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How to Break Up With Someone You Love

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Breaking up is never easy, but there’s no other way around it. Find out how to break up with someone you love without hurting them using these steps. By Amelie Lee

how to break up with someone

Ending a relationship is painful, especially so when you’re still in love with them.

It’s confusing and tricky and you never really know what to say or how your soon-to-be-ex is going to react.

There’s one thing you need to understand before you break up with someone you love, and that’s never to end a relationship like a coward.

[Read: Reasons behind why love starts to hurt when you’re in a bad romance]

How to break up with someone

Let’s face it, it’s really easy to ignore a lover for a few days until they get pissed, call you up and yell at you.

And then you give your lover a ridiculously lame excuse and wait for them to say they can’t take this relationship anymore.

And then you grin a sigh of bitter relief because you could avoid the confrontation.

There’s another easier way too, and this is actually the most common way to break up.

You purposely bring up a touchy subject while you’re on the phone, and wait for your partner to lose their lid.

And somewhere in the conversation, you fake genuine enlightenment and tell you partner that this can’t go on, because both of you are so different. [Read: How to let go of someone you love by hating them]

And that’s another cowardly way to break up.

Now both these ways of breaking up are foolproof and you can definitely use it too. The best part of ending a relationship this way is that you don’t really need to confront your lover or even initiate the breakup conversation.

But it’s never really the end.

The risks of breaking up badly

When you break up like a coward, there are always rebounds from both sides of the relationship, and there are sobbing calls and make ups and breaks up and a few kisses in between.

If you really want to know how to break up with someone you love, you need to stay away from quick and easy ways, because they can actually end up lingering longer and make you and your partner feel more miserable. [Read: Should you ever date your ex again after breaking up?]

The right way to break up with someone you love

When you’re considering a break up, you need to ask yourself a few questions to understand your own mind. Can you really handle the break up and can you stay firm with your decision? These questions will help you find that out.

#1 If your partner asks for a second chance, would you be willing to give a chance?

#2 Do you think you’d have a change of heart in the middle of the conversation?

#3 Do you constantly have second thoughts about breaking up? Do you wonder if you should change your mind?

#4 Are you just angry with your partner based on present circumstances?

#5 Would you prefer to take a break in the romance before you call the relationship off? [Read: Steps in taking a break in a relationship and how it works]

If you’ve answered most of these questions in the affirmative, it probably means you’re still in love with your partner, and not really ready to end the relationship yet.

And even if you do want to break up, there’s a greater chance that you’d get back again if your partner wants to get back with you. [Confession: I miss him but I don't think he misses me]

The real way to end a relationship

If you’ve given up all hope of staying happy in love even though you love your partner, and are ready to end the relationship, here are 8 steps you need to follow to end a relationship the right way.

#1 Don’t avoid your partner before breaking up. Most lovers who want to end a relationship try to avoid their partner and distance themselves with silly excuses. Understand that your partner deserves to know what’s going on in your mind and has every right to know the truth about your feelings.

You can express your views that you’re not happy in the relationship, but you should never ignore your partner’s calls or avoid them in person.

At times, it may just be a phase or a misunderstanding that created all the differences. Before you seriously consider ending the relationship, give it some time to see if both of you can better your relationship and make it work first. [Read: 9 stages in a relationship all couples go through]

#2 Remember the reasons. We love clutching at straws and looking at the good side in everything, especially if it involves a big change in our lives. Don’t be afraid of change, especially if it will make you feel better and happier.

This can seem childish, but make a list of all the reasons why you want to break up with the one you love. It will give you the strength to stick with your decision even if a few days pass since your last argument.

#3 Having the conversation. Call your partner and tell them you need to talk about something important. Don’t elaborate on what the discussion is about, but make it clear that you want to talk about the relationship.

You can meet your partner at your place or at a fairly silent restaurant or a coffee shop. Always remember to do it face to face. Speaking over the phone seems so much easier, but it’s insulting to the relationship. [Read: If you still love someone, should you let them go?]

#4 Don’t throw accusations. A break up can be one sided or mutual, but there’s no reason for either of you to throw accusations at each other. It’s an easier way to get straight to the point, but it will not end in a good way nor will it iron your conflicts away.

It’s natural that both of you will have your opinions, and either of you are entitled to your strong opinions, so there’s really no point in creating a conflict here. [Confession: An ex's shocking revenge story]

#5 The breakup conversation. If you don’t know how to break up with someone you love, you can use the first few lines of this conversation, and the rest will follow…

You: There’s something I’ve wanted to talk about for a while, but I just didn’t know how to bring it up.

Partner: What is it?

You: I’m sorry, but I don’t think I’m very happy with the way things are going in our relationship.

Partner: What? / WTF?! / Are you serious? / Why?

You: I’ve given this a lot of thought over the last few weeks and we’ve spoken about our differences too, but it just doesn’t seem to be getting better. These constant conflicts are actually making both our lives painful and miserable. Maybe there’s no way forward here and we just have to accept it. Perhaps we’re perfect individuals but not really perfect for each other.

Partner: What are you trying to say? / Where are you going with this?

You: I think it would be best if we go our separate ways. Both of us are obviously not happy in this relationship even though we love each other… [Read: Why is getting over a breakup is a lot easier if you break up first?]

#6 Explain the reasons. The breakup conversation tip mentioned in the earlier step would definitely help, but it’s not enough. If you really want to break up with the one you love and end it wholeheartedly, you need to get into the specific details.

It may hurt, but at least you’ll be able to tell your partner how you feel. Explain the real reason behind why you want to end the relationship, but try not to infuriate your partner by bringing up touchy issues. You’re trying to break up with the one you love, and you should learn to do it gracefully without picking faults.

#7 Walking out of the relationship. Once you’ve patiently explained the reasons in a calm voice, and both of you have decided to end the relationship, you need to walk out of the relationship without bearing any ill will towards each other.

You may feel a wave of overwhelming relief and yet, a painful realization that you’ve just broken up with someone you love. It’s normal to feel conflicting emotions, so don’t worry about it. Decide whether you want to stay as friends or whether you’d like to avoid each other for a while until the wounds can heal. [Read: Circumstances when exes can stay friends and times when they just shouldn’t]

In either case, staying as friends would only feel more painful, so I’d suggest you give each other some space, at least for a few months.

#8 Final goodbyes. You may now know how to break up with the one you love, but there are still a few tricky issues like having sex for the last time or the last special kiss. [Read: Things to know before getting back with an ex for sex]

Avoid getting physical for the last time, it’s just pointless and can lead to confusing affairs. But if you do want to share one last kiss, contrary to what many other love experts say, I’d say go for it. A final kiss and a warm hug can seem weird and bring back memories of the old times, but it can help both of you understand the finality of the situation if you’re both really ready to let go. [Read: How to let go of your love with a happy memory]

It’s just like death. Saying goodbye to a dying person can actually make everything feel more peaceful on the inside. But at the same time, a sudden separation with no goodbyes can traumatize you for months.

Once you’ve broken up with your lover, walk away with a smile and leave each other warmly. Both of you may be terrible as a couple, but you’re both wonderful individuals. [Read: How to love again after a break up]

And if you ever miss your ex, avoid calling them up or texting them. It won’t help you, and it definitely won’t help your partner with whom you’ve ended the relationship.

[Read: 10 important things you HAVE to do after a breakup to feel better]

Now that you’ve understood the steps behind how to break up with someone you love, learn to end the relationship gracefully and peacefully. It’ll hurt and confuse you, but it’s better for both of you to live happily as individuals rather than live unhappily as a couple.


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Have your say!
  • ayodele ayorinde
    February 8, 2013 | Permalink |

    Thank you

  • Raycheal
    March 15, 2013 | Permalink |

    Thank you. I’m actually tearing up because now I know what I have to do.
    :(

  • Sarah
    May 5, 2013 | Permalink |

    I found this website helpful to my situation. I am currently trying to figure out how to go about breaking up with my boyfriend, which has been a stressful and difficult time for me because I am still in love with him, even though I know the relationship is not healthy for us both. This is very good advice, especially on the part that actually gives a script on what to say in a break-up. Thank you for posting.

  • Christopher
    May 7, 2013 | Permalink |

    Thanks for the advice… it makes me understand that it is not worth the pains.

  • Chris
    June 14, 2013 | Permalink |

    Can we compliment them? For example, telling them they are wonderful, beautiful, etc.

  • gaby
    September 27, 2013 | Permalink |

    What if there seems to be no way you guys can understand each other in some aspects but are perfect for each other in all the others. I love him to death, yet i broke up with him. He doesnt understand at all why I will do tha,t but wouldn’t compromise in some core issues either. It hurts so much im scare I made the biggest mistake of my life.

  • D
    October 15, 2013 | Permalink |

    I hope I dont have to do this but she’s leaving me no choice. How can we love each other but not want to be together, seems so odd, right?

  • Carolyn
    October 17, 2013 | Permalink |

    I have been in a relationship with my ex husband ever since we divorced we now have been trying to make it work long distance. I am not feeling it anymore but I am scared to break up with him. He is currently dying from an incurable disease and he has a daughter that adores me. I love him, but I think I have fallen out of love with him. This article helps those who have been in shorter term realationships but not those that have lasted over 8 yrs

  • Dave
    October 24, 2013 | Permalink |

    I love my girl to death. But I’ve currently been in a break right now for more than a day and it’s killing me! Short story: It’s her 21st Bday, our 1st Anny.(team decision), and we thought we go for sushi and drinks. She orders a cocktail (why not?). Celebrate, post to Instagram, her fam sees it and interrupts our date to come get her claiming their “worried”. My baby has been so awesome to me since I’ve met her and she means the world to me. This mom is psycho and is tearing us apart!

  • Charles
    November 22, 2013 | Permalink |

    I’m afraid to hurt this girl. She has been a big part of my life for almost a year and a half and now i’m realizing that I don’t want to see her. Ever. I try to avoid seeing her at all costs. Idk why I’m avoiding her, all I know is that I don’t want to see her. I feel so much pain from her every day. She’s a sad girl, but she’s also very great and giving to everyone in her life. I’m not attracted to her anymore and want to be single again. I still love her like you love a sister, but I just can’t do it anymore. She’s clingy because I’ve been so distant. After work I don’t let her know when I get home because i’m trying to avoid hanging out with her at night. Then the weekend comes and my whole weekend is ruined because I don’t have to work and I have to hangout with her and sleep with her until Monday roles around and idk how long this has been going on, but it’s getting old. I need help. I need out. I don’t want to hurt her.

  • Lisa
    December 2, 2013 | Permalink |

    Charles! You have to tell her that you’re just not feeling it any more. Please. Even though she’ll be sad for a while, it’s the best and kindest thing to do for both of you. Good luck.

  • Tony
    December 17, 2013 | Permalink |

    I’m in a relationship with a girl I knew many years ago she, broke it off with me to be with her know oldest child’s dad. I didn’t talk to her for years, then a family member told me she was single… I called her and we spoke many times on the phone before we reunited fore one night. We spoke for about another week until she informed me that she couldn’t talk to me anymore and she had also been seeing another man. She eventually had a child with this man too. A few months ago she decided to get divorced to see if we were really supposed to be together. I don’t have kids and the thought of me helping to raise ( their dad’s are both very wealthy) these two kids with her is unsettling. Number one it’s apparent I’m not a kid person and the fact it’s the two kids that she past me over for twice for their daddy’s is even tougher. I know it’s not he children’s fault but it doesn’t make it any easier. I feel we are meant to be but I’m walking on this one…. I feel horrible and feel like a seperated a family? I’m going to either try these steps or shoot myself in the head over guilt……

  • Difficult
    December 25, 2013 | Permalink |

    I’ve been with a girl whom I love for 7 years. Lived together for 6 years. I’m 31 and she 27 now. Nobody knows me like she does, not even my best friend.

    We’ve grown apart for a couple years now. We’re more like roommates. I love her but in this stage in my life, she’s just not marriage material. If things are like this now, it will only get worse. She’s not a strong person and doesn’t have family support and close friends either. There are more issues that lead me to want to break up but I don’t want to bore everyone.

    Our living situation is the toughest. When we do break up, she has nowhere to live, no real income and no family here. Her family is in a different city and they haven’t been speaking to each other for a couple years. I can’t just force her out with nowhere to go. This is so hard. I don’t even know how to start the breakup conversation.

    I love her and want us to be good friends when we do end it. It’s just so difficult because she has no one for support.

  • AJ
    December 25, 2013 | Permalink |

    I and my girl started about three years ago. I love her so much, and will want to be with her forever. But, the problem is that we’ve been apart because I’m living in another state due to my new job about a year ago. And since I moved, we’ve not met but we speak on phone. The relationship after that got boring and I saw another girl I fell for and we’re together now, but I haven’t broken up with my old girlf yet because I love her but I feel I should let her go. I don’t know what excuse or reason I am going to give her for breaking up. We loved each other and we still do, we speak on phone at least twice in a week. How can I go about it?

  • nice person out there
    December 30, 2013 | Permalink |

    Tony. Can I give you a hug? I don’t know you, but you sure deserve something better. Cheer up mate! God bless!

  • J.r.
    January 25, 2014 | Permalink |

    Hey guys idk what to do, with my girlfriend whom i have been in a relationship for a little over a year. I love the girl and still have feelings towards her, ive tried breaking up with her several times but, she just starts crying and saying stuff and i cant handle it, it breaks me down. But i have noticed i have grown apart from our love in the last couple monthes, we have been through everything with each other, and i cant find my self to do it. When im with her i sorta have my feelings for here, but when im away from her i think ur stupid, why didnt u break it off this time. Oh and to add to the problem, i told her mom some of the sitaution, and she kinda blew up
    On me and said for me to wait until after her surgery. Idk what to do i cant stand to break her heart, but it kills me when im not with her. Anyone have any ideas im lost and im sicker than a dog over the subject, i have been eating less than one meal a day, abd its tearing me apart.

  • Shelly
    March 20, 2014 | Permalink |

    I have tried this approach, but he says he is NOT going anywhere and he will die if we break up. He has been manipulative and controlling in the past and I’m afraid if I make him mad he will lose his cool again.
    What should I do?

  • Stevie
    April 11, 2014 | Permalink |

    If you truly love someone and they truly love you then there is no reason to break up. Sometimes people may have had some fights for a period and then they stumble on an article like this and just decide its what they have to do because an article said so. The fact is that no article like this is going to hold the ultimate answer to what you should do because every relationship situation is very different. Listening to this I can imagine breaking up and really regretting not trying to first look for real relationship advice on how to make it work. A big reason people come to articles about break up is because they 1st ask the question “can it work” instead of asking “how can we make it work”.

    If after you have learned to communicate and open up to each other emotionally and still dont feel right then you will have probably realised by that point that you don’t love them. Not loving, lying and cheating are the only reasons for stepping away from each other but even then you should be looking at yourself and the part you played in the lack of love and the breakup because after time away there is better chance of repairing the relationship or having a new and stronger one. Asking how and why you lost your love for someone or they lost their love for you is one of the most important aspects to understanding yourself and improving loving relationships for the future with your ex or anyone else.

  • Daniel
    May 15, 2014 | Permalink |

    Love is such a tough thing, it’s one of those things that has not been effected by human evolution, we will always love. It’s difficult to imagine breaking up with someone you love, surely you’ll love again but it’s like when your dog dies and you say “I don’t want a new dog I want my dog”. I hate the pain that love causes.

  • Jake
    May 20, 2014 | Permalink |

    I have been in a relationship just under a year now. We met online and started to date long distance and using Skype to communicate before we met in person. Her plan was to move to my area eventually which is why I kept talking to her as I can’t do long distance relationships. We decided to meet in a neutral city and hit it off. Soon after she visited me in my city and I visited her in her city. Her city they primarily spoke another language. After several months of this long distance she wanted me to be with her but couldn’t just leave because she had a business to run and a house while I had a steady full time career and an apartment. So, I figured she had more going on and I couldn’t deal with the long distance. I worked things out with my job to work remotely and moved to be with her. At first things were good although I left a sunny warm place for a cold winter place, I figured I’m with her so it would be fine. After a while she showed me more and more insecurities. I felt like I was on call 24/7. I felt kind of like a prisoner. Even though she had another car I could use. If I’m not home she was always calling to find out where I was when she was at work. If I didn’t answer the phone while she was out she gets upset although I was in the shower or just using the restroom. If I make a plan to go out with a friend of mine a week later she gets upset by getting serious and quiet. Then I feel I have to justify why I’m going out with him as I hadn’t seen him for years. She snooped in my phone as she’s been cheated on in the past so I caught her looking even though she denied it but came lean another time. I never cheated on her as when I’m in a relationship I’m in that one solely. We get into fights and she can be a little violent when angry like smashing glasses in the sink, pounding hard on the counter, threatened to call the police on me once because I’m in her city and she said she’s in control there. I never touched her but that comment scared me where I packed my bags and bolted to a hotel after she left the house in a huff crying. She called me the next morning and although I was going to hop a plane and leave I decided to give it another chance. Over the months we lived together I felt less and less in love to the point where I just wanted to get away. Just wasn’t feeling it anymore but still cared about her and didn’t want to hurt her. Now I’m living back in my city as I was forced to come back by my job but she plans on coming here in a few weeks to live with me and be here. I care for her still and don’t want to hurt her and I know she’s in love with me and wants to enjoy this sunny place. I feel like I want her to enjoy the sunny place and the conveniences it has but I’m thinking more so for her but not thinking of my feelings. In the long run, I don’t think she’s the one for me even though she feels I’m the one for her. She’s too controlling and has a dominant personality. I just don’t want to hurt her or have her not experience this place as she’s been looking forward to it. I can’t eat or sleep and just feel nauseous all the time. She wants me to call her every morning and night and text during the day. Even if I say I’ll talk to her later via text, she would still call my phone multiple times to get ahold of me because there is a few hours different between us. Not sure what to do but when I was with her I wanted to get away. There is more to the story of course but I’d be typing for hours.

  • Anonomous
    July 4, 2014 | Permalink |

    This is killing me, but reading you guys comments make it easier.
    I don’t know how to break up with him, we’re both muslim and have known each other since we were 15 (I’m 23 now) and We’re just not compatible in any way what so ever. I come from a wealthy, educated family, and I have a fulltime job, my own income and I love going out with friends and co-workers to parties and bars. He is the opposite, a ex-criminal who lives on welfare, and is currently taking a taxi drivers license. I have strong family ties, but his family is not supportive, he hardly speaks with them, he doesn’t really have any clothes friends, he prefares being clingy, and waiting for me to hang out instead of making his own plans. There’s much more but i don’t want to bore you with details. I just feel like we should go our seperate ways, i love him and all but i’m not attracted to him anymore. On top of that i got a marriage proposal from a real goodlooking guy, who my family adores, and who i think i might really have a future with. I don’t know how to break up with him, with him accepting it, and letting me go. God I’m so confused somebody help me :(

  • feeling helpless
    July 27, 2014 | Permalink |

    I am in the same position as you, just above me in this blog. the ages and religions are different but the basics are the same. we are not compatible, though he would say we are.
    i am sick of being called names. and then being called beautiful.
    i am a beautiful moron who has stayed in a relationship with someone because she is afraid to be honest.
    this morning, we tried going for a walk. when a passing car asked for directions, he moved me out of the way so he could speak to the men in the car, and said, “i got, it, bitch.” i walked away and walked home. I asked him to leave. i told him we have no future. but, he is still here, because he has no where to go, no family for friends for support and no place to live.
    and, to make it worse, I am starting to feel BAD that I asked him to leave. I am in my room alone crying. WHY? I am not a stupid woman, but this man makes me behave like one.

  • stuck
    August 12, 2014 | Permalink |

    the same person who broke up w me via a text after ignoring me for days probab;y doesnt deserve all the steps this artcle talks about…we got back together and i regret it. so why does it seem so hard for me to do?

  • Self Saboteur
    October 24, 2014 | Permalink |

    I though I was the only insane person to not have a simple,efficient and healthy break up.
    I have realised that the feelings whether one sided or not the other party can pick up and for some reason they still want to hold on for dear life. I have tried breaking up with my bf this weekend and I don’t know how it happened but I feel I was manipulated, he kissed me then I felt like a victim of reverse psychology and didn’t end it after all…. Long story short, I couldn’t bring myself to be honest to him and when I did, it was overwhelming and I felt so bad for him and us. However I am not happy, in the long haul it is a disservice to him ad me. I will gather courage to do so soon, busy with exams now.

  • Alice
    October 24, 2014 | Permalink |

    I am Alice from New York USA,I want to use this golden opportunity to appreciate the great spell caster called Dr.makuta for helping me get back my relationship with my ex lover when he ended and turned his back on me for quite a long period of time. Dr.makuta performed a spell for me and within 48 hours after the spell had been cast i receive a call from my ex saying that he is sorry for hurting me and that he will not do such thing to me in his life again, I was surprised but later accepted him back. Anyone that is in the same line of problem or having difficulties in there marriages or any part of life should contact Dr.makuta email address:makutaspelltemple@gmail.com

  • morgan
    October 24, 2014 | Permalink |

    My name is morgan keri.i want to give thanks to dr.makuta for bringing back my ex husband.No one could have ever made me believe that the letter I’m about to write would actually one day be written. I was the world’s biggest skeptic. I never believed in magic spells or anything like this, but I was told by a reliable source (a very close co-worker) that Trust is a very dedicated, gifted, and talented person,It was one of the best things I have ever done. My love life was in shambles; I had been through two divorces and was on the brink of a third. I just couldn’t face another divorce, and I wanted to try harder to make our relationship work, but my husband didn’t seem to care. and he brake up with me again.I was confuse and do not no what to do again,rather them to get in contact with dr.trust. He did a love spell that make my husband come back to me. we are now very much happy with our self. dr.trust make him to realize how much we love and need each other.This man is for REAL and for good.he can also help you to fix your broken relationship. I had my husband back! It was like a miracle! He suddenly wanted to go to marriage counseling, and we’re doing very, very well,in our love life.contact email(makutaspelltemple@gmail.com or +2348110035171

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