I know – ending a relationship is one of the hardest things to do, and good for you for trying to find some nice ways to break up with someone so that you don’t break their heart.
You care for this person but you know there is no future for you as a couple and you don’t want to hurt them when you let them go.
Fortunately, there are kind ways to break up with someone without breaking their heart, at least not completely.
Here are 5 nice ways to break up with someone:
1. Don’t disappear.
The WORST way to break up with someone is to ghost them, to disappear without a word. I know that it seems relatively painless, that if you just don’t contact them anymore they will get the picture and move on. Unfortunately, ghosting someone makes it easier on you but it’s definitely not a nice way to break up with someone and not break their heart.
Most of us need to have some idea what has happened in a relationship before we can move on. This is especially true if the break up comes from out of the blue. If our person suddenly disappears, we are left wondering what happened, what we did wrong, how someone could treat us this way, and how to move forward.
And this is heartbreaking.
Ghosting someone is good for exactly one person – the person who does the ghosting. The person who does the ghosting doesn’t have to face the person they are breaking up with. They don’t have to explain themselves. They don’t have to see the pain on the other person’s face. So, don’t kid yourself if you think that ghosting someone is the kindest thing to do. It’s not. It will only make things worse.
2. Tell the truth.
It is essential that, when we break up with someone, we tell the truth about how we are feeling.
How many times has someone said ‘It’s not about you – it’s about me.’ Or ‘I am just too busy with work to be in a relationship right now.’ Or ‘I need to work on myself before I can love someone.’
These explanations always feel like bullshit to me and I am guessing they do to you too.
When you want to break up with someone without hurting them, it is essential that you are honest with them. Perhaps you can’t verbalize exactly why you are breaking up with them but if they ask you questions, answer them. If you just don’t feel a connection, tell them that. If you like them but aren’t attracted to them, tell them that. If your old girlfriends has reappeared tell them that. Tell them the truth.
I can’t tell you how many of my clients struggle with the reasons they were broken up with. They just don’t believe their person was telling them the truth and they question everything. They often say ‘If he had just told me what happened, I would be able to move on but I just don’t feel like he did.’
A big part of recovering from heartbreak is the ability to move on, and not telling the truth will hinder your ex from doing so.
3. Be kind.
While I encourage people to be honest when they break up with someone, I also encourage them to not be mean. Honesty is important but if you hurt someone in the process, it won’t help your ex’s broken heart.
Imagine if someone told you that the reason they were breaking up with you was because you didn’t have a job and they couldn’t respect you. That they were embarrassed when they introduced you to their friends and that watching them sleep all day instead of working drove you nuts. While all those things might be true, the delivery is key because doing so unkindly will only cause pain.
How about, instead, you tell them that the importance of ambition is different for the each of you and you feel that this unevenness was making it hard for you to commit to the relationship. By saying it this way, you aren’t attacking them but talking about your feelings about ambition and how that is getting in the way for you.
By doing this, by delivering your reason for the breakup in a way that reflects your feelings as opposed to their deficiencies, you can soften the blow and break up with someone without breaking their heart.