How to break up with someone, nicely!

Posted by Hayden Allen-Vercoe on Sat 26th August 2006 at 04:47 AM, Filed in General Dating

It’s the last thing you want to do but sometimes you just gotta do it for the sanity of you and your partner.  You are playing with emotions that are often powerful and unpredictable. It’s likely that your partner may have stronger emotions for you than vice versa. One thing is certain though, your life won’t be happy again until you have sorted this issue out once and for all. The thought of being alone can be a daunting one, but this alone should certainly not stop you from making the break if you know it is right.

Britney obviously had her reasons from breaking with Justin the so called ‘Trousersnake’!

The key is to do it amicably and maturely, and without the need to ‘stick the knife in’. It’s about damage limitation to both of you, but you have a duty to do and you must be firm about it. In your ‘speech’ to your partner talk about the benefits to you both and how if it isn’t working for you then it is just not fair on them. Keep your language uncomplicated but supportive.

The worst thing you can do is buckle once you have said it and agree to give it another go. You know when it isn’t right so why try to keep the pain going.

Don’t also make the mistake of ‘blame-finding’, and pointing the finger at specific circumstances that have brought you to your decision. It gets messy and you both walk away hating the other. It is very likely you can remain great mates.

Never break up with someone without being face to face with them. I’m talking about avoiding cowardly behaviour like breaking up on; email, text, or via a friend. It’s is just so unfair on the other person because they are left with questions and ideas that only you can answer – and it’s only fair that you answer them.

In terms of where to do it. Try to find a mutual ground or on their turf, somewhere that you they will get comfort from.


It may turn nasty from their perspective, but just try to diffuse and admit blame – they will be hurting deep down and looking for blame. This will pass in a couple of months, but in order to help them get to grips with it just try to be supportive as possible.

Don’t whatever you do go back for ‘booty call’! This is just suicide in your position!

However… if you want to get even with date that’s turned out to be an absolute nightmare then you need to go and Slate Your Date today!

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Good advice and just what I need at the moment - I have a girlfriend of 3 years and i have the urge to move on.

Posted by Captainbirdseye  on Sat 26th August 2006 at 09:42 PM | #

Great advice ive been with my man for about 9 years and i think its time we end it because it seems to be going nowhere

Posted by Ashley  on Tue 10th April 2007 at 04:26 AM | #

Thanks for this, I’m trying o figue out how to break up with my boyfriend of a year and a half.  Besides general, obvious problems that all not-meant-to-be relationships face, I also really like someone else… a girl, actually.  I’m just afraid I’ll crush him… and I don’t think I should tell him right away that

Posted by Jamie  on Tue 24th April 2007 at 03:18 AM | #

well ive been on the doll for 15 yrs now, this infomation was totally useless to me. Im definitly not leaving my doll.

Posted by BONDSman  on Tue 26th June 2007 at 09:22 AM | #

Great advice!  I’ve been dating an older man for 10 months and suspect that his ex-GF and “friend” is more than just a “friend”.  He denies it -but the signs are there.  I’m not happy, I’m miserable.  So - time for me to end the relationship and move on.  Every little bit helps - as in this article.  Thanxs.

Posted by Viffergirl  on Tue 7th August 2007 at 07:11 PM | #

Good stuff! My boyfriend and I were fine until I went to France and met someone else I might be interested in. Seeng the contrast between the person I met, my boyfriend and I really having nothing between us romantically, so I think it would work out better as friends.  This article made some excellent points.

Posted by Jord  on Tue 28th August 2007 at 09:19 PM | #

I was in a 3 year on-off booty-call relationship, I fell deeper for him that he did for me. 

I realized that I wanted to be with him, when he wasn’t around.  Now that we actually decided to get together a become a couple, things have changed.

My interest in him has decreased and reality is that what I thought was love was more lust. Financially he has drained me and now I want him out of my apartment, but does not have any money to do this.  But I still want him out!!! What do I do…

Posted by Kat  on Wed 10th October 2007 at 05:13 PM | #

Hi Lady

What you playing at, what do you owe him eh! Life is far too short to be messign about with this guy, especially if he is draining your cash. If it’s a case of you not being able to afford the rent when he’s gone then get yourself a flat mate… female! You have to be honest and tell him how it’s gonna be, change the locks if you need to! Just get him out of your life.

Posted by Chantelle  on Fri 12th October 2007 at 01:10 PM | #

This man that I have been living with for 3 years has totally changed from caring, loving, understanding, communicative to not wanting to show love, makes faces and remarks as if he dont understand me and feels like i am on the attack if i try to communicate issues in the relationship at all, however understand that he never gives me the time of day when i show or display my sentimental side, verbally and physicaly looks at me like i am up to something,now things have changed completely and i just dont know what the has happened. i think he has an alterative motive for his actions but we “he” plays the blame game in such ways that he says i am insecure, that i dream up stuff, i do beleive that if i told him i was leaving that he would probably say or ask me “is that what you want”? which would tell me the truth about the relationship which to me he had been leaving it up to me all along to make the first move. maybe an affair? HELP PLEASE!

Posted by andy  on Sat 20th October 2007 at 03:51 AM | #

Hi, it sounds to me like you are far too good for him and he doesn’t appreciate you any more, probably because you’ve always done everything for him and he just expects it now. He is mentally bullying you and for what reason? Because he only cares about himself, that’s why! Why are you putting up with this nonsence, it’s really hadr but you need to dig deep down and find the inner strength to put a stop to this soon before he breaks you down even more. He may be having an affair, but what do you care if he’s treating you like you describe… it’s difficult to picture life outside of your current relationship, but trust me it’s there and waiting for you! Maybe a break will make him get his act together, worth try. Many men are cowards when it comes to breaking up I have to say, they turn it all against you and get you to dump them so they don’t have the guilt. Call his bluff and see how you get on - it’s not easy I know BUT you NEED to do something about this ok!

Posted by Ruth  on Mon 22nd October 2007 at 08:25 AM | #

Hi, I’ve been dating someone the past few months. I broke it off a month ago and now we’re back together.
He’s 10 years older and he is already mentioning marriage and family. I understand that he wants to settle down and have kids but i’m just not ready for that. I have told him that, yet he seems to think that I just need time to change my mind.
He’s really great, and I love him but it just seems that something is still missing and it just doesn’t seem to be going anywhere….I want to end it but I just don’t know how because according to him, everything is going well….

Posted by Miss  on Thu 25th October 2007 at 02:30 PM | #

Sounds like he’s moving too fast for you and you are uncomfortable, and rightly so.

OK… so here’s what you do, you have 2 options:

1 - You be upfront with him (honesty always prevails) and tell him you don’t know where it’s going and you aint ready to settle down - it will be hard but he will thank you for your honesty and you’ll be relieved. Short term pain for long term gain!
2 - You talk to him and work out a way it ‘may’ work for you if you are not comfortable. This may mean seeing him less (twice a week say), and just seeing how the next couple of months go.

BUT if you are really not wanting it to happen any longer (sounds that way) then you need to put you and him both out of your misery, and soon. You MUST do this face to face though and be honest, tell him the truth, you can’t do much more than that!

Good luck x

Posted by Hayden Allen  on Thu 25th October 2007 at 05:52 PM | #

Ive been with my guy for about 3 years now and i really feel that things have just shuddered to a halt. I think im still in love with him, but i just dont see where things are going. If I am in love with him am i meant to be having feelings for other people??? Ive tried talking to him about having a break…. he doesn’t show any emotion. The second he goes away, i want him back again. My heads going around in circles…. and i cant imagine where his heads at!!! I cant be without him ....or with him! I hate the situation and i dont want to hurt him. I judt dont know what to do.

Posted by Kakado  on Sat 3rd November 2007 at 12:39 PM | #

Hi - It sounds like you want yourcake and eat it, sorry to be harsh. It also sounds like you are scared of the unknown - the unknown of being on your own again. Sure, your head is going to be spinning… but the moment you knock this on the head you wll feel a weight lifted from your shoulders and your bran back to normal, trust me.

There is really no point in carrying this on for the sake of it.. you are only delaying what is bound to happen, hurting him and yourself even more!

You will hurt him more if you continue for the sake of continuing. If you are really not sure what to do even after reading this then you should ask for a break of a month or two. There’s nothing wrong with this. When you have your break make sure you get out with friends and try to enjoy yourself. Sitting in moping about is pointless, never feel sorry for yourself as nobody else will.

Good luck, and don’t fear the unknown, embrace it and it will all start to make sense!

Posted by Peter  on Sun 4th November 2007 at 09:34 PM | #

This is a really interesting article and has boosted my confidence in splitting up with my girlfriend in a nice manner.

Ive been with her almost 2 years and I just dont feel ready to be in a relationship, I know it has been a long time, but I am decided…but scared.

She is besotted with me and that is why I just cant do it…but it hurts me to stay with her knowing I dont want to be in the relationship.  I dont want to break her heart, I know she will recover…but its hard.

Posted by Marcus  on Tue 8th January 2008 at 03:48 PM | #

my ex and i been talking about getting back 2gether. Recently gave him a poem i wrote a while back about how much i was missing u, love him and still want him…I got positive reaction but since he received it, hes been acting strange…avoiding me and acting distant..I don’t know what is his deal - hes been telling me he loves me, misses me, and wants to b with me..and yet, nw that i’m telling him i feel the same hes acting strange…what am i supposed to think about this? is he simply messing with me??

Posted by Girl06  on Mon 28th January 2008 at 08:44 PM | #

we’ve been dating for several months and have known each other for over a year…i’ve tried this many times and it hasn’t worked.  he’s very emotional/sensitive and will not let me move on.  i don’t know how else to go about doing this and i know it’s not right to be in the relationship if i’m not happy.  i also know that i can’t be with him out of pitty.  what else can i do???

Posted by Melissa  on Thu 31st January 2008 at 11:05 PM | #

In my opinion, I’d say you need to cut him out of your life. As much as it may be tough to let go, you’ll feel a whole lot more comfortable. I know what u r talking about..i’ve been down that road and at the end of the day, it’s simply not going to work out if you’ve already tried it and it tell him to stop and try to move on with his life…

Posted by 123  on Mon 4th February 2008 at 01:18 AM | #

thats not exactly what i need.
Can anyone help me..
Right whats happend is i like my boy bestfriend and he realy likes me but i dont want to go out with him ive been delaying it but he wants an answer and now the whole place knows and i dont want everyone to turn on me

Posted by megii  on Mon 25th February 2008 at 10:53 PM | #

Yes, I think it’s really important to break up with someone in a gentle way. Let them know exactly how you feel! Answer any questions that may be asked. Provide closure…

Posted by Taylor  on Sun 2nd March 2008 at 06:24 PM | #

I guess I am a coward because I REALLY want to do the break-up over MSN Instant Messenger…that is where we began, so how come it can be where we end?  AND, we’ve only been together for a little over a month…..What do you think????

Posted by Melissa  on Sat 8th March 2008 at 03:59 PM | #

I am ready to break up with my boyfriend although I am 3 months away from having our baby. We have had several diffrent problems in the past and diffrences that dont seem to be able to be resolved. We reently had a big argument and very hurtful things were said. Everytime we have disagreements and arguments despite what they maybe about he always leaves and then comes back the next day like nothing ever happened.This really annoys me it makes me feel like he is not concerned with my feelings as if they are not important. I am so fed up with this.

Posted by candycane  on Thu 13th March 2008 at 12:20 AM | #

Datexpectations is the coolest website i ever have seen. I read just one or two articles which seemed so interesting that i am inclined to write in here. good

Posted by kohl shikarian  on Wed 30th April 2008 at 06:34 PM | #

ok, I know in most circumstances, not good to end stuff over phone, text, email, etc… but when it’s just a booty call situation, e.g. he never calls or texts to chat, and only contact is the text to say “hey, wanna ‘hang out’?” And even then, sometimes a few min.s later, will get one that says, “oh, can’t, have to help out a friend who’s in bad shape who just broke up with his girlfriend” (wait, you used that one a few weeks ago!). Also, whenever you text, he’s always busy. 

so, in this case, I would think it’s ok to respond to his next text msg with “you know, I don’t think I want to be one of your booty calls any more.”  Don’t you think?!

Posted by omg  on Sat 17th May 2008 at 03:07 PM | #


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