Breaking up with someone is never easy, especially if you don’t want to hurt their feelings. Of course, you don’t want to lead anyone on either, and you can’t ignore your own wants, needs, and desires. The best thing to do is to let them know gracefully and with compassion. But how can you do that? By thinking about it carefully and choosing the best way to do it. One important thing to note is the right time to do it. Timing is everything in life. Here is no exception. Try not to do it around the holidays, their birthday, or anything special like that. You will only ruin the occasion for them, at least in the near future. Studies have shown that the most common day to break up on is Monday, and the most common season is summer vacation time. Select the proper location. Do not do it in public. You may have less of a chance of the person freaking out, but it’s not considerate of their feelings. Don’t break up with them after a fight, and don’t goad them into a fight in order to break up. Don’t do it over text, Facebook, email, or over the phone. Do it in person. It may be more uncomfortable for you, but your soon-to-be ex will remember that you did it that way, and will tell others. That means your reputation will remain high.
Don’t be negative. Tell them the real reason you are breaking up with them, but in the best light. Don’t say you met someone better, were bored with them, or don’t find them attractive anymore. Be honest but considerate of their feelings. Think about it carefully and how they may react. Bring them something to say you’re sorry. Tell them you will always be there for them, no matter what. Leave the door open for friendship. Let them say their piece and be patient, don’t interrupt them. If they scream, yell, cry, or have a meltdown, don’t get confrontational. Remain civil. Don’t let them escalate however. If they become dangerous or destructive, it’s best you leave. Do not yell back or get into an argument with them. Try to talk about a positive memory you will always have about them. Highlight their positive qualities. Do not end up in bed together if it is truly and completely over. You will only be leading them on and you will end up trying to break up with them again somewhere down the road. Don’t gossip or tell rumors, but if people ask, tell them the truth. Don’t badmouth your ex, but let people know what happened and why you broke up with them, simply and succinctly. If the person is good natured, they will come to respect you, and perhaps, after they’ve healed their wounds, you can be friends. And it will all be because of how nice you were when you broke up with them.