There is no real art to “breaking up.” It is just a “not so nice” part of the dating process; trying different people on to see just how they fit. But I always believed in a few rules that will make your “parting ways” as least difficult as possible:
Honesty is the best policy, but brutal honesty is not called for! When breaking up with someone, it is important to be honest with why you feel that you both would be best to part ways. Let’s say you are considering breaking up with someone because there are certain habits they have, that you are sure you can’t live with. Brutal honesty (“you’re too much of a weirdo for me”), is not going to cut it. But you can tell them that you feel there are important areas in a relationship that you and this person just don’t click on. If they ask for specifics, you can tell them, but remember to let them know that you respect those differences, but they are not for you.
Start with the good stuff FIRST!! It does help to cushion the blow when you start with those persons good qualities, before you hit them with the negative stuff. Tell them about all the things you admire about them, and then finish with, “But there are some more important things I need in a partner, and as great a person as you are, I don’t see those important things being fulfilled.
Do not use the “It’s not you…It’s me” routine. Can we face reality please! I don’t know why people use it when they know the other person ain’t gonna buy it!! It is not about them and it is not about you, it’s basically just the fact that you are not right for each other. Stay with a perspective that is true!
Do not offer to “still be friends,” if you don’t want to! Believe me when I say that using this tactic because you think it’ll make things OK is not the truth… it doesn’t work either. If you really want to “just be friends,” then that is OK, but sometimes you have to be careful with that too… it could give the other person a false sense of hope, and that is not good or fair. On the other hand, if you truly see this person as just being a really great friend, then by all means, you should tell them so.
Do not do it in a public place! Please try not to break up with someone while you are on a date with them, or in a public place. The best thing to do believe it or not, is to do it in a place comfortable for them, or at least a place that will cause minimal fuss, and the person you break up with can make a clean, easy exit. Being dumped sucks, but it helps if you are not in a crowd or in public, and if you can make a clean getaway… back to your own sanctuary (home). Also try to make sure the other person has there own means of transportation as well. There is nothing worse than getting dumped and being stuck where you are!
Stand your ground! It is natural that the person you are breaking up with may want to do anything to keep you; this is why they say the first break up “never sticks.” It is important to stick to your ground. Promises at this point are of no consequence, and if you were honest about your needs throughout your relationship with this person (I hope you were), then they most likely will never get met, regardless of how much they swear to you things will change. Stick to your guns, and make a clean break, the first time!
Last but not least, Breaking up with someone just stinks!! There is no way to make it easy, nice, or OK. But you can at least make it as civilized and considerate as possible. Expect for the other person to be upset, angry, disappointed, and/or even cry! Just be as supportive and as considerate as you can in the process. They may even lash out at you and get personal, call you names… but you should not let go of being civilized. That person has a right to be upset with you, it is an upsetting thing. But take heed to the points above, and remember that in the end, if your reasons for breaking up are just, then you are doing the right thing for the both of you.