How to break up with someone

Part 1, Part 2

If you have landed here, do make sure though you read Part 1 of this article on how to break up first.

Splitting up can be really tough, but I so hope I can help you learn how to break up with someone with minimal pain and distress.

Here are the three steps you need to take to effectively, but kindly and considerately break off your relationship...

Step 1 - Know your reasons for breaking up

We're beginning to shape the conversation you're going to have with your partner with the answers to these questions. You'll be able to construct the story of the highs and lows of the relationship and it's ultimate decline in your perception.


You need to give it to your partner gently. Why? It'll make the ending smoother for the both of you and sets you up for a deeper healing. (For further help on voicing your reasons for breaking up, see Reasons for Divorce.)

How long have you been together?
How did you first meet?
What attracted you to your girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse?
What did you like most about him/her?
When did you first notice that the relationship was not quite right?
When did you begin to wonder what it would be like if you ended the relationship? (Tip: it was probably earlier than you think)
Are you already in a relationship with someone else?  Perhaps your partner already knows about your infidelity?
Does your partner suspect your infidelity?
Have you already found somewhere else to live (if living together)?
What precisely bothers you about the relationship?
What precisely do you not like about him/her? (Tip: don't share this with your partner!)

Step 2 - Breakup advice for that conversation

Take it gently - step by step - take your time.
Be kind and considerate.  He/she may not have seen it coming.
Do not become defensive - there is no place for defensiveness in any case.
Stay as calm as you can, regardless of your partner's reaction.
Avoid at all cost saying anything like: ‘but’, ‘maybe’, ‘if you would only...’.   

The latter leave the door open for your partner or spouse to keep fighting for the survival of your relationship or marriage (and who would blame them). It would lead to heart-wrenching discussions, pleas and promises.

7 Tips for the best break-up conversation you can manage

  1. Don’t tell your spouse/partner what you don’t like about him/her
  2. Accept that you personally don’t like those things about her/him
  3. Accept that someone else might have no problem with them
  4. Take responsibility for your own likes and dislikes
  5. Don't blame him and her, however tempting
  6. Accept that you probably both played a role in what has happened
  7. Don’t say something like: “It is not about you, it’s all me” - even if its true, he/she will see it as a meaningless cop-out (and perhaps it is!)

Step 3 - Saving face with family and friends

Very simply: consider whether or not you need to say goodbyes to your partner's family and friends.

It can be oh so awkward if you later bump into them. What you do say when you haven't bothered to even send them a card to say thank you for being there, welcoming you, supporting you or whatever else there is to say thank you for and wish them all the best.

Most importantly, your children will need to feel that they can talk to you about family and friends!

There is no shame in...

... needing a bit of extra help with this gut-wrenching task. I recommend some self-hypnosis. It is so discreet, user-friendly and cost-effective with an expert download. Have a look at my Hypnosis FAQ and Downloads Pages and especially the one on ending a relationship.

Part 1, Part 2

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Elly Prior

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