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Breakup Strategies 101: How to End a Relationship the Right Way

Breakup Strategies 101: How to End a Relationship the Right Way

When falling deeply in love, it’s easy to believe that this is the relationship that will last forever. We’re filled with hope that this one is “the one”, that this time will be different, and that there’s absolutely nothing that could get in the way of you and your partner.


In reality, of course, this isn’t always the case. Breakups happen.


So, Why and How Do Breakups Happen?


Some of the most common causes of breakups include personality clashes, not enough time spent together, cheating, a lack of positive interactions between the two partners, minimal passion and sexual fulfillment, and an overall low satisfaction with the relationship.


Ending a relationship is sometimes one of the most difficult things you’ll ever have to do. Regardless of where in the breakup process you are, knowing how to break up well can help make this transition smoother and less painful for both people involved.


How to Break up the Right Way


I say the “right” way, but in truth, there is no “right” or “best” way to break up with someone. Of course, every single relationship is unique, and each person in a relationship is different. It’s your job to consider the personality, needs, and feelings of your partner when figuring out how to best end things.


> Fully acknowledge that there is no pain-free way to break up. No matter how broken the relationship already is, ending it will still cause immense pain on both sides. Once you understand that there will be hurt, you can then be better prepared for what follows.


> End it in person. If you have ever been dumped via text (or possibly even ghosted), then you know just how it feels to be given so little consideration that your ex didn’t even bother to do things in face-to-face. Why would you want to do the same to another person? Your partner deserves the dignity of a heartfelt, face-to-face conversation. An intimate setting is generally better, but if you’re afraid that your partner might have an intense or emotional (even violent) reaction, then a public place could be safer. You have to use your discretion on this one.


> Be straightforward and honest; but don’t go into too much detail. People generally want to know why they’re being dumped. While “you’re not that great in bed” or “you lack ambition” might be totally honest answers, they don’t really take into account your partner’s self-confidence or dignity. Phrasing things more like “I don’t really feel we’re sexually compatible” or “I don’t think our long-term goals are in sync with one another” are far more respectful ways to express how you feel. Avoid listing all of the things that the other person did wrong, and steer clear of clichés such as: “it’s not you, it’s me.”


> Don’t give in to protests or arguments. If the breakup comes as a complete surprise for the other person, they could try to argue, protest, or offer reasons why the two of you should stay together and try to make things work one last time. In all honesty, if you’re already at the point of breaking up, there’s likely not much that can restore or revive the relationship now. If you give in, you’re only delaying the inevitable.


Make a Clean Break


> Don’t suggest staying friends. Avoid saying things like “let’s keep in touch.” If you truly want to move on from a romantic relationship, you need to avoid any further emotional entanglements with your ex; at least for the time being. It may be possible to be friends again somewhere down the line, but now is not exactly the best time to consider such a possibility.


> Express your sadness about the breakup, and share some good memories of your time together. Being dumped feels pretty shitty; but you can soften the blow a bit by sharing some of the good times you had together. Comments like: “You taught me so much in the kitchen, and I’m a much better cook now, thanks to you!” is what I’m getting at. You want to make your ex feel as though they had a positive impact on your life, despite the relationship coming to an end. 


> Don’t turn the other person into “bad guy.” No one is perfect. You also have your faults; so turning your ex into an evil figure is not very useful. They might have done some bad things – like cheating – but remember that they’re also just human. It’s better to resolve your feelings around what they did rather than who they are.


> Give yourself time to recover. Even if you’re the one doing the dumping, there will still be a period of heartbreak, pain, and sadness. Understand that you’ll also need to adjust to your new life situation. Surround yourself with friends and family you love, do things that make you feel alive, and remember that crying and feeling upset is 100% okay.


In any kind of a breakup situation, the most important thing to remember is the value of kindness and compassion. It’s often easy to forget how your ex might feel when you’re so caught up in your own feelings and emotions, but it’s crucial to avoid centering the whole conversation on only yourself. If you act kind and compassionate, things will be a lot smoother and easier for everyone involved. ❤️

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Sigurd Henrik Vedal is an American-Norwegian entrepreneur; investor; e-commerce- and social media specialist; life, business and relationship coach; and public speaker.

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