How to break up with someone
Love is the most powerful of emotions, which makes the act of ending a relationship notoriously tricky. And while getting dumped isn’t fun at all, initiating the breakup can also be pretty awful.
Leaving without causing irreparable harm or enduring embarrassing scenes is “difficult to navigate,” said Alex Mellor-Brook, co-founder of Select Personal Introductions, especially if that person will remain in your life “socially or professionally, so you will meet again and again.”
So be nice. “No matter the circumstances, I always recommend breaking up in a way that you hope someone will break up with you because empathy can be incredibly powerful,” he added.
If you’re going through this trying chapter of life, read on for advice from relationship experts on how to break up with someone as easily as possible.
1. First, ask why the relationship isn’t working
Rebecca Lockwood, a coach specializing in neuro-linguistic programming and hypnosis, said Newsweek“When we’re in a relationship, sometimes it’s not a good fit, but we can feel like the breakup is so hard.
“It’s important that you understand why you want to break up with someone because it will help you accept it yourself and then have the conversation with the other person.”
2. Acknowledge that it’s OK to break up
It’s ‘OK to want to break up,’ says corporate psychologist Dannielle Haig Newsweek. “You have every right to realize at any time that this relationship is no longer worth pursuing.”
However, how you tell your partner is important. “There’s no need to leave things on a bad note. You don’t have to stay friends, but you can lessen the pain for everyone involved by being considered in what you say,” said Haig added.
“Explain your feelings. Make it clear to someone why it’s not working for you in a calm way. Explaining can help the other party understand each other better and will also help provide them with more closure.”
3. Be frank, but kind
Karima Al-Saidi, a lawyer at British firm Maguire Family Law, believes the “perfect breakup” doesn’t exist, but honesty is important.
She said Newsweek“The prospect of separation is daunting and unsettling for most of us, as it challenges our own identities – who we were before settling down with our other halves and who we will move forward.
“Many of us are not only worried about how we will cope emotionally and practically, but also how our partners and spouses will react to the separation.
“For those of us with children, there is also the added pressure of wanting to make sure the separation is as amicable as possible so that the children are not affected and drawn into adult issues.
“The nicest way to break up with someone is to sit face to face and make sure you communicate your feelings clearly to them.
“If you walk around the issues for fear of inflicting pain, you could potentially give false hope of reconciliation, or they may not even understand why you are breaking up with them.”
She added: “This will only apply in a relationship where there has been no domestic violence. If you have been in an abusive relationship, your safety is of paramount importance. There are charities and organizations you can contact to help you leave an abusive relationship.”
4. Respect the other person
Max Daniels, an author whose novel The manipulator tackles toxic relationships, suggests you “forget what you saw in that episode of Friends or how I Met Your Mother. The reality of breakups shouldn’t be so dramatic.”
He said Newsweek“Try not to play with these stereotypes, by texting, saying ‘It’s not you, it’s me’, etc. The important thing is to respect the other person. Speak calmly, kindly and without confrontation.”
Daniels also has a warning for those who say they want to stay friends. “Breaking up is hard and if you’re hoping to have your cake and eat it too, you may have to think about whether you really want to break up. Hoping to still be friends is possible, but won’t happen immediately.
“People need time. If your hope of staying friends is for a casual fling or a one-night stand, then you’ll keep that wound festering for a long time.”
5. Be smart with compassion
Rosie Wilby, actress and author of The breaking monologuesbelieves that a breakup is one that will “allow the other person to act”.
“It’s awful to feel like you have no control over the situation,” she said, describing a discussion with fellow comedian Jessica Fostekew about her split from the father of her child.
Fostekew told Wilby that “everything about how they broke up and how they would continue to be co-parents was up for discussion. The one thing that wasn’t up for discussion was the fact that the relationship would unfortunately have to end.”
Wilby cautioned: “Keep in mind that while you may have thought about ending the relationship for a long time, the other person may have no idea what’s coming. It may be a shock.
“A community known as the Keristans in 1970s San Francisco pioneered a concept of ‘graceful distancing’, which allowed each person to create alternative support networks and acclimatize to the separation. It was a precursor to ‘conscious decoupling’, popularized by Gwyneth Paltrow.”
Whatever term you use to describe it, “communication, mutual respect and compassion are key if you want to have any sort of ongoing friendship or a respectful way to retain a sense of family,” Wilby added. .
6. Avoid clichés
Tina Wilson, founder of dating app Wingman, thinks avoiding the mundane is best for both parties during a breakup.
‘Don’t use cliched lines,’ she advised, pointing to ‘It’s not you, it’s me’ or ‘You’ll find someone, you deserve it’ as some of the most hurtful things to hear if you have not seen the end of the relationship to come.
“Everyone knows it means nothing and it’s just said that they’re trying to smooth things over. The ex will then question themselves and over-analyze everything, which will make the process of overcoming the relationship even more difficult.”