Breakups are awful. Here are nine ways of making breakups slightly less awful.

1. Let him know before anyone else

While it’s acceptable to consult a few close friends for advice, all of your mutual friends shouldn’t know that you’re planning on breaking up with him before he does. If too many people know you’re planning on ending things, word might get around before you actually do the breaking up, which can be devastating. And whatever you do, don’t have one your friends pass along the information for you.

2. Break up in person

Don’t attempt to break up with him over email, text, or social media. You should meet in person. The spot ideally should be somewhere where you can have a conversation in private — an empty café or a park, for example. That way, your guy won’t be embarrassed if strangers overhear your conversation. If your relationship is long-distance, call him when he’s at home and alone.

3. Initiate a serious conversation

Though breaking up is really uncomfortable, you’ll want to be as direct and clear as possible to ensure you don’t leave room for any uncertainty. At the same time, you don’t want to be too mean or harsh. Make sure you take his feelings into consideration as you begin the breakup conversation. Let him know gently that you don’t believe things are working out, and be prepared when he asks why.

4. State the true reasons why you're breaking it off

Instead of attacking his character or getting worked up about stuff, be sure to give him concrete, specific examples that’ll show him why you’d like to break things off. Try to keep the examples neutral and factual, and explain your rationale in a clear, nonjudgmental way.

5. Avoid brutal honesty

Refrain from making negative comments about his personality, behaviors, and appearance while discussing the break up. If he asks for a lengthier explanation, just simply reiterate that you’ve already explained the reasons why you want to break up. Steer clear of topics that are common sources of male anxiety, such as his sexual performance, physical appearance, and financial stability.

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6. Avoid blame

Whatever you do, don’t place the blame on him outright. Your goal with this conversation is to get him to accept that the relationship has ended without blaming him or yourself.

7. Try to keep the conversation brief and calm

Once he gets the point that your relationship with him is over and that there are no hard feelings, you should part ways. If the conversation has lasted over half an hour, it’s time to end it and say goodbye. Don’t respond to any angry statements of his or start a fight with him.

8. Avoid offering him friendship

This is one of the biggest pitfalls, because both of you need distance and time to heal before you can decide if pursuing friendship is even worth it.

9. Avoid phone contact with him after the breakup

Don’t call him and don’t answer his calls. It’s important that the two of you have space to process the breakup. If the breakup is bothering you and you feel guilty for doing it, call a friend afterwards to meet up for some wine and calm down. In a few days, the awful feeling will go away.

No need to hex the ex

He’s super nice and all, but the spark has gone out. Whatever your reason for breaking up with your guy, gentle treatment is the best policy. It will ease the letdown and allow him to heal faster, and it will allow you to move on with nothing to cloud the good memories you'll take with you.

References

  1. "7 (Nice) Ways to Break up with Someone," Bustle, May 9, 2014.
  2. "How to Break up With a Guy," Cosmopolitan, November 12, 2012.
  3. "How to Break up With a Really Nice Guy," The Huffington Post, June 20, 2015.
  4. "The Best Way to Break up With Someone," Women's Health, October 15, 2014.

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