Breakups are never easy, no matter which side you are on. However, when you are the one trying to end the relationship, the pain from the loss can be exacerbated with the guilt from hurting your partner in the process. Here are things you could consider, to help minimise the damage off the split.
Create a loose script with points you want to bring up when you break the news. Lior Gotesman, co-founder and COO of relationship coaching app Relationship Hero, told Lifehacker, “The conversation should involve sharing a few things about the other person that they appreciate, a clear statement about not wanting to be in the relationship any more, and an honest explanation of why they’ve decided to break up.”
Apart from a speech, you should also prepare yourself for the end of the relationship. Dumpers often find themselves having second thoughts, which could make for messy, complicated situations. So do not rush into the decision. “Everyone who wants to break up, every single person, does not voice that the minute they think it,” Guy Winch, author of How to Fix a Broken Heart, told TIME. “They have to process it and be sure and be ready.” Take the time to think through what you want and talk to a trusted friend or professional to sort your feelings if needed.
Don’t assign blame
This is a difficult one – at the end of a relationship, it can be tempting to vent all your grievances about the other person. However, even if you feel your partner is largely the one to blame, the split is still your decision. Framing it as a result of their behaviour (“I’m breaking up with you because you cheated on me”) or other external circumstances that is out of your control (“the timing is not right”) may encourage them to think that the breakup can still be reversed – so take responsibility by acknowledging that it is what you want (“I no longer feel comfortable staying in this relationship”). It helps your partner find closure and process the separation better.
Do it in person (if possible)
In general, it is recommended to break up in person to show respect to the other person and underscore that you find the relationship important. It is less hurtful than announcing the separation through text or ghosting, where you simply stop returning messages or calls.
Many experts also advise doing it in a private space such as your partner’s house, so that they could be in a familiar place instead of having to get home in a distraught state.
Some exceptions might apply – for example, if the relationship has been abusive and left you fearing for your safety. If this is the case, call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) for information, counselling or support.
Do you have any tips to ending a relationship in a kind way?