Breaking up with someone, whether a long term love or a short term dating partner, is a difficult undertaking. Perhaps you are worried about breaking the other person’s heart, or your own feelings of sadness and ambivalence have led you to question whether or not you should even break up with them. This guide is intended for a break up of short term romances, not the end of years long relationships or divorce; those breakups have a completely different set of guidelines. Here is the right way to break up with a short term dating partner:
Don’t Do It Out of Anger
If you break up with someone in the midst of a fight, you’re asking for trouble. First, you may actually find yourself regretting breaking up with them. And even if you don’t, they may mistakenly believe you simply said you wanted to break up out of anger and spend weeks or even months convincing you they can solve the problem. Wait till a time you are both calm and rational.
Offer an Explanation
Closure is important, in even a short term relationship, and the person you are breaking up with deserves the chance to learn from this relationship. Tread carefully when offering an explanation and don’t place all the blame on them. Instead, focus on issues of compatibility and why the two of you are not a good match for one another rather than why they are not a good match for you.
Offering false hope is the biggest mistake most people make when breaking up with someone. It’s understandable that you might want to say that maybe one day you can be together or tell them the break up is “just a break”. After all, no one wants to break another person’s heart. This, however, is a dangerous strategy that will come back to bite you a few days or weeks down the road. Explain that the relationship is over and leave it at that.
Don’t Be Cruel
Popular wisdom is that, once you break up with someone, you should stop taking their calls and ignore them.While this is a perfectly reasonable strategy if a person is harassing you or disproportionately angry, in normal situations it’s likely to lead to problems. Rather than completely ignoring the person going forward, allow them to slowly phase you out of their life, and if they call occasionally, it’s ok to talk to them briefly so long as you make it clear that you’re still not a couple.
Dating someone new and flaunting them to your old significant other is a definite no-no. It leads to profoundly hurt feelings and is the thing most likely to turn an otherwise friendly break up into an all out war. If you absolutely must begin dating someone new, keep them away from your old partner, and do not allow him or her to antagonize or be cruel to your previous love interest.