How to Break Up With Someone You Still Love

Woman in serious thought.
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Deciding to break up with someone is never easy, especially when you still love this person. The last thing that you’d ever want to do is hurt his or her feelings, but there are times when loving someone just isn’t enough to sustain a relationship. After all, you may love your partner deeply, but you may have different long-term goals, are heading to separate locales across the country (or even the world) or just aren’t ready to make a commitment at this time.

And if you’re faced with this kind of difficult situation, it’s important to keep these six points in mind so that you can do your best to not break the heart of the person who still has yours.

1. Make sure that you’re totally confident in your decision.

If you’re feeling that you should break up with someone you love, it’s important that you’re truly sure of this decision to end your relationship. In fact, rather than acting hastily and breaking up with someone you love before you’re certain it’s what you really want, it’s in your best interest (as well as your partner’s) to thoroughly think this decision through. And by taking the time to be totally secure in your choice to break up, you won’t risk regretting your actions soon after you end a relationship that was worth saving.

2. Find a private place to talk.

If you’re planning to break up with someone you love, timing is everything. And since this is a deeply personal conversation that may cause a few tears, it’s important to pick a private place that’s free from distractions and interruptions.

For instance, rather than having this difficult conversation surrounded by people or with the TV blasting, it’s important that you sit down face-to-face in a quiet place so that the two of you can really talk.

3. Know what you are going to say ahead of time.

When you’ve decided to break up with someone you love, it’s imperative that you plan ahead regarding what you’d like to say to him or her.

To that end, without proper planning, you may end up blurting out things that you don’t mean, not expressing yourself clearly and/or giving your partner mixed messages about your relationship’s future. On the other hand, if you do some advanced prepping and have planned in your mind what you’d like to say, your actual conversation will go far more smoothly.

4. Place the focus on yourself.

So how do you frame this difficult conversation? The best approach is to place the focus on yourself. In other words, rather than emphasizing what your partner did or didn’t do, you should shift the focus to yourself and your feelings. For instance, by telling your partner that you’re just not in the right place in your life to have a serious relationship or that you’re not willing to give up your desire to have children can help your partner understand exactly where you’re coming from without feeling as though he or she let you down in some way. Plus, by focusing on yourself rather than your partner, he or she will feel less personally attacked.

5. Choose to be kind.

When it comes to break ups, you should always choose to take the high road and be kind and respectful of your partner. After all, while there may have been things that bothered you about him or her and/or situations that you wish he or she had handled differently, these kinds of judgmental comments and criticisms are better left unsaid.

So rather than spewing insults or placing blame, you should opt to act in a mature way and choose compassion over cruelty.   

6. Recognize that staying in each other’s lives isn’t always an option.

When you’re breaking up with someone you love, you may feel compelled to want to keep him or her in your life in some capacity. After all, when you still care about this person and have loving feelings toward him or her, the thought of having to cut off all contact may sound severe. However, it’s important to keep in mind that remaining friends may be too difficult for your partner, and he or she may never want to see you or even speak to you again. And while this may be hard to accept, loving this person means being respectful of the role that he or she’d like you to play in his or her life going forward.