Breakups are tough, regardless of what side of it you stand on. There are a lot of different ways to go about it but only a few that take both people’s feelings into account. Here are tips for a healthy breakup, to help you get it over with while managing the other person’s reaction.
1. Keep the breakup between the two of you. A third-party breakup is not the way to go. He or she would rather hear it from you than from someone else.
2. If he or she is a hard worker (work can numb the pain), you can choose a Monday. If he or she goes out with friends often, you can choose a Friday. Don’t choose birthdays, anniversaries, and major holidays because they’re too memorable.
3. Choose the right place. Make sure there isn’t too many people around, but also not just the two of you. An open space can help clear the air, and he or she should feel comfortable being open and honest. You want to avoid doing it in a place like a restaurant or a concert – that just seems insensitive. But, doing it in an enclosed dorm room might be too quiet and make for a super awkward experience. Try the courtyard outside when it’s not so busy, or in a park.
4. Meet in person. Text or e-mail might seem tempting, but don’t be a coward. Make sure you keep the other person’s feelings in mind. A digital breakup is insensitive. Unless your afraid they will really fly off the handle, you should always do it in person. If you want to give them a little heads up, send them a text that says something like, “Hey, I think we need to talk. Do you want to meet up later? It’s kind of important.” That way they know something is coming, but the final blow is done face-to-face.
5. Be honest and communicate with him or her. Prepare a brief explanation, and have a few examples under your belt. Focus on relationship issues, rather than on people’s flaws. “Flaws” are usually more about conflicting values than about the actual people involved.
6. Listen, and react appropriately. If he or she gets upset, be sympathetic.
7. Don’t take back your breakup. If the reasons for breaking up are legit, there’s no good reason to get back together. And he or she might be feeling hurt. So think it over before you decide to break up: Once you say, “I’m breaking up with you,” there’s no going back.
Good luck doing the actual breakup, hope this helps both you and your future ex.
Emilyn Cahn is a writer for Society19. She is a recent graduate of Loyola Marymount University.