1. People & Relationships

The Best Way to Break Up with Someone

What to Say When You Want to Break Up

By

The Best Way to Break Up with Someone

Sending a text message is not an OK way to break up.

Courtesy of Getty Images
Getting dumped sucks, no matter how it's done. But if you're about to dump someone, there are ways to do it that'll soften the blow. Here's how to break up with your boyfriend or girlfriend in the least painful way possible.

4 Tips for Every Breakup

  • Always break up with someone as soon as you decide that it's time to move on. Don't let your relationship die out on its own. The longer you stall, the more painful the breakup will be for both of you.
  • Always break up in person. It's plain rude to break up with someone over the phone (or worse, with a text).
  • Never backtrack. If you know for sure that it's time to break up, don't leave the conversation in any other way than completely broken up.
  • Realize that however you break up, it's going to hurt. Be sensitive and compassionate, but don't beat yourself up it. You did the right thing.

Why Should You Care?

You might wonder why your breakup method matters much. After all, if you don't want to date the person anymore, why do you have to worry about how you say goodbye to them? Well, here are 4 good reasons:
  • Don't assume that your ex will be out of your life forever. Even if they don't go to your school, you might run into them a month or a year down the road. When you do, things'll be a lot less awkward if you parted ways on good terms.
  • Your ex might have a big mouth. If you treat them like a jerk, word could get back to people you want to date in the future.
  • Your feelings for your ex might change - and when they do, you'd better hope that they don't hate you forever. If your breakup went badly, they probably will.
  • It's plain old good karma. Some people believe that the way you treat people will determine the way you're treated in the future. In other words: don't risk upsetting the breakup gods.

The Best Way to Break Up with Someone If the Timing Isn't Right

It sometimes happens that you've found the right person at the wrong time. Maybe they live too far away; maybe your job or your sports team doesn't leave you enough time for a relationship. If you need to break up with your sweetie but might want to try things further down the road, be sure not to burn any bridges. Be honest with them - "I really like you, but I don't think this relationship can work out right now." Give them some space to get over you, but when enough time has passed, see if they're ready to try being friends.

The Best Way to Break Up with Someone You'll Probably See Every Day

If your sweetie is someone at your school or work, do your best to keep the breakup drama-free. It'll be painful for them to see you every day, so give them lots of space. You don't need to pretend you don't see them in the hallway, but don't crowd them or try to become friends with them. They need time away from you to heal. Try as best as you can to respect that.

The Best Way to Break Up with Someone When You've Already Found Their Replacement

If you're breaking up because you want to date someone new - someone who's ready to date you, too - then you need to be gentle without telling any lies. For instance: "I like you a lot, but I don't feel like we're totally compatible." If they ask you if there's somebody else, be honest. After the breakup, be sensitive of their feelings and don't rub your new relationship in their face.

The Best Way to Break Up with Someone Who Abused You

Getting out of an abusive relationship can be difficult, because your ex might try to hurt you or manipulate you into staying together. Use firm language, stay strong and end the conversation quickly. You don't owe them anything. If you're afraid for your safety, talk a parent or teacher, or, if you feel like there's no other option, the police.

The Best Way to Break Up with Someone You Plain Old Lost Interest In

People who are being dumped usually have one question for you: why? Answering them can be tricky, especially when there's no good reason for the breakup. Don't let this deter you from breaking it off. If you feel like it's time for the relationship to end, then it'd be unfair to both of you to stay together. Answer them in a vague but gentle way: "I just think it's time to for me move on;" "I don't feel like we're totally compatible as boyfriend and girlfriend;" "I can't give you what you're looking for in a relationship." Be there for comfort and hugs, but make it clear to them that it's over.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.