How to Break up With Someone You Once Loved Without Being a Jerk
Breaking up with someone is never easy to do, and if they’re someone you once cared deeply for, it’s even harder.
The first thing you’ve got to realize is that there’s no easy or good way to do this. The person’s going to be upset at you no matter what, and that’s just something you’ll have to accept.
Additionally, they might protest, cry, or say some nasty things. Your gut reaction may be to talk back or bring up a laundry list of reasons why they’re “definitely not the one.”
Avoid this at all cost. If you want to do this the right way, try to remind yourself how it feels to be broken up with, and remember that this is someone you have cared about. Your goal should be to be as kind and respectful as possible.
Forget your first 3 ideas
Your first 3 ideas about breaking up will be, in random order:
- I’ll text or email him a really nice message that it’s over.
- I’ll make him hate me by becoming a rude, chain smoking, alcoholic slob so that he breaks it off.
- I’ll just stop talking to him.
These aren’t good options. Forget texting, emailing, ghosting and going through a friend. Breakups should be done face to face.
- If you must break up from someone who is far away, at least do it with a video messaging system.
Set it up
Planning is important here. This person needs some warning about what’s going to take place so that they’re not blindsided. Ask if they can “have a talk” later on at a certain time and place, and don’t make them wait days for this talk. For example, ask them to meet you in a few hours or after work that evening. In addition, make sure that you name the place.
Where you meet them should be private, but it shouldn’t be your home. Instead, go to their residence so that you’ll be able to excuse yourself after you talk.
Plan what you’re going to say
It’s good to plan what you’re going to say so that you can have your thoughts collected when you speak to your partner.
You should also take time to tell the other person the things you’ve appreciated about them—the reasons why you started dating in the first place. Here, be honest. If they are kind, passionate, talented, loving … tell them that, and say it from the heart.
You’ll need to explain why the change that is about to happen is taking place. Again, be honest. When people get broken up with, the biggest issue they have is not knowing why it happened. They’re left with unanswered questions.
So be real and don’t give them a sugarcoated explanation, but do remember that there’s a fine line between being tactfully honest and brutally honest. You want to be tactfully honest.
Tell them how you really feel about ending the relationship. Do it delicately. Explain that it’s really hard for you, and mean it because it is hard.
At this point, you both will be feeling very low. They may be angry, confused or crying. If they want to talk, listen to what they have to say and respond to their questions about what’s happening. Some people won’t want to talk, and you need to respect that too.
If things become heated—and they might—remember to be gracious and kind. Breakups can be caused by resentment or animosity. You might want to break it off because you felt you weren’t getting enough attention and support, for example. But if you’re going through with this breakup, now is not the time to get nasty. Don’t list off things you are fed up with about the other person or go into detail about what you can’t stand. Be kind. Say what needs to be said, and when everything is said, you should excuse yourself.
The post breakup
You’ll feel like the worst person ever. You’re not, but you do need to respect the new boundary you’ve created. Don’t call or text later on to see how they are, and don’t respond to any calls or messages they send for at least a few weeks. This will only tangle things and cause more pain between you.
With time, both of your emotions and egos will heal, and you’ll be better off as individuals who are seeking the love they truly need and desire. Remember, be respectful and be sensitive. In the long run, you’re doing the right thing for yourself and for the other person.