How To Break Up With Someone You Still Care About (Without Being A Total Jerk)

Susan Chiang
Susan Chiang

If you’ve ever been broken up with, then you’ll know that the event of the break up itself (when the person tells you they are breaking up with you) is something you’ll remember for a LONG TIME. So this is something you’ll want to plan carefully in advance.

How the event of the break up is handled will directly affect the speed and ease with which the person being broken up with recovers from losing this relationship. So, if you really care about the person, then you’ll want that to be as easy and quick for the person as possible.

Adopt the following 8 points as closely as possible (unless there are specific reasons in your particular case why you can’t follow one or more of them):

1. Fade The Break Up In Over Time

It can be devastating for someone to think that a relationship is going 100% perfect …and then have their partner drop the bombshell all of a sudden that they want to break up with them. Not only is this devastating at the time, but it can cause long-term problems for the person where they may find it difficult to ever feel secure in a relationship again …because they have this break up to look back at (as a store in their memory bank) and see that a break up can literally come out of nowhere. Depending on the length of the relationship, in the final few weeks consider texting the person less and less and seeing them less and less. The person will begin to notice at a subconscious level that something is not quite right. This prepares the person mentally for the break up. This is how you slowly break up with someone.

2. Give The Person Complete Closure

One of the things that can keep a person lingering after a relationship for months and even YEARS afterwards…is not being 100% sure that the relationship is completely over. Some people try to keep their ex on as a friend afterwards as a “backup” just in case they don’t find a new partner straight away …or to prevent their now ex from beginning a relationship with someone new before they themselves do. This is a completely unethical thing to do. You should make it clear to the person that you are 100% certain that the relationship is over and if you are going to remain friends afterwards, that this friendship is 100% platonic. Don’t leave any grey area in the persons mind.

3. Remaining Friends Afterwards

The question of whether it is appropriate to remain friends afterwards will depend on a number of different factors. In my article “Is it ok to ask my ex to be friends, if I was the one to do the dumping?” I go through this in more detail.

4. Prepare a List Of Reasons

One of the worst things you can do when breaking up with someone is to break up with the person and leave them not really knowing why the break up happened. You should prepare in advance a list of reasons why you want to break up. These reasons should center around you in relation to the relationship as opposed to blaming the other person or making them feel there were short-comings on their part. The more reasons you prepare in advance, the easier it will be for the other person to accept the break up because they will have less and less opportunity to see “hope” in the relationship. You’re essentially killing their hope in getting back together which ties in with point number two above.

5. State That Staying Together Is Only Prolonging The Inevitable

Stating this can create a positive for the other person which they can hold on to. If the relationship can’t be saved, then breaking up now is actually a good thing as it prevents the relationship from becoming any more intimate than is necessary (ie building up more memories together by going on holidays together, or meeting more and more members of their extended family). Allow the person to see that by breaking up now, they can begin sooner to look for someone new, someone who they can build a relationship with …which could potentially lead to marriage.

6. Avoid Cliches

Cliches during a breakup are a no-no. They only result in two things. One: as clichés are generalized statements, they don’t give the person any clue as to why the break up is happening. As stated above, you will want to make sure you give the person COMPLETE closure. Cliches don’t do this. Two: clichés are dis-respectful. The least you owe this person are proper reasons why you want to end the relationship …not some cliché line that you heard on TV.

7. Avoid A Break Up Kiss/Break Up Sex

Some people think a fair-well kiss is appropriate when breaking up. The reality is that a kiss (and especially sex) is an act that creates an emotional bond. The goal of your break up should be to cut emotional ties between you both, not create or prolong them.

8. If You Live Together

If you live together, arrange to remove your stuff from the place at a time when they are not there. The last thing you want to be doing is removing stuff right in front of their face. Pick a time when you know they won’t be there, remove all your stuff …and then text your ex to let them know you removed your stuff. This way they won’t be shocked when they arrive home to see that all your stuff has been suddenly removed. Texting them in advance will allow them to prepare emotionally at seeing your stuff no longer around the place.

Where Does This Leave You?

Ending a relationship with someone you love (especially if this is someone you love so much) can be painful for the person doing the breaking up …as you are in effect losing someone who has been a key part of your life. Therefore, you will want to make sure that any residual feelings you still have for the person are removed.

In my book, The Erase Code: How To Get Over Anyone In Less Than A Week Using Psychology, I reveal how to remove the emotions that you still feel for a person. This can be a recent ex…or even someone from years back. The books applies whether the break up was with a girl you love or a guy you love.

When you are 100% sure that all your emotions for your ex have been removed, it will allow you to be more firm in your determination to end the relationship with them …and leave them in no doubt that the relationship is definitely over. Communicating this point across to the person is important for them in their recovery process as it helps give them proper closure that the relationship is definitely over. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

John Alex Clark is a Relationship & Life Coach. He is the founder of the website Relationship Psychology.

Keep up with John Alex on Twitter and Website

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