Home  >  Love Couch  >  Broken Hearts

18 Steps to Break Up with Someone You Love & the Right Things You MUST Say

Learning how to break up with someone you love will never be easy, but just because its hard doesn’t mean it isn’t right.

how to break up with someone you love breakup conversation

Ending a relationship is painful, especially when you’re still in love with them. Knowing how to break up with someone `you love will help, but it won’t take the pain away.

It’s confusing and tricky, and you never really know what to say or how your soon-to-be-ex will react. You don’t want to hurt them. And you don’t want to hurt yourself, but there is a reason you want to break up with someone you love. You have to keep reminding yourself of that.

Try not to focus on excuses to stay together when you know you shouldn’t be.

Sometimes doing what’s right isn’t easy, but that doesn’t mean you should put it off any longer. Bite the bullet and learn how to break up with someone you love.

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

Breaking up with someone you love

Breaking up with someone you love sucks. You still care deeply for them, don’t want to hurt them, and you don’t want to lose them.

This person is still so important to you, but being in a relationship isn’t right, and you know it. Whether you love someone else, want different things, know the relationship has no future, or simply think it’s time to move on, it is hard to end something when there are still feelings.

Because of these feelings, you might procrastinate. You will enjoy your time together and maybe even convince them things are great when you know what is inevitable.

Another way you might deal with breaking up with someone you love is by being distant. If you stop reaching out and seem off, it seems like you’re pushing them away. Part of you feels like without a confrontation, it’ll be easier and less painful.

Unfortunately, that is only the case for you. You are making it easier on yourself by slowly backing away and hoping they get the hint. To them, this is cruel and disrespectful. You know they deserve better than that.

And, while we’re on the subject, it is also cruel to start a fight hoping they’ll break up with you. Don’t do this. Don’t force their hand, so you aren’t the bad guy. [Read: How to get someone to break up with you when you’re too cowardly to do it yourself]

All of these are cowardly ways to break up with someone you love. Remember, you love this person. Even though you are breaking up with them, they deserve decency, respect, and honesty. [Read: How to end a relationship on good terms]

The risks of breaking up badly

When you break up with someone you love 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 hell of a lot of tears.

You want to end it on the best terms possible and being sketchy and dishonest is not how you do that. You want to be straightforward. If you aren’t, you will regret how you ended things. You will hold onto them and they, you.

It will be more difficult for the both of you to move on than it has to be. Why break up badly when that doesn’t have to be the case?

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 there is no such thing when love is involved. [Read: Should you ever date your ex again after breaking up?]

Before you break up with someone you love

When you’re considering a breakup, you need to ask yourself a few questions to understand your own mind. You need to really consider why you’re doing this because they will ask. If you can’t answer that question for yourself, how will you answer them?

Can you really handle the breakup and can you stay firm with your decision? These questions will help you find that out. [Read: The BEST break up advice around]

1. If your partner asks for a second chance, what would you say?

Would you cave? Is there a chance? Is there something they could say to change your mind? If you came looking for tips on how to break up with someone you love, the odds are you’ve already struggled with this and made up your mind.

Letting them change it back now will only delay the inevitable and force you both to go through all of this again.

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

This happens all the time to many of us. You know deep inside that you need to break up, and you see no future, but every time you bring the conversation up and your soon-to-be-ex tears up or gets emotional, you lose your nerve and end up making up again.

This is a clear sign of an on-off relationship, and as much as you enjoy making up, the relationship has no future. [Read: On-off relationships and all the reasons why you should never ever stay in one]

3. Why do you want to break up?

This is probably the most important question. You want to be honest with yourself and your partner. Do you want to be single? Do you feel you’ve outgrown each other? Have you had a discussion about the future, and you’re convinced there’s no future because both of you want different things? You still love them, but has that love changed? Does it lack trust?

Don’t make something up. Be honest. [Read: 20 very valid reasons to break up with someone even if you love them]

4. Why haven’t you done it yet?

What is making you hesitate? Is it that you still love them, and it would be easier to stay together instead of going back out in the dating world? Would you be lonely? Are you afraid of hurting them? What is it that is making you not do it?

Even if you don’t tell them how long you’ve been thinking about the breakup, you should know the answer to this.

5. Are you just angry with your partner?

Are you sure you want to break up? Or do you want a break? Do you need time apart to deal with a fight or something that happened? Can this be sorted out with open and honest communication?

The odds are, even if you really do want to break up and it is the right thing to do, you will regret it from time to time, especially during the coming weeks. But that is part of a breakup. Will you truly regret the breakup or mourn the relationship?

[Read: Steps in taking a break in a relationship and how it works]

If you haven’t answered these questions, you aren’t ready to break up with your partner. You still love them whether you want to break up or not, but you aren’t prepared until you answer these questions. Be honest with yourself. If you have answers, don’t wait any longer.

How to break up with someone you love

If you know you have to end things even though you love your partner, here is how to do it.

Now, don’t expect these steps to make this break up hurt any less on either side. You may both cry and miss each other. But, if you follow these steps, you can save both of you many tears, anger, and even months of wondering.

This is how to break up with someone you love with the least bit of blowback.

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. It’s very easy to blur the lines between a momentary misunderstanding and a relationship with no future. Before you seriously consider ending the relationship or having the breakup conversation, give it some time to see if both of you can better your relationship and make it work first.

2. Prepare yourself

When it comes to a breakup, you never know what to expect. Prepare yourself for the truth of the situation. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been with this person for months or years. You do not know how they’ll respond.

You may think you know them so well, but remember, they likely have no clue this is coming. Be aware of that before going in. This is not a situation you can control. All you can do is express yourself and listen. You can’t change how they feel about it.

3. 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 the long term result will make you feel better and happier. You may still love this person, but a healthy and happy relationship requires more than love.

Remind yourself why you’re doing this. When you break up with someone, it is for your own happiness, and that is okay. Remind yourself you deserve to be happy. It will give you the strength to stick with your decision.

If it would make things easier, make a list of all the reasons why you want to break up with your partner. It will give you the strength to stick with your decision even if a few days pass since your last argument. [Read: 10 stages of a break up and how to get through them]

4. Have the conversation

Call your partner and tell them you need to talk about something important. Don’t elaborate on the discussion, but make it clear that you want to talk about the relationship. And do it in person. Speaking over the phone seems so much easier, but it’s insulting to the relationship.

You’ve already admitted you still love this person, so they deserve at least that much respect. And here’s something you need to remember – avoid breaking up in complete privacy or public.

Breaking up in a crowded space may cause a scene that’ll leave both of you uncomfortable, and with a lot of unanswered questions. On the other hand, if you’re in complete privacy, like at your house, there is the risk of getting back together due to chemistry or intimacy. Breaking up with someone you love is hard enough without this risk.

So, what does that leave? A park bench, going for a walk, or an outdoor restaurant is usually the best place for a quiet, uninterrupted conversation. [Read: If you still love someone, should you let them go?]

5. Don’t throw accusations

A breakup can be one-sided or mutual, but there’s no reason for you to throw out accusations. 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 opinions, and both of you are entitled to your strong opinions, so there’s really no point in creating a conflict here, or trying to win points over who’s fault the breakup is.

Even if they haven’t made you feel special lately or recognized what you need, don’t be cruel. There is no need. You may be angry, but you need to understand that you’re letting them go forever.

As much as you feel rage, remember that this is the last conversation you’ll be having as a couple. Would you want to leave your final goodbye with rage and bitterness?

Let them know you feel like you’ve grown apart and don’t see you moving forward together. You don’t need to attack or be mean.

Being cruel during a breakup only makes it harder, more painful, and is beneath you. [Read: The 20 best questions to ask your ex after a breakup to get closure]

6. Be honest

If you don’t know how to break up with someone you love, trust your gut. Be honest. Let them know that you’ve been struggling with this and don’t want to hurt them, but you’ve made up your mind. Don’t leave it open-ended. Of course, you’re feeling uncertain yourself, but you do know that the right thing to do is to end the relationship.

It can seem harsh but try to be straightforward. You may want to say you still love them, but at this moment, that will ease your pain more than theirs. Be honest about what you want so there are no misunderstandings. [Read: Why is getting over a breakup much easier if you break up first?]

7. The breakup conversation sample

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? / What do you mean?

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 believe it would be best if we break up and go our separate ways. Both of us are obviously not happy in this relationship even though we love each other…

8. Explain the reasons

The breakup conversation example mentioned in the earlier step would definitely help to get the conversation started, 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 that matter – not the accusations, but why you believe the relationship has no future.

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. [Read: 25 tips to end a relationship without making it messy]

9. Answer their questions

If you really want to know how to break up with the one you love and end it wholeheartedly, you need to help your partner come to terms with it as well.

You need to be willing to hear them out and answer their questions. Doing that will let them walk away with at least some level of clarity and dignity. They may try to justify their actions, or they may even ask you to reconsider your decision. Help them understand your point of view, but you shouldn’t change your mind just because they’re begging you to.

10. Thank them

Once you’ve explained yourself and heard them out, it is time to wish each other the best. Even if you are still in the midst of your pain and they, theirs, being classy and respectful is important here.

Saying goodbye on a high note or as good as possible will let you remember the relationship peacefully and without holding a grudge. Thank them for all the good times. Let them know you are glad you met them and appreciate what your relationship was.

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. You do not need to decide whether you want to stay as friends or not right now. [Read: Circumstances when exes can stay friends and times when they just shouldn’t]

11. Give them space

Do not check in with them. Try not to reach out to their friends or text them or send them a funny meme. You just broke their heart and probably part of your own. Let them grieve.

If you both have decided not to be friends, or if you’ve decided to unfollow or block each other on social media, stick to it. Liking a post or viewing their story only sends them mixed signals, and won’t help either of you.

Even if you want to be friends eventually or run in the same crowd, spend at least a few months apart with no kind of contact so you can properly get used to life without each other before reintroducing a friendship. [Read: All the reasons why the no contact rule is the best way to end a relationship]

12. Do not comfort each other

You may now know how to break up with the one you love, but there are still a few tricky issues about that final goodbye. Do you hug it out? Kiss each other? Have sex one last time?! *sex is usually a big no-no!*

Avoid getting sexually intimate for the last time, it’s just pointless and can lead to confusing affairs or on-off relationships.

But if you do want to share one last kiss, we’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.

It’s just like death. Saying goodbye to a dying person can actually help you come to terms with it, on the inside. But at the same time, a sudden separation with no goodbyes will always leave you with regret. Of course, it would hurt either way, but goodbyes give you a sense of finality.

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 help your ex find peace, and help them move on without you]

13. Final goodbyes

You know how to break up with someone you love. No matter how well it went or how calm it was, it sucks. There is no way around that. You will mourn the loss of this relationship. You will miss them. Maybe you’ll want to text them or drive by their house.

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: How to not text someone when that’s all you want to do]

Depending on how long you’ve been together, this can really be excruciating, and to be honest, none of these things will ease that pain. They may help you both come to terms and find peace a little bit sooner, but don’t find yourself under the impression that you can avoid the pain of a break up with someone you love.

[Read: 10 important things you HAVE to do immediately 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 both of you should live happily as individuals rather than live unhappily as a couple.

Liked what you just read? Follow us on Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest and we promise, we’ll be your lucky charm to a beautiful love life. And while you’re at it, check out MIRL, a cool new social networking app that connects experts and seekers!

Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...