Regardless of ‘why’ you are thinking about breaking-up with your current relationship interest, you probably still care about them to some degree, and if you have any class, you don’t want to hurt them in the process. So what can you do?
There have been many popular songs about heartache and breaking-up, but one of my favorites is the old Neil Sedaka standard…Breaking Up is Hard to Do. The reason it’s a favorite, is because it is so true.
If you find yourself at a point in your relationship where you believe it’s in your best interest to break-up, then there are 9 important tips to remember for getting the job done, in a caring manner.
Tip#1 Break-up as soon as you know
It is unhealthy to stay in a bad relationship. Life is too short to intertwine your life with someone else if it doesn’t have potential.
It is also cruel to string the other person along, if your heart isn’t into the relationship anymore. So break-up sooner as opposed to later.
Tip #2 Time your break-up
If you care about the other person at all, time your break-up when the other person is not in the midst of a crisis.
For example, if you know that your relationship interest is interviewing for a big job, auditioning for a leading role, studying for a major test, or burying their parent, wait.
This break-up isn’t just about you. In most scenarios, you can wait a short, reasonable period of time, for them to get through their major event, before you break-up with them.
Tip #3 Break-up face to face
You owe your relationship interest the dignity of an ‘in person’ break-up conversation. The other person needs to see your face, read your body language, and ask you the inevitable ‘why’ question.
You owe them an honest, direct response. It may be hard for you, but studies show that it is harder for the person being broken up with, then the person doing the breaking up.
Why? Because when you break up with someone, it is on your terms, on your timetable. You have decided. The other person is the receiver of the information.
They have not been given the chance to decide. They may be in shock, or in denial. You have had the advantage of planning it, and you have gotten used to the idea. Have pity on them. After all, they are losing YOU!
Tip #4 Choose your location carefully
While you need to be able to talk privately, a public place is best. Most people do not create a scene in public. Plus, you don’t want the other person to accuse you of any misconduct, like an assault, or worse.
Do not select a romantic location. You do not want the person to think you are proposing marriage, instead of breaking-up.
Tip #5 Begin and end well
Whatever you do, don’t start off the conversation with, “We’ve got to talk…” Whatever you do, don’t end the conversation with, “We can still be friends.”
Care about the feelings of your significant other enough to have a kind, direct, opening and ending statement.
Don’t resort to clichés. If you care about the person you are breaking up with, you should give advance thought to what you need to say to be firm, but let them down gently.
Resorting to the same old tired lines is disrespectful and implies you don’t value them.
Tip #6 Be honest, be brief, and be DRAMA free
Remember your goal when you started reading this article. You wanted tips for breaking-up with someone you care about. The best way to succeed is to be direct. Tell the truth in a sensitive way. Keep it simple.
Don’t go on and on. “How do I hate thee, let me count the ways.…” Don’t resort to drama.
Be kind, and compassionate, but don’t leave them hoping that you will take them back. Don’t send mixed messages to your relationship interest by saying things like, “I love you but…”
Tip #7 Listen to responses they may make to your break-up statement
They may only cry, or not say anything at all, but if they respond, or ask questions, respect their feelings. Answer questions honestly and in a direct, caring tone.
If they try to beg you not to break-up with them, tell them you have made up your mind, and then, be quiet.
Tip #8 Tie up loose ends
If you have clothes, mementos, jewelry, or other items, which belong to the other person, be prepared to return them.
Don’t send the wrong message by delaying the return of these items or making the other person have to nag you for their return.
The longer you keep them, the longer you remain connected to the other person.
Tip #9 Make a clean break
It is uncaring, and in bad taste, to break-up with someone you care about while trying to maintain an on-going relationship with the other person’s friends or family.
The general rule of thumb is that if the ‘friend’ was their ‘friend’ before you, then your love interest should not lose that friend in a break-up. If the ‘friend’ was your ‘friend’ before the relationship, you can keep them.
If you break-up with someone you care about, it is hurtful and rude to even think that you can still hang out with their mother, brother, dad, sister, etc.
Don’t try to drive a wedge between your ‘soon to be former’ relationship interest and their family members. Do the right thing. Finally, if you really care about the person, don’t immediately try to date one of their close friends, or a family member.
Showing class and respect when breaking up with someone you care about is important.
Word will get around. You don’t really want to jeopardize your chance to ever have a relationship with someone ever again, do you?
So be kind, caring, and direct. Good luck.
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