’re a suitable match. Diving into all those minor details is only necessary if you’re keen on mending the relationship.

13. Don’t make it personal.

When it comes to breakups, it’s important to keep in mind that they often mirror the problems within the relationship itself, rather than being about your partner’s shortcomings. There are countless reasons why couples decide to go their separate ways, but at the heart of it all, it’s typically because the relationship has run its course. And let’s not forget – relationships are a two-way street. So, take a moment for some self-reflection and recognise your part in why things didn’t pan out as expected.

The relationship you’ve built is what’s not working for you. It’s not about you being flawed, or them having issues. It’s simply that the mix of both your personalities isn’t bringing as much joy or fulfilment as it should.

14. Prepare to listen to them.

Even though you’ll be steering the conversation, it’s crucial to also be ready to listen attentively. It might not always be easy; what you hear may not always sit well with you. Your partner’s reaction could vary greatly, but they likely want their voice to be heard, perhaps even have the final say. So, think about what your partner needs in that moment and brace yourself to respond and behave appropriately.

15. Plan for how they may react.

There’s no crystal ball to tell us exactly how your partner will react to the breakup, but it’s wise to brace yourself for a range of responses.

If they show anger, remember, that it’s part and parcel of the situation. Acknowledge their emotions. You could say something along the lines of, “I see that you’re angry; it’s completely understandable.” This approach might help to ease the tension a bit. Meanwhile, keep your cool and resist matching their anger with yours.

You might also consider asking, “Are you comfortable continuing this conversation?” or “Would you prefer to take a breather and resume our chat in a bit?” If the anger escalates to abuse or any form of threat, it’s important for you to assertively state, “This behaviour is unacceptable,” and promptly end the discussion. Always remember, staying in relationships out of fear of the other person’s reaction is never a healthy choice.

If they get upset, it’s important to show them that you understand their feelings. You could offer a comforting hug or another gesture that shows you care. But remember, they might not be ready to accept this just yet and that’s okay.

If they vow to transform themselves, kindly express your appreciation for their offer. However, make it clear that the breakup is due to the relationship not being a good match. Even if they were to change, your feelings about the situation wouldn’t be altered. Also, let them know that any changes should be for their personal growth and happiness rather than just to please you or anyone else.

15. Don’t give false hope.

At times, you might feel the urge to soften the impact of a breakup by suggesting a potential reunion in the future. But if there’s no real chance of that happening, it’s best not to give false hope. Imagine saying, “Perhaps after my Uni exam…” Your partner will be anxiously waiting for that call once your exams are over.

If deep down you know they’re not right for you and there’s almost no chance of getting back together, honesty is your best policy.

17. Share a few positives.

While the main topic of your conversation should be about the breakup, it’s also considerate to share some positive reflections about your partner. You know, it’s important to acknowledge how this person has enriched your life. These sentiments could fit in nicely as you’re concluding the conversation. As things wind down, no matter their response, take a moment to thank your partner for all those cherished memories. Show gratitude and express regret that things didn’t pan out as expected.

18. Be kind to yourself. 

Once the dust has settled after the breakup, it’s really important to take some time for a little self-reflection. Ask yourself: “How did that relationship make me feel?” and “What am I feeling right now?” It’s all about understanding your emotions and learning from them.

Just remember, it’s perfectly okay to end a relationship. You might be feeling down at the moment, but trust me, this is just a passing phase.

Let’s take a moment to recognise that you’ve just accomplished something incredibly tough. Even if you were the one who chose to end things, it doesn’t mean you’re immune to emotions. As you steer your way through these challenging feelings, remember to be gentle with yourself and put self-care at the top of your list.

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