Jason Wiese | Lindenlink Contributor
*Photo Courtesy of www.breakupadvicenow.com, edited by taijiros.*
Neil Sedaka sang the truth in his 1962 hit “Breaking Up is Hard to Do,” which sparks the question, “How does one make ending a relationship easier?” The simple truth is that it cannot be made any easier. It is just as hard to find the right words to end a relationship as it is for someone to hear them, which is why, under any circumstances (unless legal help may be necessary), the process must be handled carefully, sympathetically, and, above all, honestly. How is this achieved? Allow me to explain:
Step 1: Meet Face-to-Face
It is a common belief that when announcing any certain news to someone, whether it be good or bad, it is always the right thing to tell it in person. Ending a relationship is absolutely important to do face-to face. It shows your honor and respect. Privacy is also essential, so you two must be alone. This may sound obvious, but many break this rule by ending the relationship with a friend nearby. The only reason that a friend should be present at all is if a ride to the selected location is needed, but do not let them eavesdrop on the conversation. Dress casually, nothing too fancy or eye-catching. It is best not to present yourself in a “memorable” ensemble. Remember that this is the last moment that you two will spend as a couple and that moment is sacred.
Step 2: Select an appropriate location to meet
Why is location important? Well, would you like to be broken up with at a McDonalds? A good meeting place could be a park, or at the other person’s home, which may end with the best results.
Step 3: Meet at an appropriate time
Timing is definitely important because, to do this properly, you will most likely be doing a lot of talking. Remember this: a night time break up could mean a sleepless night, possibly for both of you, so afternoon to midday is the best suggested time. You do not want to break up with them after they may have just gotten off of work or, even worse, right before they go into work. If possible, try to make sure that they will be able to have time to themselves after the break-up.
Some believe that in the wake of an unfortunate event in your partner’s life, such as the death of a relative or losing their job, it is best to wait until they are over that event to end the relationship with them. However, it is best to tell them how you feel as soon as possible. Staying with them only to avoid hurting them is a dishonest mistake, which may hurt them worse in the long run.
Step 4: Lead easily into confrontation
As people always say about ending a relationship, “Let them down easily.” It is unwise to rush into the confrontation. Never start the conversation with “I want to break-up” or “I don’t want to be in this relationship anymore” or, especially not, “I don’t like you anymore.”
Ask how they still feel about how the relationship is going. They may feel the same way as you, which happens more often than you may expect.
Step 5: Plead your case
As I said before, it is important to be honest with the person. Consider your reasoning for ending the relationship and simply tell them. Do not stretch the truth on any details. Do not point out any personality quirks about them that you may dislike or may annoy you. In fact, do not mention the word “annoying” or any of its synonyms.
If your reason has any similarity to a past boyfriend or girlfriend, do not mention this. Comparing a person to someone from your past makes him or her feel undervalued. Some people believe that if you are leaving this person for another, it is best to not tell them. Shall I repeat the first sentence of this step? Gently tell them there is someone you have acquired feelings for and that you believed that it was best not to lie to them about it. If your reason is a personal matter which you do not wish to discuss with the other person, explain this and, hopefully, they will understand.
Step 6: Allow the other person to have their say
However the person you are breaking up with seems to feel (pitifully sad, frighteningly angry, or even relieved) allow him or her to express their opinion about the relationship ending, which also gives them the chance to be honest about things they may need off their chest. Do not interrupt them. Do not suddenly walk away without giving them a chance to speak. Listen to every word. This may be something that you need to hear yourself.
Step 7: “Retort”
After patiently letting the other person speak their mind, now is the time for you to further explain your point. Repeat some of the things you may have said in Step 5. Try to make them understand how you feel.
Step 8: Take the negativity out of the moment
Losing a boyfriend or girlfriend is never fun, which is why you must try to make them feel better about the situation. Try to reassure them about the good things about their personality, the reasons why you began to like them before, and why they will find someone again. Make the final moment about them and try to end it with a smile.
Step 9: Live in Peace
Once you and your new ex have said your goodbyes, you are now at liberty to feel free. Admittedly, once the relationship is over, it feels as if a weight has been taken off of your shoulders.
Unless you have agreed to be friends, you may never see this person again, at least on purpose so cutting off communication from your ex is not a mistake. Yet, if you feel the need to catch up on how they are doing in the long-run, try it, without leading them on to something more than acquaintanceship. Briefly take a break from Facebook. No status updates, or Tweets either, for a week at minimum.
There is frequent argument regarding how long to wait before searching for another relationship. If you already have someone in mind and have been honest with your ex about this person, go when you feel most comfortable (just not the same day as the break-up). Sometimes, it is best not to search for another after breaking up with someone. Some people, depending on how long the previous relationship lasted, need some time to enjoy the single life, which can be a much easier life than being taken.
I cannot guarantee that you will never have to worry about hurting someone by using these steps. How a person reacts to a break up will vary by length of relationship, age, level of maturity, etc. There may be crying, screaming, or even incessant laughter, all of which you must try to remain calm during. The best thing is to hope for the best. I hope that from using these steps, or your own variations of them, that you will be able to walk away from your relationship feeling like you have done the right thing for both of you. And remember, be honest.