Breaking up stinks. But it stinks even more to break up when he doesn’t want to. Breaking up takes time, courage, and deep thought. You know that it’s for the best, but it’s difficult because you care for him. Figuring out how to handle it when you want break up, but he doesn’t, makes it even more difficult. You probably think he just won’t get it, and you’re probably right. He might think you just need a few days of space to chill, and everything between you will be cool again. In other words, you feel like he won’t take your feelings seriously.
Maybe you haven’t been straightforward with him, but have been leaving small hints and beating around the bush. Or perhaps he just flat-out doesn’t want to break up. This doesn’t mean that you have to stay together. It just means you have to try a different approach.
Here are ten tips that may help you through the process:
- Be prepared.
Before your conversation to actually break up, plan out what you want to say. Why are you breaking up with him? What are your reasons? He’ll want to know. So you need to be prepared with responses that don’t sound like you copied them from a self-help article.
- Plan ahead.
You probably know him pretty well by now, so you have some insight into how he’ll respond to the news that you want to break up. He’ll react to the situation a certain way.
Will he cry or yell? Will he list all the reasons you won’t find someone else better than him? You know him. Be prepared, and remain firm in your decision.
- Be honest.
You’ve probably received advice at some point to use the classic line, “It’s not you, it’s me.” Ad you know it won’t work. You care about him, so you should be honest with him. He deserves that, right? He may see that the relationship is over, but he’ll want justification; he’ll want to know why. Take the opportunity to tell him.
- Be firm.
If he doesn’t want the relationship to end, he’ll try every trick in the book. The moment will probably come when you’ll reconsider your decision, especially if he tells you he’ll change. But know this: he won’t change.
So stand firm with your decision. If he tries to sweet-talk, don’t waver. It will be difficult, but it’s necessary so you can end the encounter and move forward with your life.
- Remain calm.
You have no reason to become angry. You’re the one who’s chosen to end the relationship. You might feel sad, but you’re not talking to him to start a fight. You want a peaceful end to the relationship. Yelling or crying is not necessary. You need to focus on saying what you want to say, and on making sure he understands.
- Keep the conversation brief, but say it all.
Breaking up doesn’t have to be a dramatic saga worthy of daytime television, even if he doesn’t want to break up. Keep the conversation brief. It’s going to be exhausting, so save your energy. And he’ll probably be upset and anxious, so he may not hear everything you say.
So keep the conversation brief, and keep the sentences brief. But make sure you tell him all the things you want to say about your relationship. Don’t be cruel—don’t kick him when he’s down. But you don’t want to be forced to reach out to him later because you didn’t get the closure you were aiming for.
Be totally honest, and to tell him the things that went wrong with the relationship. He might even find this information helpful in the next relationship he gets into.
- Be firm.
When you’re both finished talking, stand up. If you remain sitting, you’re allowing the opportunity for the conversation to continue. If there’s really nothing left to talk about, stand up. This shows that the conversation is over and that you’re serious and firm about your decision.
- Don’t communicate afterwards.
You’ll probably snoop around in social media to check if he found somebody new. That’s fine. But don’t message him or start commenting on his photos to get his attention. Don’t play games; let him move on. After you break up, cut contact with him. He needs time to process things, and so do you, even though you might not realize it.
- Don’t leave him feeling hopeful.
Don’t be afraid to decisively end the relationship. It’s a bad idea to suggest that you could try again a while down the road. Because what will happen? He’ll wait. He’ll wait and wait, because you gave the impression that you’re in an emotional phase that will pass. But make it clear it’s over, and it won’t pass.
- Be respectful.
Yes, he may have done things that made you angry. But once you’ve talked to end your relationship, be respectful. Don’t bad-mouth him. Be the bigger person, and end the relationship on friendly terms. You don’t have the right to disrespect him just because you’re not a couple anymore.
Knowing you want to end your relationship, even if he doesn’t want to, is the first step. Your next step is to use these tips. Yes, you can break up even if he doesn’t want to!