You've made the difficult decision to break up with your partner.

Now you've got to figure out how to actually do it. A little planning will make sure you minimize the pain for both you and your partner.

Hint: don't do this ⬇️

A text message exchange of a break up. The

Make Sure You're Sure

This probably goes without saying, but don't break up with someone in the heat of a fight. At the very least, make sure you take time to sleep on it.

There's no undo button on a breakup.

If you become an on-again, off-again couple because you didn't sit with your feelings, you'll cause your partner more pain and become "that couple" that everyone is sick of hearing about.

Ross, from the TV show friends, saying

How Serious Was The Relationship?

Breaking up with someone you dated for 5 years is different than breaking up with someone you've dated for a few weeks

For short or more casual relationships: there's no need to offer a ton of detail on how you made your decision. Just make sure you're respectful - everyone deserves that, no matter the nature of your relationship.

Homer Simpson backing away into the bushes.

For serious relationships: be prepared to answer questions about your decision. You might also have to talk through logistics if your lives were integrated (like living together, having the same friend group, or bills you paid together).

A contestant on the Bachelor saying

Pick The Right Place

The ideal setting is:

  • Somewhere you won't be interrupted. Getting interrupted by a server or someone you know is awkward for everyone. 😬

  • Somewhere you don't go regularly. Choosing your partner's favourite cafe or where you shared your first date is a no-no. This will probably be a painful experience and could ruin a place they love. ☕

  • Pretty casual. Choosing a fancy venue will send your partner a mixed message. 👠

Quiz

Which of these would be an appropriate place to initiate a breakup?

At your regular coffee shop

At the hotel on your vacation

At a nearby park

In the car on the way to a family BBQ

Choose The Right Time

It's weird to think about scheduling a breakup, but to minimize the damage, it's key. Choose a time:

  • When you'll both be able to recover afterwards. Neither of you have to run to school, work, see family, or go to a party.

  • On a normal day. Cause who wants to be broken up with on their birthday or Christmas?

Ray J from Love and Hip Hop saying

Plan Your Opening

You've picked a good spot and chosen your moment, but when the time comes all you can feel is the knot in your stomach.

Eureka from Rupaul's Drag Race saying, Choose an opening sentence that is clear and gets to the point quickly so you can't chicken out.

Start with "I want to talk about something important" then...

  • We are fighting more than we're having fun, and I think it's best that we end things.

  • This is really hard for me to say, but I want to end things between us.

  • I care about you so much, but our relationship isn't healthy. I think we should break up.

Quiz

Which of these phrases would be good as part of your opener?

I want more space

Are you happy in our relationship?

I don't want to see each other anymore

Take The Loss

Your partner may be angry at you. It's possible they'll even call you names or say they don't ever want to be friends.

Don't even try to defend yourself - you'll just get dragged back into a relationship argument.

Spongebob Squarepants writing

Have An Exit Strategy

The person getting dumped might be considered the 'victim,' but breaking up with someone isn't easy either.

Leslie Knope in the show Parks and Rec smiling and saying

Have a plan to make sure you're taken care of too. Do you have:

  • Somewhere to go after the breakup? This is extra important if you lived with your partner.

  • Someone you can talk to? Make sure you have someone you're close with that you can vent to after (so you don't end up calling or messaging your partner).

Take Action

Feeling a bit more prepared? Before you take the plunge...

This isn't an easy thing to do, but remember - it won't always feel like it does today. 🌞

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This Byte has been authored by

SZ

Sam Zimmer

Rumie Director of Learning