Yes, there are 50 ways to leave your lover, but they're variations.
In the study cited below, researchers identified seven main strategies for ending dating relationships.
- avoiding contact
- blaming yourself for the breakup and trying to make your partner feel better about breaking up—“you’re too good for me”
- a simple in-person statement that you want out
- picking fights
- indirect tactics, like telling friends you want to end a relationship
- remote communcation, for example, sending an email, or changing a Facebook status
- phasing in separation, like asking for a break
They also asked people who had been on the receiving end how they felt.
To stay friendly, or if you want to keep open the possibility of a reunion, blame yourself. Strategy #3 was rated most ideal by the dumpees, but it makes both a friendship and reunion less likely.
Collins, T. J., & Gillath, O. (2012). Attachment, breakup strategies, and associated outcomes: The effects of security enhancement on the selection of breakup strategies. Journal of Research in Personality, 46, 210-222.