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How to Break up With Your Boyfriend or Girlfriend

Updated on November 13, 2019
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Heather has a Bachelor's Degree in English from Moravian College and has been freelance writing for more than 14 years.

Should you save your relationship or give it the ultimate kiss off?
Should you save your relationship or give it the ultimate kiss off?

Breaking up is always hard to do because someone is getting hurt by it. Rejection is part of life that no one ever wants to accept. It's that simple. Relationships are hard work that in some cases never pays off. Look at why some celebrities are unwilling to make lifelong commitments because they're either too bohemian or are afraid of getting burned. Hollywood playboys and dating butterflies seem to be having fun going from partner to partner, but the cracks show whenever the heat becomes too much to bear. When their fears are tested, they run for the hills, or the quickest route to a new warm body.

Sadly, some non-famous people do treat relationships as pit stops until the next great thing comes along with no regard for their temporary partner. (I've been there. It's not fun in the slightest.) These people are scared to invest in anything because they're afraid they'll be back to where they started: alone. No one can put expectations on the unknown. Break ups happen or don't happen. The couple gets to determine the outcome of any relationship, strong or otherwise.

Read through the next four sections to proceed with the break up process. These sections involve self examination, organization, talking and moving ahead. Get a feel for how you want to take the next step and make it your own approach. It's your relationship that you want to end. Control it to the best of your ability.

Self Questionnaire

Here are a few questions to ask yourself out-loud to see whether you should terminate your current relationship contract. Think of it initially as a business contract in order to get a clear understanding of where the future lies. Generating a level of objectivity is the only to decide whether a break up is the best option for you. How do you save a relationship with your boyfriend or girlfriend if it can't be salvageable? Do you grab the nearest life vest and swim for shore? The answer is "yes" if the cons outweigh the pros, especially if your relationship has been more bad than good. Don't forget to exhaust other options such as couples counseling before throwing in the towel. Save your relationship if there's any hope remaining before it's too late. If not, proceed with the break up process immediately.

Planning Ahead

Once you determine that breaking up is the best option for you, proceed with telling your partner the news. Plan your break up carefully because how you handle things determines whether your relationships ends amicably or not. Be careful with every detail to avoid gaining a Glenn Close type from Fatal Attraction. What could be more unattractive than having to observe someone clinging onto a DOA relationship for dear life?

Break ups are almost like weddings in the planning process. You've got to account for every variable in order for it go smoothly. The only problem with that is nothing ever goes according to plan. You can't file away your emotions when you have to break someone else's heart. The best thing you can do is to include some flexibility into your plan. Choose a public or private place that doesn't include you getting embarrassed or hurt. Never start break up talk in a crowded restaurant where a scene could be thrown in vast technicolor. It's makes you, and your partner, look terrible. Your break up shouldn't play like an All My Children episode. Be honest about your emotions, but don't force anything unnecessary to the surface to prove anything.

If you feel more comfortable talking to your partner in a private setting, it's your prerogative. It's not recommended to steal a friend or relative's break up ideas for your relationship. Be your own person and handle your pending break up your way. Shut out the sounds of everyone else's advice and be true to yourself. Tell your partner you want to end the relationship. Don't put it off more than you have to because it's not good for either of you to wait any longer.

The Talk

Choose your approach carefully because you could make matters a lot worse than you intended them to be. Be direct with your partner. Never beat around the relationship bush. Give your partner your undivided attention. Look them in the eye and be reasonably truthful. Slowly move your way into ending your crumbled relationship. Talk about happier times with your partner. Have a glass or two of wine to relax the mood, unless alcohol would be a bad idea for the situation. If your partner doesn't take rejection well, move all objections from their proximity that could cause damage to you or your surroundings.

Realize that is still a matter of discretion when you're ending a relationship. Avoid airing out some dirty laundry, even when you want to. Never sink to the level of a partner who's acting like a child. Leave some imagination to this break up because you don't need to give them every detail as to why you want to end the relationship. Lie if your soon-to-be ex asks if they were unsatisfactory in the bedroom. Forget to mention about their embarrassingly bad habits that put the kibosh on all things romantic. That makes you sounds shallow and somewhat narcissistic.

Try to remain calm if your ex can't handle being dumped. Don't push yourself into doing, or saying, anything regrettable. You've both suffered enough blows from each other to last you a lifetime. Leave if it gets to be too tough. Allow cooler heads to prevail before talking further if necessary.

The Offer

Turn down reconciliation offers because the odds are you'll be back where you started. Your love for your partner is still there, but don't sacrifice your dignity on a broken record of a relationship. End things when you still have your self confidence. Be emphatic with your partner about the break up being best for both of you. Recite some of your relationship's flaws to prove your point without being overly cruel.

Suggest to your partner that you'd like to be friends one day after a significant time to cool off. An offer of friendship sounds like a break up cliché but it's an effective olive branch to offer. Who knows? Maybe your ex might turn out to be the best friend you ever had. Give it a try once the romantic part of the relationship has been dead and buried long enough where the urge to french kiss them is a distant memory. Keep in casual contact with the person through email or from a mutual friend periodically. Avoid any direct contact with your ex, unless it's necessary. Stay home instead of going to the party they're attending. Maintain a safe distance until you're reasonably over them. There's nothing worse than carrying a torch for someone who has moved on.

In conclusion, break ups are challenging, but so are relationships. Work is required to make them both happen successfully. You just have to determine how much is needed to do so. Be kind before you sever any ties to anyone. Once your relationship ties are undone, there's no going back. Choose wisely.


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