How to talk about a breakup?

Breakups are different. This guide is for those who are breaking up a relationship that had a lot of good things, but something has changed: those can be circumstances, feelings, or just you. 

There is no painless separation, just leave the idea of making everything easy.  However, you need to avoid having the burden of breaking up because of pity or fear. 

1. Don’t expect it to be easy.

Parting is always difficult. If there was a lot of light in the relationship then the memories of this can be kept as invisible fetters. If there were a lot of bad things, you may suffer from anxieties. It won’t be easy, so you have to do it from the point where you are now. 

Think about the fact that we often have to go through unpleasant, uncomfortable things. Think about the dentist, hair removal, and tax returns. However, we are still alive. 

2. Indicate the reason for the separation.

If the breakup happens “in a good way”, and you have no doubt of the adequacy of partner (for example, a person has no inclination to manipulation, revealing speeches, and so on), you can talk about the reasons; however, you need to avoid using shady constructions. 

You need to do it in a very specific way. For example, the phrase “we should break up” raises more questions than it explains the reason. Who should? Why would it be better?

Use the following clear phrases: “my feelings have changed”, “I no longer see a future together”, “we can’t agree on such important issues for me.” 

Important! Remember that in special cases (any kind of abuse), you have the right not to explain anything. 

3. Lower your emotions.

The moment of parting is complicated itself, and you should not add drama to it. It’s better to talk about parting at low emotional speed.

 In other words, it means:

  • no shouting; 
  • no accusations; 
  • no reproaching;
  • don’t turn a conversation into an argument;
  • don’t let yourself be drawn into an argument;
  • stay friendly.

4. Use eco-friendly language. 

How to do this:

  • talk about your feelings and experiences;
  • use “I-messages” (not “you…”, but “I…”);
  • think about the reasons for each phrase;
  • the message of the decision should be a clear “I’m breaking up with you”

Exclude phrases: 

  • it’s not about you, it’s about me”, “let’s stay friends”;
  • we’d better break up” won’t make the person feeling better; 
  • “my whole life was ruined”, this is accusation and escalation of the conflict;
  • “I never loved you”, this is humiliation.

5. Eliminate sentimentality

At the time of the conversation about parting, there’s no need to hit the memories from the past and exaggerate this topic: “Do you remember how you spilled wine on my dress, and then we started kissing…” This is a dangerous zone, and you risk succumbing to feelings and then there will be a second difficult round of parting.

6. Thank people for everything.

It’s not always possible, but the process of parting is different. If you have such a desire and willingness, you can thank your partner for things, which were nice and pleasant. However, do it briefly, without entering into lengthy arguments.