Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today

7 Tips For Breaking Up With Someone

If you are ending a relationship, here are some suggestions for how to break up.

You've discovered that you are doing all the giving in a relationship, and not getting much back. You find that when you're around the person you end up not feeling very good about yourself. The negatives about the relationship are outweighing the good. You've decided to make a clean break.

If you are unsure if you are ready to end a relationship, keep in mind that if this person isn't encouraging positive, or accepts you as you are it can affect your mental and physical health.

If you’ve decided that a relationship is just not working anymore, one of the best ways to end a relationship is by being direct. If it is a romantic relationship, you may want to handle it differently than a friendship with someone with whom you just have occasional contact. For ending a romantic relationship, it is best to follow these general guidelines:

  • Meet in a neutral public location.
  • Take your own car.
  • State that things are not working out anymore in the relationship, and you’ve grown apart.
  • Avoid making comments of “maybe someday it will work”, or “I need a break” just to soothe hurt feelings.
  • If your former partner asks repeatedly why you are ending the relationship, use the “broken record” technique of repeating that the two of you have just grown apart.
  • Keep the meeting short, and excuse yourself if the conversation
  • Expect your former partner to be upset. However, any physical abuse or threats are not acceptable, and should be reported to authorities.

If you are ending a non-romantic relationship, consider moving to limited contact. This is where you decrease the amount of interaction you have with someone without totally cutting him or her out of your life. This is a preferred option if the person is a family member, or someone you will have to see occasionally, such as a coworker.

Breaking up is hard to do, but following the tips above can at least make it a little easier on both parties.