Breaking up advice is oftentimes helpful if you’re breaking up with your boyfriend or girlfriend out of anger or because of an insurmountable, horrible problem like abuse.
But if you’re breaking up with someone and you still genuinely care for them in some way, the right kind of break up strategy can save the day. You may even end up being friends somewhere in the distance future.
If you want to be as kind as possible about your break up but still get your point across clearly, keep our breaking up advice in mind.
Choose the Right Time and Place.
Your initial instinct may be to break up with someone at a restaurant or in some other public place, but that’s unfair to the person you’re dumping. You may like the idea of knowing the other person won’t make a scene, but a public place will make them feel vulnerable and doesn’t give them a comfortable place to cry if they need to.
Choose a location that is comfortable and at least somewhat private. Don’t do it at your own place, however, as you may have difficulty getting them out the door if they want to pick a fight.
Timing is also crucial. Any major holiday, their birthday, your anniversary or at a special event like their sister’s wedding are all off limits. Don’t force them to associate these wonderful times with the break up for years afterward.
A neutral time when there are no big events looming is best. You should also have the consideration to hold off for a week or two if something terrible happens. Sure, you may want out right now, but if you were planning on giving the break up speech tomorrow and their father has a serious heart attack tonight, be kind.
Wait until your soon-to-be ex’s family member is on the mend. Crass behavior will only make you look bad to your friends and family.
Best Breaking Advice Ever – Do It In Person.
The telephone, an email or a (God forbid!) text message are all bad ways to break up with someone. It’s cold, impersonal and rude. It doesn’t allow the other person to respond in any way, which will only increase their anger, pain and frustration. You need to break up face to face so that they have the time to ask questions, assimilate the information and respond.
The only exception to this rule is if you’re breaking up with an abuser. If you are genuinely afraid for your safety, a phone call may be the only reliable, safe way to make your message clear.
Don’t Do the Slow Fade.
Relying on the “slow fade,” where you call less often, see them less often and hope they will get the hint as time goes on is cruel.
Be better than that. Letting someone waste their precious time on you is childish, and many people will simply get the mistaken impression they’ve done something wrong or that you are having a crisis. They may draw all sorts of conclusions that have nothing to do with a break up.
Honesty Is the Best Policy – Within Reason.
The best breaking up advice for most people is to be honest. Tell the other person you aren’t ready for a commitment, that you can’t overcome your cultural differences, that you feel smothered, etc. Honesty will give them an insight into what they may have contributed to the break up and give them a chance to heal properly.
However, honesty doesn’t mean cruelty. Telling the other person you think they are unattractive now that they’ve gained weight or that you’ve been sleeping with someone else is unnecessary.
Try a gentler approach, such as “I just don’t feel that spark anymore. You are more like a friend to me,” or “I want the freedom to pursue other relationships right now.”
Don’t Get Sucked Into an Argument.
You should let the person you’re breaking up with say what they need to say, even if it’s that they hate you right now and think you’re a jerk.
You should not get into a verbal sparring match over whose fault the break up really is, whether you need breaking up advice because you stink at it, or why it’s all your fault.
Don’t buy into the argument. A good ending might be, “I’m sorry you feel that way, because I do hope you can find happiness. I’m just sure that we can’t be together anymore.”
Don’t Make Promises You Don’t Intend to Keep.
If the person you’re breaking up with is crying and begging for a second chance, it’s tempting to give in. Don’t do it unless you really believe there’s a possibility for the relationship to be successful and you truly believe they are going to change.
If you promise to try but know it won’t work, you are only prolonging the inevitable. It’s not fair to either one of you and will only make the end more painful.
Keep Your Distance for a While.
Most break up advice neglects this simple, fundamental rule. You may be tempted to check up on them or try and be their friend right away. Don’t; it will only confuse them or give them false hope that you’re having second thoughts. Sure, you may be able to be friends eventually, but your ex needs time to lick their wounds and begin to heal.
Phone calls or visits from you in the first few days after a break up will only be confusing and painful. Give it at least two weeks before you try to talk to them outside of a casual social encounter.
Finally, if you want to break up with someone, put the time and effort into some honest evaluation.
Before you break up, know what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it. Understand your real reasons and share as much as you can. In the end, the best break up advice you can take is to put yourself in the other person’s place, then treat them how you would like to be treated.