• 12/05/2023

How to Break Up with Someone Kindly

A man and woman having a conversation.

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Breaking up is hard to do, especially when you’re not a confrontational person. Ending a relationship is difficult whether you’ve been together for weeks or years. However, it might be the decision. If you want to know how to break up with someone kindly, here is some advice.

Why You Might Want to Break Up with Someone 

There are many reasons you may choose to break up with someone. You are not entitled to stay in a relationship you’re not happy with. Regardless of anyone’s opinion or if your partner is seemingly perfect, you don’t owe anyone an explanation as to why you don’t feel right in the relationship. However, it is important to be honest with your significant other about your feelings and why it’s best to break up. Common reasons for break ups include the following:

  • Different Future Desires: You might be in the same place now but that isn’t always going to be the case. As you learn about each other’s desires, you might find that they don’t align. Maybe one of you wants kids and the other doesn’t or you are set on living in different locations. Don’t sacrifice your dreams just to be with someone who has different aspirations. Compromise is key but the big things like marriage, kids and careers can be harmful to give up. 
  • Lack of Sexual Attraction: Physical attraction can fade over time or never develop at all. If you’re not on the same page, it can make you feel uneasy. If sexual attraction is important to you, it’s not shallow to break up with someone who doesn’t provide it. It’s a vital part of many romantic human relationships. 
  • Incompatible Personalities: The longer you are with someone, the more their true colors show. Everyone wants to give the best first impression but being comfortable with your partner is vital. As you get to know them, you might not mesh well. 
  • Different Attraction: If you find your mind wandering to another person’s looks or personality, you’re not an awful person. If you consistently have these thoughts, you might want to sit down and figure out if your current partner is who you want to be with. It’s alright to break up with someone if you feel more attracted to traits they don’t possess. Breaking up before you give in to any temptation is the honorable thing to do. 

Regardless of your reason, breaking up with someone can be incredibly hard. It’s difficult to approach a situation where you know you’re going to cause your partner pain. The conversation can also feel incredibly awkward and cause you to face your emotions as well as the other person’s. Here is how to kindly break up with someone for their sake and yours. 

Be Safe 

Before discovering how to kindly break up, it’s vital to discuss safety. Kindness goes out the window if you are in an unsafe situation. Abuse is intolerable and you shouldn’t feel like you have to spare the feelings of an abuser. If you are in a dangerous situation, please contact local authorities or call the United States National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233. 

If you think breaking up in person could lead to a violent reaction, feel free to do so via webcam, phone call or text message. Safety is the top priority. 

Meet in a Neutral Location 

There are a couple of reasons it is a good idea to break up with someone in a neutral location. Choose a spot that isn’t crowded to avoid putting your partner in an uncomfortable situation. However, a neutral spot like a park or friends house can keep the emotions associated with a special place from tainting the conversation. It can help keep the situation calmer than it would be at home. 

Meeting in a neutral spot can also ensure you both feel safe to be honest with each other about your feelings and it can help soften the major blow of the breakup. 

Let Them Talk 

When you break up with someone, they’re likely going to feel intense hurt and pain. You can’t control their reaction at that moment and it’s common for them to turn the situation around on you and express their grievances. 

Listen to what they have to say without fueling the fire. Don’t yell and scream. Acknowledge what you’re putting them through even if it is the right thing to do. 

Acknowledge Their Worth 

You entered into the relationship for a reason. Express how valuable your time together was and what you appreciate about the relationship. When explaining why you’re breaking up with them, don’t just put them down. Explain how you don’t feel like you’re compatible in the relationship and want them to find someone better suited to them. 

They are worthy of good things, just as you are. Empathize that they might feel shocked or embarrassed. Avoid the “It’s not you, it’s me.” conversation. Mention how your feelings evolved and that you don’t want to be dishonest with them. 

Don’t Lead Them On 

Once you know you want to break up with your partner, do it. You probably want to avoid doing it on a special occasion, but the longer you remain with them takes away time they could be moving forward with their lives. 

It’s heartbreaking to discover that you were giving your all to someone when they no longer are doing the same. It might come as a shock to them but it’s better than if they realize you are faking happiness. 

Let Them Go 

Often if you wonder whether staying with someone is worth it, it isn’t. It’s natural to have anxiety and doubt from time to time but constantly feeling this way is a sign that you need to move forward. However, you need to be sure. Breaking up with someone to want them back later isn’t fair to your partner. 

Accept that by ending your relationship, you are closing a door that is very unlikely to open. They will move on and it isn’t healthy to assume they’ll come back if you want to try again. When you break up, you are making a clean cut. Even if you want to stay friends, it’s best to create separation for a while so you both can adjust to the new normal. Don’t make things harder on them or yourself by trying to have conversations or visit with them after the breakup. 

Ending a Relationship 

Initiating a break up is challenging but the right thing to do if you’re unhappy in a relationship. By staying safe, meeting in a neutral spot, assuring them of their worth and listening to what they have to say can help you kindly end your relationship.

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