The 5 Breakup Do’s: All’s Well that Ends Well

Breakup Do's and Don'ts
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Just because you’re breaking up doesn’t mean that all hell has to break loose. Of course, it’s never ideal to be put in a situation where you’re potentially going to hurt someone’s feelings, and that’s especially true when that someone is your boyfriend or girlfriend. And whether or not your partner has an inkling that a breakup might be looming, ending a relationship is a heavy and difficult task. After all, it’s likely that you did at some point care very much about your partner, and breaking up breaks down the hopes, dreams and plans that you had for a happy and healthy future together.

However, when you’ve made the final decision to break up with your mate, there are five key steps that can help ease the pain for both of you.

The Five Breakup Do’s

1. Go face to face. Sure, you might think it’s easier to send a text, email, Facebook message, speak on the phone or simply play the ghost card, but you owe it to your boyfriend or girlfriend to talk in person when you’re ending the relationship. Why? Because you’re not a jerk. And if you still think it’s better to avoid breaking up in person, just think about how you’d feel if the situation were reversed. Would you be annoyed, hurt or upset that your partner didn’t have the decency to talk to you in person? Would you feel as though your mate was trivializing or dismissing what you had together?

Take the opportunity to act like a mature adult and have the conversation in person, no matter how difficult, awkward or uncomfortable it may be. It’s only fair, mature and responsible to end your relationship in a way that’s respectful of each other as well as the connection you had with one another.  

2. Plan ahead. When you’re ending a relationship, it’s important to decide upon the details ahead of time. There’s no doubt that gyms, birthday parties, sporting events, crowded airports and the cereal aisle of a supermarket are not ideal locales for ending a relationship. Since your boyfriend or girlfriend may feel blindsided, shocked or sad, choose a private or secluded place to talk. That way, he or she doesn’t have to feel self-conscious, uncomfortable or embarrassed in an environment in front of other people. Since there may be hostility and even some tears, pick a location where you can get personal about this personal situation.

3. Think before you speak. It’s also important to determine beforehand what you’re going to say to your partner. If you head into the breakup conversation unprepared, you might end up not making sense, fighting, spewing insults and/or hurting your boyfriend or girlfriend much more than you ever intended. Since you’re the one initiating the breakup, improve the situation by doing some initial planning so that you’re not left doing improv and saying things you’ll regret.  

4. Be diplomatic. Along those lines, when you’re breaking up with your boyfriend or girlfriend, it’s important to be kind and speak in a way that’s thoughtful, caring and considerate of your partner’s feelings. While you may like to tell your girlfriend every single reason why you’re breaking up with her, from her desire to constantly correct your grammar, her incessant gossiping, her persistent neediness, her jealous fits and even the annoying way she twirls her hair, going through your list of grievances is a grave mistake. Instead of talking trash and bringing the conversation into the gutter, take the high road and keep it clean.

5. Don’t blame or shame. When you’re finally having the breakup discussion, it’s also important to put the focus on yourself and not on your partner. Instead of using the word “you” when talking about the reasons that things are ending or placing blame on what your partner is or isn’t doing, put the emphasis on yourself. Rather than accusing, faulting or making him or her feel personally attacked, base your comments on your own feelings, needs and concerns. “I’m not as happy as I’d like to be.” “I’m not feeling as strong of a connection as I want to.” “I’m just not able to give the relationship the time that it deserves.” Speaking from your heart while protecting the heart of your soon-to-be ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend is a way to respect what you had together—and this helps you both keep your self-respect as well.