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Breaking up isn't an easy decision. You may need to take time to think about it. Even if you feel sure of your decision, breaking up means having an awkward or difficult conversation. When you're the one ending the relationship, you probably want to do it in a way that is respectful and sensitive. You don't want the other person to be hurt — and you don't want to be upset either.


Why Is Breaking Up so difficult?

In breakups, parties may have mixed feelings about it. After all, they spent a long time for a reason. So, it's normal to wonder:

  • How will the partner react to the news of the breakup?

  • Will I regret this decision?

  • Whether I will be able to face the pain in the partner’s face when I tell him/her the relationship is over? Whether he/she will be able to cope up

  • Should I give it another chance?

  • Will things get better?

  • Whether I will be able to forget?

  • Whether I will be able to cope with the emptiness and distress?

  • Whether family and friends will support my decision?

  • Whether I will be taken as selfish and unethical?

  • Whether I will be able to start a fresh relationship?

  • Whether I will be able to have confidence, and faith in my new partners?

  • Whether I will be able to overcome the guilt of breaking up?

How to Break Up?

  • End the relationship as soon as you know it can’t go on. Putting off the inevitable will only cause the relationship to decline further. Think things through so you're clear with yourself on why you want to break up. Then act.

  •  Tailor the breakup to the relationship.
    According to psychoanalyst and psychotherapist Janice Lieberman, Ph.D., a relationship requires an official, face-to-face breakup if you’ve been dating for a few months or more. Emails, texts, and chats are no longer options. A serious relationship in which you’ve shared important experiences merits in-person closure. That way both parties have a chance to talk about their feelings.

  • Be clear and certain about your reasons for breaking up. Avoid vagueness. Show your partner the respect inherent enclosure.  Hear your partner out. Answer any questions as honestly as you can. Listen to the other person, without defending yourself.

  • Remain sensitive. In some cases, you may feel so relieved to finally be getting rid of an unsatisfying relationship that you forget that someone else’s emotions are involved. Even if you aren’t so attached to your significant other anymore, relationship expert Michelle Callahan, Ph.D. advises Cosmo Latina readers to keep in mind that the person you were involved with may feel a lot more attached to you. So prepare for your partner to be surprised, hurt, frustrated, angry — the whole rainbow of breakup feelings — and for how you’re going to deal with those emotions when they arise.

  • Give yourself and your partner a chance to fix things. A breakup should never come out of the blue. Before making a final decision to end the relationship, you should share your concerns or dissatisfactions, and try to work through them as a team. Let your partner know how you’re feeling, even if you think this may hurt or disappoint them. Try to end the relationship amicably.

  • Take responsibility for your decision. Acknowledge that it’s what you want, rather than blaming it on circumstances, or on your partner, you can say “There’s no easy way to do this, and it hurts me to know I’m hurting you, but I need to end this relationship.”

  • Pick a location.
    “If you feel safe with your partner, do it in private where you can take time to talk through it and answer their questions. If your partner is emotionally or physically abusive, consider doing it in public, with a friend nearby, or even over the phone or in a letter depending on your specific situation, prioritizing your safety. If your partner lashes out, remove yourself from the situation, with the option to have a final closure conversation when they’ve cooled off.

  • Work out the logistics. Many long-term committed couples cohabitate and share finances. If you live together, you should have a plan of where you’ll stay, whether it’s temporarily under the same roof in different rooms, or at a friend or family’s place, and how you’d like to divide your belongings.

  • Brace yourself for feelings on both sides. Be prepared that your partner may be very hurt and in shock, and need time and space to process the news and how they’d like to manage communication. You’ll likely get emotional too. Your partner was your emotional home, the person you depended on, and with whom you shared your life. You likely didn’t make the decision to break up lightly, so don’t doubt your decision just because you miss them or feel lonely at first.

  • Take the support of your friends
    Share it with a couple of people whose advice or support you value, especially if talking it through with them gives you clarity. Your support system is the people who will give you love and belonging when you feel lost and alone.

  • Break off the relationship cleanly. Cut off contact for some time after the breakup, to show respect for your partner’s feelings and to indicate that things have changed permanently. 

  • Don’t devalue the other person. You’ve been important to each other, so try to show your partner your appreciation for his or her good qualities.

  • Don’t offer false hope. If you’re certain you need to break up, it’s better not to leave the relationship open-ended. 

If you are unsure about this decision you can always approach a relationship counselor in order to gain clarity and to help you cope with it.



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