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12 Tips for Ending a Relationship With the Least Pain

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One of the worst ways to break up

One of the worst ways to break up

No future

Realising that our relationship lost its heat and it would be better to put an end of all the past months/years spent together is never easy. Still, what’s even more harder is to tell this to the other party and try to - gracefully - end the relationship together.

No matter what had happened during the relationship, everyone deserves a longer and hearty talk about the past and some explanation about what made us make this decision.

In the following points I’ve tried to gather all the most important things that you should do to end a relationship and all in all, to have a correct break-up.

Just to make sure

First of all, the most important thing is to ask yourself: Would you be happier if you two weren’t together anymore? - Think this over once more and if it is needed, write a pros and cons list about your relationship (on your own when you are alone, don’t involve anyone else – moreover not your partner or your friends).

Also, make sure you never decide to break up in the heat of the moment and never threaten your partner with a possible break-up. These will just create more problems and the next day it is possible to even see things in a completely different way.

After all these if your answer is still yes, so you still would like to break-up with your other half, then follow these unwritten (well, now written :)) rules if possible – to have a peaceful and drama-free break-up.

Never break up via text!

Never break up via text!

Tips on how to break-up peacefully

  1. Make the other party the first to know. Never tell your friends that you are planning to end your relationship. And with this, don’t let your partner to learn this fact from others first. This break-up is only your business.
  2. Never play for time. This will only create more doubts in you. But please keep in mind: if you see that your future ex had a bad day already, don’t make it worse for them. Wait at least one, but rather 2-3 more days. Break up with them only when both of you are calm and is able to speak in private and nonce can interrupt or interfere.
  3. Be honest and give sincere answers for the questions that the other party might ask from you during the break-up talk.
  4. Be direct; give the MAIN reason for the break-up. NEVER give a whole list and hurl abuse at them; keep in mind that the aim is to end the relationship and NOT to emotionally kill your future ex, right? Tell them the biggest issue that can’t be solved and concentrate on that. If it was a recurring problem, it will not shock and hurt the other party unnecessarily. Don’t over-complicate things.
  5. Don’t just ask for a break. This is the worst thing one can do. With this you would leave some doors open and suggest that maybe in the near/far future you two will be able to get together again. You can’t do this to your partner, you can’t elongate their sufferings.
  6. Break up in person. NEVER break up through e-mail, sms or over the phone. This is humiliating and suggests that you have no respect to the other party – at least not enough to ‘be a man’ and break-up in person and talk about the reasons.
  7. Do it in private and at the right place. Never break up on family events, after sex or on your holiday. Choose a calm and neutral place if needed, but the best is if you do it in your home.
  8. Listen to your future ex, let them ask or tell what they want. Also, if you two live together speak about how and when to move out. Respect what they ask.
  9. Keep in mind to be correct. Always behave and never make a huge drama. Additionally, don’t be rude or hurt the other party unnecessarily.
  10. Accept and admit your responsibility and your mistakes – don’t just blame the other party. On the other hand never say ‘It’s not you, it’s me’, as this is just an annoying and offensive cliché that leaves loads of questions unanswered for your ex.
  11. Be ready for some tears, arguing, questioning and/or begging. But never raise your voice, even if your partner starts yelling at first. Let them calm down and continue to talk.
  12. Keep distance after the break-up. If you know there’s no chance to get back together again in the future, never try or let to prolong the agony of both of you. Don’t be friends for a while if needed. After some time, when the feelings have settled, you can meet again, but never let the other party to start hoping again.

What do you think?

Keyword: graceful

Please always keep in mind that even if you already knew that you will end this relationship, the other party might not have a clue about it. This news will probably shock them, so make sure you are always appreciative and calm during the break-up talk.

All in all: Leave as you would like to be left – if it ever happens.


This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2012 Sophie

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Comments on the topic

rob on November 11, 2019:

i cant really know how to start,the article starts from the middle,please,re phrase and make it from the start.

Kevin on February 07, 2019:

Nice one

DjHazuu on June 09, 2017:

Thanks for this article

Dre on November 28, 2012:

Really great article. Well written and very thoughtful - thank you very much. You were very helpful for me.

Sophie (author) from United Kingdom on September 03, 2012:

Wayne: according to what you said, that seems to be the right decision, I agree. And I'm glad you were here to share this story!

Thank you for both of you for your comments, I appreciate it very much!

Wayne Brown from Texas on September 03, 2012:

Great advice...well-organized and nicely packaged. Between my marriages I ended up in a relationship with a very nice person who deserved to find a loving relationship...Lord knows she gave enough. As much as I tried, I could not find that "magic" in our relationship and I could not envision a future. I felt very dishonest. On that basis, I took the straight-forward and honest approach and ended it being careful to let her know that it was not her but me. I was the one who could not find the commitment and vision that she deserved for her efforts. Though it caused both of us some pain, it was the right thing to do. Honesty does not always feel good in the aftermath but still, it was the right choice. Thanks for sharing. ~WB

Lovelovemeloveme from Cindee's Land on August 18, 2012:

Breaking up is always difficult. This tips are helpful, especially keeping distance after the break up. good hub! Breakup made a little bit easier :)

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