The ‘60s song “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” was right on the money. Few things are tougher in life than telling someone that you can’t be a couple anymore. While it’s probably toughest on the one being broken up with, it’s definitely not a piece of cake for the one initiating the split. Here are some tips to help make the situation go as smoothly as possible.
• Don’t do it on impulse. Think about it for a while first. Think about what it will be like without your partner, and if you can handle that.
• Prepare what you want to say ahead of time. This is important. You have to be ready to make your points, and, be ready to answer questions. Be honest, but also be fair. No mudslinging, no aggression, no shouting… be clear and stay on track, and the only was you are going to be able to stay on track is if you are prepared.
• Don’t email. Don’t text. This has to be done face to face. Truth be told, texting or emailing is the cowardly way to go and it’s probably going to cause more problems and a lot of back and forth. You have to understand that he/she will want to be heard, so to do it in person is the best avenue to get it done and over with. However, if you fear for your safety, an in-person situation is probably not the best route.
• Be cool. Don’t be nonchalant, but do maintain a level of calm. And don’t argue. Let him/her rant a bit… don’t get trapped into an escalated argument or fight.
• Pick a time and a spot that won’t cause even more pain. For example, don’t break up with someone on his/her birthday. Choose the spot carefully as well. You want to pick a place where you are a) not embarrassing the person in public, and b) not putting yourself in a place where you can’t easily walk away.
• Finally, and this is a big one – avoid the tendency to keep in touch. It’s only going to give him/her hope that you might get back together. Make a clean break. The romance ends now. Yes, it is possible down the road that you might become friends, but right now, it’s crucial that you end any notions of it working out. For those being broken up with, there are some simple suggestions for you, too.
• Try to keep your cool and not get too emotional. Do that in private. Right now, you need to keep your composure and say things that you will regret later.
• Let him/her talk. You might not agree with the other person’s point of view, but you need to hear it.
• Take a deep breath and have your say. Don’t explode. Don’t have a crying fit. Chances are you are not going to change his/her mind, so don’t expel too much energy trying.
• Accept some time apart. Sometimes that’s what the other person needs to see your value, and it can work for you too to see that you can have a life without him/her.
• Keep the desperation in check. Don’t threaten to hurt yourself. Don’t try to crawl into his/her arms. Somehow, stand strong and let him/her go. It’s rare that people stay all their lives with their first love. It can happen, but chances are, somewhere along your road to lifelong love, you will hit a few potholes.