Ending a relationship with a significant other, whether you’ve been dating for weeks, months or years, is never easy. But, like most things in life, there are some ways to do it that are better than others. Here’s how to end a relationship the right way, while maintaining respect for your partner and for yourself.
Before you break the news, make a plan for what you want to say (and why). It can be helpful to write down some notes, both to keep you from forgetting things you want to say and to keep you from saying things you’ll regret.
If it’s possible, deliver the news in person, not in a letter or on a Post-It and definitely not in a text. Unless it’s dangerous to be with your significant other in person, have the guts to break up face-to-face. “This person, you have to remember, was once your love and you have to put yourself in their shoes,” dating coach Samantha Jayne told the Sydney Morning Herald back in August, adding using a text is “a really cold way to break up with someone.“
And whatever you do, don’t break up with them by just disappearing.
If it’s possible, try to break up with your partner somewhere relatively private, aka not the sidewalk, the subway or a crowded Starbucks. And please don’t do it on an airplane like these people.
Even if you’re not feeling so warmly toward your soon-to-be ex, remember that everything will go better if you stay as respectful as possible. Follow the basic rules of good communication, like using "I” instead of “you” statements.
And try not to dump everything on the other person. “Don’t blame,” psychologist Wendy Walsh told the Huffington Post in 2014 "Even if your partner was an awful person, you chose him or her. Learn from your mistakes.“ If the conversation starts to run in circles or become heated, take a break or suggest stopping before things get hurtful.
If things end amicably, say goodbye at the end of the conversation. Even if it doesn’t go well, still try to say goodbye. It will offer a kind of closure and make the next steps feel a little clearer.
In the days and weeks following a breakup, try to take a break from communication, including checking their Instagram and Snapchat. Trust us, it will make it easier for both of you.