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How To Break Up With Somebody In 7 Steps

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How To Break Up

Everybody knows that it‘s a devastating experience to be left by someone you really love, be it a break up or divorce. We have all gone through this at least one time in our lives. But the fact that it is also very difficult to be the one who actually leaves, is something you could only know if you have experienced it.

So, the question arises – how to break up with someone?

Relationships come to an end, and the reasons why can be numerous.

They all have in common that one member of the relationship is dissatisfied and pulls back. Maybe he has tried for some time to adjust the relationship according to his wishes. If this fails, he usually quits emotionally long before the actual break up. That is often the reason why the “dumpee” has the impression that the “dumper” is cold hearted—he left mentally months ago.

How to decide if the relationship should be ended or not?

They say that breaking up is hard to do
Now I know, I know that it’s true
—NEIL SEDACA

Here are some guidelines you can take into account when considering ending a relationship:

  • Does the relationship allow you to evolve according to your wishes?
  • Does the relationship fulfill your needs?
  • Is it possible to have goals together and achieve them?
  • Does your partner accept you as you are?
  • Can you resolve conflicts together?
  • Are you feeling good in your relationship?
  • Is the communication with your partner good?

If your answer to these questions is in the majority “no”, then it is probably time to move on.

So, you want to break up with your girlfriend/boyfriend and you don’t know how to do this? You’ve never done it before, or have done it wrong in the past, and you could use a helping hand?

The first thing you have to realize is that there is no painless way.

It simply doesn’t exist. No magical words which will take the pain away. It will hurt them, and it may also hurt you. There is nothing you can do about this. You can only avoid some common mistakes and make it a little easier for them.

As you continue reading, you are about to learn the steps on how to break up with someone the best way. If you have made your decision, just use the following steps as a guideline.

How to break up with someone in 7 steps:

1. Keep a few days distance

It is very advisable to maintain some distance from your partner before you actually break up. This has many advantages. On one side, you will gain some emotional distance, which is important to be able to go through the steps listed below.

On the other side, your partner will sense that something is about to happen and will hopefully emotionally prepare himself.

Just cut off contact for a week before. Do not give too much information, just say you’re busy.

2. Try to be sure about your decision

I know, that’s a tough one, especially when you love the person in question, or are very close to him/her.

Chances are that you were thinking about breaking up for a long time. You have come to the conclusion that you don’t fit together, have different expectations about life or were unable to resolve or get to the bottom of your conflicts. Maybe you have simply realized that you do not love your partner.

Either way, try to be sure that there is no chance of getting things right again. I wrote “try”, because I know that these things are not always easy to realize. You can be relatively positive of your decision, if you have tried several times to work on your relationship by talking about your problems with your partner.

To help you with making the decision, I suggest that you make a list of all the reasons why you want to break up, and write a possible solution beside it. Then go through your list and reflect whether or not you have done everything you could to solve the problems you’ve had.

By knowing the reasons for the upcoming break up, you will on one hand be prepared for questions your partner might ask, and on the other hand they will help you to cope with the break up yourself.

So, are you absolutely sure?

Next step.

275 Responses to How To Break Up With Somebody In 7 Steps

  1. Ronak February 10, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

    This proves that there are true lovers like you too! 

  2. evanna lynch April 16, 2012 at 12:33 am #

    my boyfriend and i have been together for a few weeks and he is one of my best guy-friends and i want to break up with because my friends dont like him,he gets jealous when his friend talks to me,and he has gotten kinda annoying. how do i break up with him

  3. Kecia April 29, 2012 at 11:38 pm #

    I have been in this relationship for 10 years. I have never had tobreak up with anyone in my life, something always happen. They move out of town, we lose contact, or they break up with me. I have been trying to break up with this man for a year now. I don”t want to be in a relationship right now. We don’t have the same goals in life, hell he don’t have any. I’ve been with him since I was 23 years old, so we are comfortable together. We live together, he wants to get married and I don’t. He annoys the hell out of me. We sleep in seperate rooms. I have told him on several occasions I didnt want ot be in this relationship anymore. I use to think he wound change but that never happen. I thought he would grow up, but he is the same person I met 10 years ago. I don’t regret our relationship, because this relationship shows me what I want in a man and what I will not tolerate.

    Please help, I’m running out of options!

  4. Eddie Corbano May 3, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

    I this case it is advisable to let some time pass with no contact… a few days.

    Then write a short letter/email: make your intentions clear, state your reasons and offer a meeting to answer questions.

    Eddie

  5. Emma May 16, 2012 at 7:33 am #

    I have been wanting to break up with my boyfriend for some time now. He just isn’t my type. He is clingy, I want my space, and I miss being single. I am dreading breaking up with him, especially because we have to sit in the same class every other day, and he is very sensitive.
    I know in my heart, though, that while it is going to suck for a while, there is a girl out there that will appreciate his emotional attachment much more than I do. He will be happier with someone else, even if he doesn’t see it now.
    I am so happy I found this article. I got sick to my stomach every time I thought of making the first move, but I’ve already done the first 2 steps, and I am building up the courage to continue. I wish the best of luck to everyone else out there going through a breakup. We aren’t alone, and we’ll get through it. Life moves on, and we must, too.

    • Hailey March 1, 2013 at 4:12 am #

      I’ve been wanting to break up with my boyfriend. He is to clingy and sometime he doesnt even pay attention to me at all. My friends don’t like him. He gets over tempered. My friends say if you dont tell him to chill out they wont be my friends anymore. I don’t know what to do.

      • lilly March 19, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

        you need to break up with him before anything bad happens an it will happen most likely if he has a bad temper.

      • joel April 6, 2013 at 3:41 am #

        Communication would work best.

  6. beth June 19, 2012 at 8:08 am #

    Could anyone tell me what should i do in my situation. Me and my boyfriend are and have been in love with each other for a couple of years. But now things are totally gonna change. We never wanted to but have to get seperate, as our parents don’t want us to get married. There’s no way out but a seperation after evaluating all options. Both of us are emotionally devastated and trying to get out of the whole attachment. I really really want to help him get through this as I know he’s not that good at taking efforts to make things better. Please help what should we do? I am really worried about him as he doesn’t want to know how to come out of this emotional stress and start fresh.

  7. sally September 26, 2012 at 3:58 pm #

    hello i am married but in love with someone who is a friend of the family. hisrelatives and mine are all closeand hang out all the time. i need however to work on my marriage as it has deteriorated over the years but if i break up with this friend then everything will be chaotic in terms of our families. can someone help me break up yet keepall the friends together

  8. suji October 9, 2012 at 1:53 pm #

    i am confused i like him i can say that i love him but both of us have different personalities thats may be because of age difference(7years)..but somethings hurts me we are in a relation from last 7month but the spark is not there after 2month only he said we love eachother but that does n’t mean we should get married i reacted in the same way one should react..after 2month i leave that place and shifted..in those time he said sorry and it was good..before leaving my job and the earlier place he was the first person whom i told that i am going to leave very soon and he said its good for my future(i will get a better job).. sometimes he needs me and particularly for that time i feel i do have some existance in his life only..before going to bed he wants to talk with me but i was waitng from the morning and for me its impossible to talk at the night..then lots of fight arguement..another thing right now i dont want to get married but all of a sudden he started talking about getting married..i love to talk,text and ofcourse be in touch but no marriage..i just dont feel he is the right one and as if i am just pulling this relationship and now he tries to register this..what to do please suggest..

  9. Annika October 30, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

    I’ve been with my boyfriend for nine years but we only started living together about a year and a half ago. When I first started going out with him, I didn’t think it would last long because I wasn’t that into him. Somehow we stayed together, long distance while we went to separate universities. He is a really loved person, we never argue, always get on well, I can’t fault him, but the spark was lacking. I thought moving in with him would improve the relationship but it only made it more obvious that things weren’t working because he didn’t show much interest in sex, and now it’s been months since we last had sex. I love him as a friend but I know we can’t stay together. He says he loves me and wants to make things work. It’s only when I met someone new that I realised that I have to put an end to this. I just don’t want to hurt him because I do care about him and he’s never done me wrong, and even though I’m scared of being lonely, I’m looking forward to being single!

  10. Blaise Kerehoma January 31, 2013 at 4:58 am #

    Hi Eddie, I really love what you have to say about break-ups. I can definately relate.
    I was just wondering if you can help me out with one question “how I can come to peace with my situation”?. I have a 3 year old daughter with my ex-partner and we both share our daughter 50/50 – life is not easy because we are constantly dropping her off at each of our places every 3 days – but our daughter has adjusted to this fine. We have now been seperated for 1 year and my ex-partner still gives me alot of slack for not giving him a chance for us to work our differences out. I had mentally prepared myself to seperate from him 10 months prior to seperating with him I tried relationship counselling, speaking to family friends and close family regarding our problems but I felt that my ex-partner ignored alot of what was happening to us – I believe he blamed me for all the mistakes we had made together. Our break up was mutual also. He hates my guts now and probably for the rest of my life because I went out with a friend of mine 2 weeks after seperating from my ex. He says that I didn’t give him a chance to figure things out and work on our differences. He fluffed around with me for the first week and said “don’t rely on us getting back together because I can’t guarantee that it would happen” I was distraught because I thought that there would be hope for us. The second week of our seperation – a lightbulb flicked on inside my head and I automatically went into survival mode and decided to move on and not wait around for my ex-partner to make a decision on what he wanted to do. I told him that I wanted to sort things out – but he kept ignoring how I was feeling about the situation and us – and he did not reply. I got impatient and hot headed and didn’t think before acting. Some part of me feels guilty for not letting time pass before sorting out what went wrong with us and to try and find a solution. I do feel bad now that I am happy and he is not. I feel hurt the most with having my daughter go through this horrible situation. My new partner has been so supportive throughout the last year and I feel so good about who I have become and how happy my baby is. But I still miss the memories of being a family with my ex-partner. And I feel sorry for him as he has not yet moved on. Can you please help me with advising how I can come to peace with this situation as I am still searching for answers. I was always a true believer in staying with my man through thick and thin when having a baby with my man. I look forward to your reply.

  11. Denise February 21, 2013 at 6:01 am #

    I would love to know how you would approach a breakup with someone you live with? Been together for almost two years, in this time he’s not been employed. I’m disabled. So, I’m supporting both of us and my minor child, not his. I want to be honest with him, but he always turns everything around and doesn’t take responsibility for his own actions. Our priorities aren’t on the same page, and I don’t think they ever will be. He is ten years younger, I’m in my early 40′s. I feel like I’m stuck. Any advice will be greatly appreciated!

  12. Jane April 2, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

    I have been in a relationship for 5 years.We live together. I have a 10 year old who has known him half her life and is in love with him. I am at the point where it has to end… I am so done. I just don’t know how.

    1. He has not had a stable job in 5 years.
    2. He does not help with rent or bills at ALL for that matter. Every now and then he’ll give me $100 or $200 but it’s been almost a year since that has happened.
    3. His cellphone broke and he asked if he could use my daughters cellphone until his is fixed (my mom pays for my daughters cellphone and she does not really in to it…yet)…but he hasn’t offered to pay the bill in the THREE months that he’s been using it.
    4. I have been having to travel out of town for work (fly on Monday and fly back on Friday) for the last three months, he has had a car to use (with gas) for interviews, my daughters cellphone AND access to my macbook and still no JOB interveiws or even prospects.
    5. He picks me up from the airport late IN MY CAR, in a dirty car, with low tire pressure, that has no gas and the “change engine oil” light is on

    I love him. He is a sweet kind person and It’s not all bad.
    He cooks for me (almost daily)…granted I buy the food.He does sometimes clean the house. He treats my daughter like his own… and she feels like he’s her “other” dad.

    I’m so annoyed with him and his LACK of ambition. It’s like I have a 32 year old son…except we have sex…YUCk, right?

    How do I approach this. I’m going back home this weekend and staying for a week… I plan on ending it then.

  13. Ashley June 10, 2013 at 8:43 pm #

    Hi I have been in a relationship for 5 years now and Im feeling stuck. We started dating right after my sixteenth birthday, I am now 21. We have lived together for 3 years now and we have a one year old daughter together. Things just haven’t been okay for a really long time. Although we live in the same house it feels as if we’re a thousand miles apart. I’m no longer happy, I don’t feel like myself, and I’m starting to feel depressed. I want out but it’s so hard with our daughter. I’ve been a stay at home Mom since I had my daughter and haven’t worked in two years. I wouldn’t know where to even begin, but I’m tired of feeling stuck. Every time I try and talk to him about what’s going on with us he laughs in my face and turns the situation into just him “So I don’t do anything for you right ha” and leaves our house. I feel like I’m continuously trying to resolve our problems to make our family work. But I’m tired of fighting for something he doesn’t want. If he did wouldn’t he listen to what I have to say and try to work with me on this, instead of laughing and walking out. His family also doesn’t like me so I think that may have something to do with it. After work (12 hr shifts) he’ll go straight to his parents and stay there for five hours then come home to sleep. On his days off he is always out and about having things to do with his cars and leaves me and our daughter at home. I’m always waiting and asking for time with him but he always has something else he needs to do. I’m lonely, and when I tell him I miss him and want time together he says “you act like I’m cheating on you or out with my friends! I’m just fixing my car” .. I try and tell him I don’t think he’s cheating and I don’t mind him having guy time at all, but that I’d also like to have time with him. He works 12 days straight , 12 hrs at a time and gets four days off; and me and our daughter hardly ever see him. So of course I do get a little frustrated with the fact that even on his days off he doesn’t care to make time for us. What do I do? Do I stay unhappy, or do I leave and try to make a life for me and my daughter.

  14. David July 9, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

    Hello,

    I have a problem, I am with this girl and I love her. We have a rented house, shared posessions etc. I have changed career drastically in the last few months and after being shut away most of the time I am now free every evening and weekend. I feel that although my feelings towards her have not changed my circumstances have and now I have more freedom than I have ever had, but cannot enjoy this new found freedom as I am with someone and so feel compelled to spend time with her. I know that I would be happier if I broke up but also I feel that maybe I am being selfish. I would love to go out and meet new people from work or wherever but I feel restricted in what I can do as I always have to think about her.

  15. Marko July 13, 2013 at 4:23 am #

    I have been in a relationship in a half year now and i don’t find any feelings for her anymore. She don’t think like me and she always try to be like me but it keeps scaring me when she says that she is going to take suicide or cut her self if i break up with her. Could you try to help me handle this situation?

    /marko

  16. Megan July 17, 2013 at 6:05 am #

    I have been in a relationship for 5 years now. I do love him, just not IN love with him. We have been living together for years now and we share many possessions including a house we bought together. ( it is a fixer upper). I feel that I am the only one that sacrifices for us. At one time I was working 2 jobs and going to school at the same time just so that we could pay our bills. The whole time we have been together he has worked for one dead end job, I just now got him to leave it for a better one. He is a sweetheart and listens to everything I say, but I just want to be friends. We don’t even have sex anymore it is like once a month maybe. I feel more like roommates anyway. I really hate where we live but I have stayed to be with him. He says that he hates it too but when we decided to move he did not come with me, and gave me a lame excuse, so I ended up moving back. I want to just be friend but I feel that when we break up he will not want to talk to me. He is my best friend but I am not in love with him. What should I do?

  17. Marie November 16, 2013 at 2:14 am #

    I have been dating this guy for sometime now and I don’t think it’s working out very well. He doesn’t really talk to me anymore. He talks to my best friend more than me. The thing that concerns me is that I know she likes him too! I really do like him but it seems that he’s more interested in my friend more than me. He doesn’t seem to care when I bring up the subject of ending it. Does that mean he doesn’t care? Help me!

  18. Kevin January 16, 2014 at 8:08 pm #

    Hi Eddie,

    I don’t agree with point 6. In fact, my ex (who was the dumper) offered another meeting 8 days after our breakup. By then, I was already in no-contact mode. When I saw her e-mail, I felt really upset. Fortunately, I was strong enough to refuse her offer, but it took me 2 full days thinking how to respond her in a friendly way… My advice would be: don’t initiate a closure meeting. If the dumpee asks for it, then don’t refuse, but don’t initiate it yourself.

    Happy to hear your views!

    • Eddie Corbano January 16, 2014 at 9:25 pm #

      Hi Kevin, you are right, I should have stated clearer that the offer should NOT be proactive, but merely the willingness to do so upon request.

  19. jessica watson January 24, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

    hi eddie , ive been in a 2 year relationship and me and my boyfriend have yet to have sex, i just dont feel it, we have broken up once becuase of this and have had many arguments also, i just dont feel like im ready physically or mentally yet, i have had sex with my past relationship and i regret that, now my bf kinda throws it in my face like ” well you had sex with him and why not me” sorta thing, i feel like i am wasting our time, and the other day he said he is had it with all this and is sick of wasting time, so i feel that if i do give him the intimacy thats all he is gonna want, but sex shouldnt be a question with the one you love , i feel like if it was suppose to happen , it shoulda happened a long time ago, so now im feeling like im doing this cause i dont wanna hurt him and dont wanna see him sad, everyone tells me the same thing that i should move on and be sad then be in this relationship, also he kinda gave me a ultimatum cause i decided to work it out, he said if we ever have a argument about this (sex) again thats it he is done and he means it, i mean a bf shouldnt have to tell his gf that at all, please help me idk what to do ;[

  20. Shelby April 25, 2014 at 7:07 am #

    I feel like I’m going to blind side my boyfriend. He is great but seems so oblivious to the fact that we have just grown apart over the past couple of years. Part of me thinks he just refuses to grow up (he still complains when his mom doesn’t wash his clothes). I’m just over it. What are better signs for him to know it’s coming than just giving us space for a week?

  21. Mark Holt May 21, 2014 at 8:48 am #

    Excellent tips. It seems a lot of people really have trouble following the no-contact rule. One thing that I can add is that there are various ways that you can use this time period other than brooding over your ex. You could use the time to engage in some new sport, get together with your family and friends, or even take that extended vacation that you’ve been planning for and give yourself a treat instead of wallowing in feelings of depression and loss.

  22. SYN May 29, 2014 at 2:39 am #

    i have been with my bf for 4 and half years. things were fine till one day he realised we have drifted apart and he asked for a break last week. I was in state of shock as i was not informed of his unhappiness at all till the break.
    He insisted i stay in the same house and he gave me 1 year time frame but he got agitated when i say i will move out ASAP.
    He has been going out very often since the break and we hardly talk nor see each other much. after the 3rd day we broke off, he appeared in my room while i was sleeping. I dont know what he wanted, he came by my bed and we chat for a while and ended hugging and the next day will be an awkward morning.
    He still cares, he make sure the house is filled with food for me. He remembers what i miss eating and he bought it home.
    Am quite confused, what is his intention having me in the same roof?

  23. Geoff June 1, 2014 at 6:19 am #

    Hi everyone. My girlfriend and I have been dating for 8 years now. We get along great, communicate well, have lots in common etc. The problem is we haven’t had sex in 6 and a half years. She started experiencing pain during sex years and years ago so we stopped and try to have sex maybe once per year but it always ends in pain. The counter we have tried to do other stuff, but as time as gone on she has become less interested and it is more of a burden to be intimate. She feels pressure to do stuff with me and that makes her feel bad. I feel bad that she doesn’t want to and feels forced to. She has a low sex drive, and never wants to be intimate. I have a high sex drive and get extremely frustrated because we maybe try something intimate once per week but I have to feel bad to ask and then she feels I am pressuring her. I am afraid we will grow to resent each other. She is too afraid to go see the doctor, or says she will go but never ends up going. I am afraid we will end up hating each other and am at the point where i feel breaking up is almost the only option. But I really do love her. I think deep down I know that our sexual relationship will never improve. Does anyone have any advice?

  24. Ana Lund June 16, 2014 at 6:33 pm #

    Okay so me and this person were friends for almost two years now he started liking me maybe a few months ago at the time that he started liking me I was not even thinking of him in that way sure I had some days were I thought hey we could work we would make a good couple but for the most part I didn’t want a relationship.We started daiting two months ago.I did start to like him and have feelings for him.A month in a half into our relationship he told me he loved me and I said it back because I did love him and I do love him still so so much but I’m not in love with him I don’t love him as much as he loves me .I love him when I am with him but then once I get home I start to think and at some point a realized that yes I love him but I just love him like a friend I realized that I could easily flip the switch and be his girlfriend one day and his best friend again the next.I know that maybe if I saw him with another girl I’d get jealous but I would get over it.Ive been thinking about all that for a good two weeks now but it didn’t get bad until yesterday.I saw my friend who is a psychic she did his reading and he went home and then she did mine and the 1st thing she tells me is he’s not your soul mate and you know it and you’ve known it for a long time but he really cares about you he loves you and you love him too but you are never going to love him the way he loves you and the longer you stay with him the more you are going to hurt him because he’s going to fall more and more in love with you and so when you break up with him it will hurt.She said but right now is not the right time it’s two months you’ll be together on Friday wait till three months don’t let your relationship go past 4 months or else it’s going to be to painful.So since that whole meeting I can’t stop thinking about it I know what a need to do but I don’t want to hurt him oh god how I would do anything not to hurt him but I know no matter what a will.And I know she says I should break up with him but I am not ready to say goodbye because I want to stay friends with him I’m not used to not having him be in my life but he deserves someone who will love him just as much as he loves them he really does .The worst part is that we go to the same school and have four classes we are required to take together next year in order to stay at the school so I will be with him 4 hours everyday of the week and I could just not live with being in the same room with him with him hating me and not talking to me. Please just if any one could give me guidance or reasurance that maybe we could be friends again

  25. Luciana July 8, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

    Hello, and what when there is courage? Both are leaving together and there is a guilty feeling?

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