No one likes to go through a break-up. Even in the best case scenario-truly mutual, respectful and friendly-it’s still something of an emotional scar to bear for a while as it’s hard not to think about where things could have gone better. However, everyone has to go through a break-up at some point and many girls, at one point or another, has had to break things off with her guy. If you’re thinking that it might be time to call it quits, how can you go through the break-up without causing too much bad feeling, drama and hardship all around?
Planning Your Exit Strategy
It’s very important to first figure out why you want to break out with this person. Is the relationship harmful? Are you drifting apart? Are you no longer attracted to him? Have values and life plans changed and no longer mesh? Sit down with your thoughts and figure out why you want out of the relationship. Once you’ve got that organized-on paper or in your head or both-then you can move on to telling him why you feel the way you feel.
Offer to meet your guy somewhere quiet, but not isolated. You don’t want to do a break-up on a date or in the middle of a crowd as this is painful and humiliating, but you also don’t want to be somewhere completely isolated in case he turns violent or frightening.
You should try to avoid breaking up over social media, texting or a phone call unless the relationship was still pretty new and feelings were still pretty light. If it’s been a while for this relationship, a face to face break-up is hard, but it’s the only polite thing to do.
One of the most important things to do in any break-up is to be kind, but honest in your intentions. You don’t want to leave any ambiguity and you don’t want to let him down in an insulting fashion. Clearly state your reasons for the break-up in a way that is as painless as possible, but without sugar-coating the whole thing. Avoid things like:
- It’s not you, it’s me (this is incredibly insulting. Obviously something is not syncing with you in regards to the guy and saying otherwise is just lazy)
- I don’t deserve you (again, insulting. It may sound like you’re trying to be nice, but it comes off as very false. If you really don’t deserve him, shouldn’t you be glad you have him instead of trying to fob him off?)
- Cutting him off with no explanation. This is rude and leaves things completely unfinished
- Getting someone else to break you up. Rude.
- Being rude or disinterested or otherwise ‘tricking’ them into breaking up with you. It’s cowardly.
- Listing his faults and calling him out on them. This can lead to an argument and is honestly quite mean.
Instead, you should sit down with your soon to be ex-boyfriend and explain as nicely as you can what’s going on in the relationship and why you feel like it has to end. For this to happen properly, you should have spent some time before the Talk thinking about your feelings, how things have changed and why you no longer wish to be with this person. If you’re absolutely stuck, simply saying that this relationship isn’t working for you is clear and to the point.
Expect questions and be ready to answer them. He has every right to ask why you no longer feel the same about him and what has changed. Be ready to answer, but be consistent at the same time: this is not working for me; I no longer want to be in this relationship, etc. Don’t let him try to sway you with promises to change; you want out for a reason! Come at the break-up from a position of respect, even if he flies off the handle, and it will be easier.
At the end of the discussion, you can give him a gentle hug and wish him well. Once that’s done, leave and let the two of you untangle your feelings alone. There is no sense in lingering.
Don’t be surprised if you feel sad, lost, a bit depressed, lonely and fearful that you made a mistake. These are all normal feelings no matter how set you are on the relationship ending and they should be worked through as such. Do things that you enjoy to distract yourself, hang out with friends and family and work on you for a while. When you’re ready again, dive back into the dating pool!
Another thing to bear in mind is what sort of relationship you will have with your ex. Will you two simply stop talking or will you want to keep up a friendship? Will you just avoid each other or will there be things to keep throwing you together and how will it be handled? It’s important to keep your distance for at least a little while so you don’t rebound back into the relationship, but if you feel there may be value in a friendship-and you both feel that way-then see what happens going that route. Just be careful to keep your friendship and your history as separate as possible and keep your boundaries clear.
Break-ups aren’t easy, but they happen and they should be handled in a mature and even handed fashion. Be open about what you want and need, be firm in your boundaries, and be ready to stick to your guns. It will be over soon and you can get on with your life with as little drama as possible. Good luck!