“Why haven’t you broken up with him yet?” I asked her. “You told me you were unhappy weeks ago.”
“I know. I am. I just don’t know how.”
I wanted to tell her to just do it, to “rip the bandage” and just get it over with quickly, but it was much easier said and done. She was waiting for a time when it would be easy and painless. I told her that wasn’t going to happen.
The first thing you have to realize is that there is no painless way.
It simply doesn’t exist. You both might feel sad, hurt, or lonely. That does not mean that you need to stay in the relationship. There is nothing you can do about this. You can only try and make it easier for the both of you.
As you continue reading, you are about to learn the steps on how to break up with someone the best way. If you have made your decision, just use the following steps as a guideline.
STEP 1. Take some time to think
If you’ve been in a relationship for a while, take a few days away to think about what you are going to say. That means, no real contact. It will give you some emotional distance. Now if your boyfriend has been abusive, cheated, or something similar you don’t really need to “break up”. Just stop answering your phone and texts. Situations like that required an immediate response. But for an average break up, just cut off contact for a week before. Do not be dramatic or wordy; just say you’re busy. While you think, be careful who you speak with. Run things by a trusted confidant. If your best friend, mother, or favorite aunt is always encouraging you to have a boyfriend, no matter who is he is, don’t talk to them about the break-up.
STEP 2. Make a decision
Sometimes your head and heart are at odds with each other. It’s really important that you make a decision. Don’t threaten a break-up unless you mean it and don’t use it as a negotiation tool: “I will break up with you if you don’t take me to that restaurant…”
To help you with making the decision, I suggest that you make a list of all the reasons why you want to break up. A list might sound a little bit like homework, but it will help. Then go through your list and reflect whether or not you have done everything you could to solve the problems you’ve had.
By knowing the reasons for the upcoming break up, you will on one hand be prepared for questions your partner might ask, and on the other hand they will help you to cope with the break up yourself.
If you are sure and ready then:
STEP 3. Do it in person
Always talk to your boyfriend in person (as long as you feel safe). It can be tempting to break up with someone over email, texts or even instragram, but it is rude. If you don’t do it face to face, it won’t seem real. It also opens the door to continual texts and emails. If you just can’t bring yourself to see him, at least do it on the phone.
STEP 4. Be prepared
This is going to be difficult, but be prepared. Know what you are going to say and the reasons. This is where your boyfriend may beg, threaten, bargain or even get emotional. Stay strong. Leave when you need to leave.
I had a friend who stayed with her boyfriend for hours because he could not understand why they were breaking up. He just wore her down and by the end of the night, they were still together. Make sure you avoid body contact—no kissing! Be confident and firm in what you are saying.
STEP 5. Always be clear that it’s absolutely over
This is the most difficult part: Never, ever let there be any doubt that your relationship is over.
You’ve made your decision. Stick to it whenever you talk to your partner. Never give any hope. The clearer you are, the better and easier it is for the person in the long run. Always keep in mind: there is no painless way.
This may sound cold-hearted, but it isn’t. The earlier he/she accepts that it is over, the earlier he/she can start the healing and separation process.
“who knows, maybe in the future…”
“A part of me still loves you”
“I never loved anybody as I loved you”
“I just need some time to think it over”
“We can still be friends”
“We can still be friends” is one of the worst things you can say. You think, of course we can be friends. We were friends before we dated. Maybe you can---eventually, but if you are walking to class in the same way you did the day before, how is that break-up going to stick? Don’t say it out loud. It doesn’t help. I know it is tempting sometimes to say all of this, (especially if there are still feelings from your side). You will feel the urge to ease the pain by saying something he/she wants to hear, but this is wrong because it gives him hope.
STEP 6. No Contact
Remember, the goal is not to make him understand, he may not, no matter what you say. Keeping the “no contact rule” is vital.
So my friend Mike’s girlfriend broke up with him, but they still had classes together. This couldn’t be avoided, no one was going to drop out of school. Mike still picked her up and drove her to class—still. He said he wanted to, of course he did, but she should have found another way to school. It didn’t help him heal or even feel the break up. Mike didn’t realize they had truly broken up till he saw her on campus holding hands with another guy.
Do not go to places where you might meet. If they call or email you, keep the response short and non-personal. Never call, email or text message first, not even to ask how they’re feeling.
Now you have a list with 6 steps showing how to break up with someone. They will make the difficult task easier for both parties. Be Firm!
Remember to take some time to think about what you want in a relationship. Figure out why you chose your ex-boyfriend and why it didn’t work out. Don’t just jump into another relationship without learning from your past one. There are some girls that cannot be without a boyfriend for more than a few weeks, this says more about them than the guys. Even if everyone is pushing you to date again, don’t do it till you are ready and till you find someone worth dating. It will save another painful break-up in the long run.