Ending a relationship is painful, especially so when you’re still in love with them.
It’s confusing and tricky and you never really know what to say or how your soon-to-be-ex is going to react.
There’s one thing you need to understand before you break up with someone you love, and that’s never to end a relationship like a coward.
[Read: Reasons behind why love starts to hurt when you’re in a bad romance]
How to break up with someone
Let’s face it, it’s really easy to ignore a lover for a few days until they get pissed, call you up and yell at you.
And then you give your lover a ridiculously lame excuse and wait for them to say they can’t take this relationship anymore.
And then you grin a sigh of bitter relief because you could avoid the confrontation.
There’s another easier way too, and this is actually the most common way to break up.
You purposely bring up a touchy subject while you’re on the phone, and wait for your partner to lose their lid.
And somewhere in the conversation, you fake genuine enlightenment and tell you partner that this can’t go on, because both of you are so different. [Read: How to let go of someone you love by hating them]
And that’s another cowardly way to break up.
Now both these ways of breaking up are foolproof and you can definitely use it too. The best part of ending a relationship this way is that you don’t really need to confront your lover or even initiate the breakup conversation.
But it’s never really the end.
The risks of breaking up badly
When you break up like a coward, there are always rebounds from both sides of the relationship, and there are sobbing calls and make ups and breaks up and a few kisses in between.
If you really want to know how to break up with someone you love, you need to stay away from quick and easy ways, because they can actually end up lingering longer and make you and your partner feel more miserable. [Read: Should you ever date your ex again after breaking up?]
The right way to break up with someone you love
When you’re considering a break up, you need to ask yourself a few questions to understand your own mind. Can you really handle the break up and can you stay firm with your decision? These questions will help you find that out.
#1 If your partner asks for a second chance, would you be willing to give a chance?
#2 Do you think you’d have a change of heart in the middle of the conversation?
#3 Do you constantly have second thoughts about breaking up? Do you wonder if you should change your mind?
#4 Are you just angry with your partner based on present circumstances?
#5 Would you prefer to take a break in the romance before you call the relationship off? [Read: Steps in taking a break in a relationship and how it works]
If you’ve answered most of these questions in the affirmative, it probably means you’re still in love with your partner, and not really ready to end the relationship yet.
And even if you do want to break up, there’s a greater chance that you’d get back again if your partner wants to get back with you. [Confession: I miss him but I don’t think he misses me]
The real way to end a relationship
If you’ve given up all hope of staying happy in love even though you love your partner, and are ready to end the relationship, here are 8 steps you need to follow to end a relationship the right way.
#1 Don’t avoid your partner before breaking up. Most lovers who want to end a relationship try to avoid their partner and distance themselves with silly excuses. Understand that your partner deserves to know what’s going on in your mind and has every right to know the truth about your feelings.
You can express your views that you’re not happy in the relationship, but you should never ignore your partner’s calls or avoid them in person.
At times, it may just be a phase or a misunderstanding that created all the differences. Before you seriously consider ending the relationship, give it some time to see if both of you can better your relationship and make it work first. [Read: 9 stages in a relationship all couples go through]
#2 Remember the reasons. We love clutching at straws and looking at the good side in everything, especially if it involves a big change in our lives. Don’t be afraid of change, especially if it will make you feel better and happier.
This can seem childish, but make a list of all the reasons why you want to break up with the one you love. It will give you the strength to stick with your decision even if a few days pass since your last argument.
#3 Having the conversation. Call your partner and tell them you need to talk about something important. Don’t elaborate on what the discussion is about, but make it clear that you want to talk about the relationship.
You can meet your partner at your place or at a fairly silent restaurant or a coffee shop. Always remember to do it face to face. Speaking over the phone seems so much easier, but it’s insulting to the relationship. [Read: If you still love someone, should you let them go?]
#4 Don’t throw accusations. A break up can be one sided or mutual, but there’s no reason for either of you to throw accusations at each other. It’s an easier way to get straight to the point, but it will not end in a good way nor will it iron your conflicts away.
It’s natural that both of you will have your opinions, and either of you are entitled to your strong opinions, so there’s really no point in creating a conflict here. [Confession: An ex’s shocking revenge story]
#5 The breakup conversation. If you don’t know how to break up with someone you love, you can use the first few lines of this conversation, and the rest will follow…
You: There’s something I’ve wanted to talk about for a while, but I just didn’t know how to bring it up.
Partner: What is it?
You: I’m sorry, but I don’t think I’m very happy with the way things are going in our relationship.
Partner: What? / WTF?! / Are you serious? / Why?
You: I’ve given this a lot of thought over the last few weeks and we’ve spoken about our differences too, but it just doesn’t seem to be getting better. These constant conflicts are actually making both our lives painful and miserable. Maybe there’s no way forward here and we just have to accept it. Perhaps we’re perfect individuals but not really perfect for each other.
Partner: What are you trying to say? / Where are you going with this?
You: I think it would be best if we go our separate ways. Both of us are obviously not happy in this relationship even though we love each other… [Read: Why is getting over a breakup is a lot easier if you break up first?]
#6 Explain the reasons. The breakup conversation tip mentioned in the earlier step would definitely help, but it’s not enough. If you really want to break up with the one you love and end it wholeheartedly, you need to get into the specific details.
It may hurt, but at least you’ll be able to tell your partner how you feel. Explain the real reason behind why you want to end the relationship, but try not to infuriate your partner by bringing up touchy issues. You’re trying to break up with the one you love, and you should learn to do it gracefully without picking faults.
#7 Walking out of the relationship. Once you’ve patiently explained the reasons in a calm voice, and both of you have decided to end the relationship, you need to walk out of the relationship without bearing any ill will towards each other.
You may feel a wave of overwhelming relief and yet, a painful realization that you’ve just broken up with someone you love. It’s normal to feel conflicting emotions, so don’t worry about it. Decide whether you want to stay as friends or whether you’d like to avoid each other for a while until the wounds can heal. [Read: Circumstances when exes can stay friends and times when they just shouldn’t]
In either case, staying as friends would only feel more painful, so I’d suggest you give each other some space, at least for a few months.
#8 Final goodbyes. You may now know how to break up with the one you love, but there are still a few tricky issues like having sex for the last time or the last special kiss. [Read: Things to know before getting back with an ex for sex]
Avoid getting physical for the last time, it’s just pointless and can lead to confusing affairs. But if you do want to share one last kiss, contrary to what many other love experts say, I’d say go for it. A final kiss and a warm hug can seem weird and bring back memories of the old times, but it can help both of you understand the finality of the situation if you’re both really ready to let go. [Read: How to let go of your love with a happy memory]
It’s just like death. Saying goodbye to a dying person can actually make everything feel more peaceful on the inside. But at the same time, a sudden separation with no goodbyes can traumatize you for months.
Once you’ve broken up with your lover, walk away with a smile and leave each other warmly. Both of you may be terrible as a couple, but you’re both wonderful individuals. [Read: How to love again after a break up]
And if you ever miss your ex, avoid calling them up or texting them. It won’t help you, and it definitely won’t help your partner with whom you’ve ended the relationship.