If you’ve been thinking about ending a romantic partnership, you might be subject to all kinds of relationship breakup advice. You read about it online, see it in movies and hear an earful from people around you.
But ultimately, how you handle your own particular breakup is entirely up to you and should be based on your own situation. Every dynamic between couples has its own unique flavor, but there are some basic guidelines that everyone should follow.
Here are 8 ways to break up in a healthy, productive manner that is far less likely to leave you or your partner with long-term scars, or anger and disgust at the very thought of you.
1. Break It Off In Person
Despite the fact that no less than 24 percent of young people today believe that breaking up via text or email is acceptable, it really isn’t. Every serious relationship deserves a fitting ending, in order to make sure both parties are clear on the issues and in a better position to rebound.
2. Opt For A Public Place (So Both Of You Remain Civil)
Choosing the best place to break off a relationship is not easy, but for the sake of civility, you’re most likely both going to benefit from ending it somewhere where you’re both forced to behave. Ultimately, no matter how much you or your partner might be hurt or angry, you want to be able to discuss the matters at hand openly, honestly and without letting things get ugly.
3. Rehearse What You’re Going To Say
Rehearsing your conversation is a good way to think of what might come up and how you should respond to it. Rehearsing may also give you the boost of confidence you need to move forward with the breakup. If you have a very close friend around, use them as a sounding board and ask for their helpful feedback. You want to know how you feel for certain, and discussing it out loud will help you get there.
4. Hold A “Q And A” For Closure
When someone breaks up with someone else, their first instinct may be to run away, but abandoning the conversation will leave lingering questions and pain. Approach the situation in an open-ended manner, with the mutual goal of really feeling as if you leave the situation with no questions, doubt, or optimally, no regrets.
5. Decide Ahead Of Time If You Want To Be Friends
This is a personal decision for each of you and should only be agreed to if it’s what the both of you want. Because it will likely be brought up, it’s important that you make up your mind ahead of time if you are willing to remain friends. Most often, it’s better to give each other time to get over the breakup and to digest everything that’s happened, but you should have a general idea of whether or not you’d like to continue seeing this person casually in your life after it’s over.
6. Give Your (Soon To Be) Ex Time To Talk
It’s tempting to blurt out “I’m breaking up with you!” and want no further interaction, due to the heavy emotions that may ensue; however, given that the relationship involves two people, each with their own set of complicated emotions, both of you should have plenty of time to talk. Have a compassionate ear, so long as it’s deserved, and be as kind to them as you’d want to be treated.
7. If It’s Really Over, Be Very Clear About It
Some couples break up on a regular basis, getting back together when the mood suits them. If this is not your intention, be explicitly clear that you want it to be over. Even leaving the door open a little bit can keep hope alive for a long time and that’s just unnecessarily hurting the other person.
8. Give Yourself Time To Heal
Even if you think it’s a good thing that you’ve broken off the relationship, it’s always wise to take healing time. Don’t let yourself pretend like everything is normal when it’s not. Talk to trusted friends and family about how you feel, what your hopes for the future are and any other residual emotional effect the relationship has on you.
The relationship breakup advice you follow should be based on how you feel in your heart, and guided by the logic in your head. Of course, you can’t totally script how it will play out, but if you have a thoughtful plan in place first, you should both find a happy ending to the parting of ways.