Breaking up is so difficult. It can be really hard if you’re the one instigating it, and even harder if you’re receiving the news. There are a variety of circumstances leading up to a breakup: cheating, falling out of love, acting on a deal breaker, personal issues, difference of opinion or moving apart are just a few.
How do you end a relationship, in the least possible painful way? How do you break up in the nicest way?
It’s a confusing time, and really really difficult. You never know the right words to say or how they’re going to react.
Breaking up with someone you love is hard, but what’s harder is if you’re a coward about it. If you’re indecisive and prolong the process. If you start acting really weird and ignore your partner for days in the hope that space will make them so fed up with you, that it’ll be easier.
The most infuriating way to break up with someone is to spend days or weeks ‘deciding’ if you want to be with them. For your partner to be confused, upset, hurt and ultimately heartbroken at this sudden weird behaviour. This is the easy way out, the selfish way.
If you can’t decide if you want to be with someone, then you shouldn’t be with them. It’s better for both of you to end it. Clean break.[Read: How To Handle Seeing Your Ex With Someone New]
If you’ve made your decision, here are some steps to keep in mind:
#1 Don’t vanish
Most people who want to end a relationship try to avoid their partner and distance themselves with rubbish excuses. Understand that your partner deserves to know what’s going on in your mind and has every right to know the truth about your feelings.
You can express your views that you’re not happy in the relationship, but you should never ignore your partner’s calls or avoid them in person.
#2 End things face-to-face
Phone, text, post-it note… it’s tempting to break up with you partner this way, but it’s super insulting to your partner, and the relationship.
If you don’t feel comfortable having the conversation at your home, then go to a private park, or a quiet cafe. Face to face is much harder, but it allows for all of the questions to be answered, all the words to be said, and it’s a lot more respectful.
There may be tears, shouting, a few swear words, and some pleas to not end things, but it needs to happen in person where you can’t avoid each other.
#3 Keep in mind why it’s not working
What usually holds us back from breaking up, is when we look back at the relationship with rose-tinted glasses. We only remember the positive times, and seemingly forget all the reasons why it’s not working.
Remember why the relationship needs to end, and remember you both deserve better.
#4 Don’t be mean
Nasty words, unpleasant exchanges, insults and negative times may be dragged up and brought into the mix, as a way of acting out at the situation.
Avoid picking an argument and bringing up faults, stick to your reasons and try and make the conversation as calm as possible.
#6 Be honest
You need to explain, honestly, why the relationship isn’t working and why you feel the way you do. It’s no good just saying your don’t think it’s working and leaving it at that. You need to properly explain that as much as you love them, it’s not working and you both deserve better.
Avoid lying about the reasons, if you have fallen out of love with them – tell them. If you can’t get over them cheating, explain it. If you really love them but know it can’t work and your mind is made up, let them know.
Remember, this is really painful for both of you. Your partner maybe really hurting right now, you owe them the truth.
#7 Letting go
Don’t walk out of the relationship angry, or with questions left unsaid, or without a definitive result. This will just lead to more tears, and probably a few kisses in between. Leaving things in a grey area will just get your soon-to-be-ex’s hopes up.
Definitely avoid ‘break-up sex’. It may seem like a good idea at the time, but it’s an accident waiting to happen, and will just lead to even more emotional confusion. A final kiss and a warm hug, on the other hand, can help both of you understand the finality of the situation if you’re both really ready to let go.
If you decided to stay friends, it’s still best to give each other space for a few months to properly get over the relationship without temptation or bringing up feelings.[Read: What To Do Immediately After A Relationship]
I know it’s hard and it’s never as simple as this. Whether you’d harbouring hard feelings, or feel guilty, if you know in your heart and gut that the relationship isn’t right: don’t stay in it.
So, there you have it, the nicest way to break up with someone. It’ll hurt and confuse you, but it’s better for both of you to live happily as individuals rather than live unhappily as a couple.