Didi, breaking up is hard to do. How do I breakup with my boyfriend of many years? We live together. We’ve been through so much as a couple and he’s always been there for me. I don’t want to break his heart. He’s pressuring me to get married, but I really don’t want to marry him.
Breaking up is hard to do whether you’re breaking up with a lover or someone who once was a very good friend, obviously some ways of ending the relationship are better than others. In order to preserve the friendship, you will have to be calmly compassionate without the appearance of condescension.
- Being deceitful or blaming a third person on the dissolution of the relationship are the two worst ways of manipulating a breakup. How about lying about why you didn’t come home the other night and blaming it on your mother?
- Avoiding the person by ghosting them is sheer cruelty and immature.
Research on breakups in intimate relationships found that using a positive tone while openly communicating with the person is the most honest approach.
- Arrange a stressless time and place to meet face to face, such as a park bench on a sunny Saturday. Do not meet on your lunch break or over drinks after work — unless you’re looking for breakup sex.
- Make an effort to show that you value the time you’ve spent together. How much fun you had on a trip or working on a project.
- While keeping eye contact gently describe the reason for the breakup. It could be that you’re not feeling the same enormity of love that you once felt deeply.
If that’s the reason, you can say something such as, “I can’t hide my true feelings any longer…”
- If the reason for the breakup is that you’re gay, tell her or him.
- If the person doesn’t turn you on, be honest and say you’re just not that into him any more.
Put yourself in the other person’s shoes knowing that the worst feeling in the world is thinking you did the best you could (if this is the case) and it still wasn’t good enough.
Once you have feelings for someone, they’ll always be there. You may not love that person any more but you still care how the breakup will affect him. Learning that someone you love has lost interest in you is probably one of the worst feelings ever. So:
- Never blame the other person for the breakup.
- Verbally explain the reason you don’t want to be a couple any longer.
- Try to prevent the conversation from ending on a sour note.
- Try to convince the person that the breakup will serve you both. For instance, if you work in different cities.
How to break up with someone effectively:
- Realize that this is going to be uncomfortable for both of you. Ending a romantic relationship without drama, pain, or guilt should be the objective.
- Talk about ways to end the relationship that meet your needs and those of your about to be ex-partner. Such as, compromising about the custody of the dog, putting leases in one name or the other. Helping them visualize that things will be different by talking about diving up the goods, which seems frightfully materialistic, but is realistic. Who gets that expensive new mattress?
- You want to avoid bitterness and move forward in a healthy way, and perhaps even consider staying friends.
Lastly, never invest deep feelings for someone unless you’re ready to face the consequences. I know. Easier said than done.
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