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Before you find the one you’re meant to be with for the rest of your life (if that’s what you’re looking for), you’re probably going to be in relationships that don’t last. One day you just realize that the two of you aren’t meant for each other, and you need to break up.
While Paul Simon gave us “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” none of them are classy, and they don’t communicate relationship maturity. When you’ve dated someone for more than a month or two, then you need to actually to say something to him or her before cutting things off.
Read on to learn six kind, yet firm, ways to break up:
Neil Sedaka certainly was correct when he crooned, “Breaking Up is Hard to Do.” When breaking up with someone, doing so in person is always the best. It’s classier. It’s kinder. And, yes, it does take mustering up some courage to do so. Here are some ideas to help guide you.
You don’t want him or her to associate their living room couch with you breaking up with them, so plan to meet in a public place that is emotionally neutral for both of you. No former date night spots.
I don’t recommend doing this at a fast-food restaurant or fine dining establishment. Plastic chairs and the noisiness of fast-food restaurants or coffee houses are not conducive for the mood you want for breaking up with someone you cared about for a time. Nor is there any need to go somewhere pricey and ruin that place forever because of the breakup association it will then have.
Select a venue where you two can have a quick, quiet conversation.
You want to break up with someone without going into too many details. You’re there to talk, explain, and listen a little. But this is not the time or place to go into a deep therapy session about anyone’s inner child. That’s for a professional therapist.
You don’t have to listen to your now-ex for more than 10 to 20 minutes, but you should be mentally present during the conversation.
Don’t be cruel. While you’re breaking up with someone, give him or her time to spend with friends and/or family afterward if they want to. No need to take up their whole day or night by putting on a front that you’re having a legitimate date.
Break the bad news on a weeknight or weekday. The weekends offer many socializing options, so leave him or her free to get out and mingle with others after you’ve freed them up romantically.
I am not the biggest fan of breaking up with someone by phone or text. I was raised reading teen advice books that used to belong to my sister, and they were all about being classy with a young man and breaking up with him in person. Surely, if that’s what we were supposed to do at 16, we are capable of that and more at 56, 66, and 76. Yes?
However, if the two of you have only been on a few dates or are mostly developing the relationship online or through text, a quick goodbye may be all that’s warranted or practical. Here are a few ideas to do so with class.
After only a few dates, it’s not a relationship. It’s not a breakup. However, you still want to communicate graciously and with class to the other person that you’re not interested in pursuing a relationship.
Try adapting one of these statements to meet your needs:
When there have only been a few dates, you hardly need to say anything — just something polite and clear so they know to look elsewhere.
Whether you’re texting or talking on the phone, try to keep the whole breakup conversation to 10 minutes as a guideline. This time limit can change depending on how long you were with the person, but the gist is that you want to get to the point after a sentence or two. Then keep it warm and direct.
Always keep the focus on yourself and about how you’re feeling. You’re not ready for a relationship, you’re moving away, you want something different, or whatever the case may be. There’s no judgment or criticism. You two just aren’t on the same page.
If they want to keep talking longer, try saying something like, “I know this is difficult for you, but I just have another 5 minutes.” Then let them speak for a few minutes to vent. After the few minutes are up, affirm them and say goodbye.
As you break up with someone, aim to do so with an intent of releasing them with your blessing. Let them be a blessing to the person who they are meant to be with.
Leave any old anger and resentment in the past. Doing that will leave your more attractive to new potential mature mates. Carrying a resentment and venting about a breakup repels the very people who are the quality romantic prospects you’re looking for.
Remember, the way you behave most of the time is how you will probably behave in an eventual relationship. You want to be mature, kind-hearted, and clear with someone you’re breaking up with, so you can practice those behaviors for when you do find your long-lasting love. You don’t want to be cruel or short-tempered.
At the end of the day, you deserve to free yourself for the real love you seek and allow this person to be free to find their true love as well.