10 Tips on how to break up with someone nicely
Not every relationship ends in bitter acrimony, sometimes things just run out of steam, or the magic just isn’t there anymore. Breaking up with someone that you still like, but no longer love, can be a really hard thing to do. You don’t want to hurt them, but you don’t want to be with them either, so how do you tell them that it’s over, and still not break their heart? It’s always going to be a bitter pill to swallow, when someone is told a relationship is over, but there are right ways and wrong ways of doing it. If you need to tell someone that it’s time to move on, but you don’t know how to break the news, read these ten ways to make a breakup as polite and as nice as possible.
1. Get the timing right
You could say that there will never be a good time to do this, and you would probably be right, but there certainly are some very bad times that you can choose to break up with someone. You can’t hold off forever, but you can at least avoid times when he is already distressed about something else. The day after he lost his job, for example, would not be the best day you could choose to tell him he’s also lost you.
2. Do tell him to his face
If you have been with a guy for a while, then you at least owe him the courtesy of telling him to his face that the relationship is over. A Post-it note on the fridge door, or a brief and blunt text message left on his phone, is a rude and disrespectful way to split up with someone, and it will also leave so many questions for him unanswered in his own mind. It’s almost as bad as just disappearing without a word.
3. Don’t let him hear the news from someone else
You might need the support of your friends over this difficult time, and you might discuss it with other people before you tell your boyfriend that it’s over. Don’t make it public knowledge, though, before you have told him. He will feel humiliated if he finds out from someone else, and he was the last to know what was coming.
4. Do make sure that he gets the message
Don’t tease him and play with his feelings; make it quite clear that you are breaking up, but in a nice way. The fact you are splitting up shouldn’t become a guessing game for him, your intentions should be perfectly clear. If you have definitely made your mind up, then get that message across. You don’t want to him to walk away from the meeting completely unaware of the fact that he just got dumped!
5. Be honest(ish)
Another tip on how to break up with someone nicely is to tell them the truth about why you are breaking up and don’t try and hide behind outlandish lies. If you tell him you are going overseas to work as a missionary, and he sees you the next week with your new boyfriend then he is going to be even more hurt, than if you told him the truth that you just don’t love him anymore. On the other hand, you don’t have to be brutally honest either. No one wants to hear a list of their own flaws and personality disorders!
6. Don’t laugh!
Next tip on how to break up with someone nicely is to avoid laughing. This is going to be serious news for him, so you need to take it seriously too. If you have a big grin on your face when you tell him the news, you will hurt him even more. Have a little empathy with the guy. You may well be relieved that it’s finally over, but he doesn’t need to know that. Save your celebrations until later.
7. Be sensitive, but don’t get too close
It’s a difficult balance to strike between caring about someone’s hurt and giving them false hope, but remember that he may still care about you a lot, and this is going to hurt to him. Show some compassion and kindness when you talk to him, but still keep your distance from him. Now is not the time for a long, lingering, farewell kiss, because that will make it even more painful for him and it might give him false hope.
8. Keep it short and sweet
Another tip on how to break up with someone nicely is to keep it short and sweet. Don’t hang around for too long, a breakup should really only last for about half an hour at the most, before you should be on your way. Don’t go and see the movie that you had planned to see, and don’t go out for a cosy dinner for two. Doing something for old-time’s sake is the worst thing that you could do.
9. Don’t get drawn into an argument
He’s going to be hurt, and he may even get angry, but don’t allow yourself to be drawn into an argument. Hurling insults at one another will achieve nothing and it won’t change a thing, so listen to him patiently and try not to bite back if he gets angry.
10. Keep your distance afterward
Once you have broken the news to him and you have gone your separate ways, don’t be surprised if it is you who feels sad and tearful. The best thing to do is to go to meet with some friends right after you break up and let them take your mind off the situation. The worst thing you could do is to call him and meet up again. Any contact that you make with him, for at least the first couple of months after a breakup, might be misread and seen as a sign that you could get back together again. That would be cruel if you have no plans for reconciliation at all.
How to break up with someone nicely? What are your tips?