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Being broken up with, whether it’s a longterm relationship or just a few dates, can be confusing and heartbreaking, but what about the person initiating the break up? Deciding to end a relationship can be a difficult decision, and even harder to see through.

Here are some tips to help you properly break ip with someone.

Reframe the situation

So many people who want to initiate a break up are overwhelmed by short-term consequences. They don’t want to have the difficult conversations—they’re paralyzed by the thought of hurting their partner. And yet, this type of thinking is extremely limited.

Reframe the situation by thinking more long-term. Yes, your soon-to-be-ex-partner may feel devastated by this break up, and there may be a very messy transition (if you live together, work together, share a pet or friends group, or have financial connections) but in the long-term, they will be able to grieve the relationship, recover, get back out there dating and eventually meet someone else who truly wants to be with them and can love them the way they deserve to be loved.

Start communication (to give them warning)

One of the hardest parts of break ups is that often, the two people are on different pages. While one person has been considering initiating a break up, the other person may have no idea! By the time the break up happens, the person who is broken up with may feel blindsided by the break up. If you’re having doubt, begin to introduce these conversations into the relationships so that your partner doesn’t feel like the break up came out of nowhere.

Give them closure

Most likely, your partner will be racking their brain trying to understand how and why this happened. As best you are able to, share with them what wasn’t working for you.

Only share with them information that is truly helpful for them. For example, if you weren’t attracted to their bodies anymore, DO NOT tell them this (it’s happened.) This is not helpful – just because you aren’t attracted to them doesn’t mean someone else won’t be. However, if they worked too much or had an anger problem, you may want to share YOUR experience of them so that they may grow from this feedback for a future relationship.

This isn’t about blaming them – it’s about sharing your experience.

Do not under any circumstances give them false hope if you don’t sincerely mean in. This means not saying, “Who knows what will happen in the future / Maybe someday … / If it’s meant to be it will be …”

When and how

There is actually etiquette to how to break up in a healthy way. Although there is never a good time to break someone’s heart, consider doing it on a Thursday or a Friday so that the other person has the opportunity of extending their weekend if they need more time. Have the conversation at their place or your shared home (and you go elsewhere for a while). Keep the conversation to the point and short. Share your heart gently but firmly, let them know you’ve made up your mind and then give them a bit of time to ask questions. Do not let the conversation carry on.

The aftermath

  • After the break up conversation, let them know that you’ll be disconnecting from them on social media to give you both time to heal, let go and move on.
  • The sooner you return things the better, within 3 – 10 days. Only pack up important things and return them through a neutral friend, if possible.
  • Share the news with a few key people in your communities who can get the word out to others. Never speak poorly of your ex, simply say it didn’t work out but you sincerely want the best for them. That’s it.

Self-care

Ending a relationship is not easy, and so often, social sympathy goes to the person who’s been dumped. However, the person who did the breaking up also deserves the support and encouragement they need during this transition. And even if no one else gives you the support you need, give it to yourself. Talk to a professional, journal, get a massage, etc.