How do you break up with someone you don’t love anymore? With care – because his heart is in your hands. You may not love him, but you don’t want to hurt him.
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“When my boyfriend stopped calling and texting me, I realized to my surprise that I really didn’t care about him that much,” said JoJo on 5 Things to Do When Your Boyfriend Stops Texting You. “He was more like a habit in my life, not really someone I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. So when he stopped contacting me as much as he used to I was hurt at first, but then I was relieved. I had to figure out how to break up with him because I realized I didn’t love him anymore. I think he realized he didn’t love me anymore either, but he didn’t know how to break up with me. We need more articles about how to break up without ruining somebody’s life or self-esteem.”
I agree – we do need more information on breaking up and letting go of relationships with love, kindness, compassion, and care. Do you need to break up with someone you no longer love? Below, you’ll find seven ideas for breaking off a relationship that isn’t meeting your needs.
How to Break Up With Someone You Once Loved
“There are things that we don’t want to happen but have to accept, things we don’t want to know but have to learn, and people we can’t live without but have to let go.” ~ Unknown.
1. Accept that there’s no easy way to break up
The truth is that there isn’t much you can do to ease the pain of being broken up with. It hurts to be rejected, no matter the reason for the breakup. And it’s hard to let go of a relationship – especially when you once loved him. You gave your heart, mind, soul and body to him…and ending that relationship isn’t easy. Even when you know it’s right, it’s hard to break up with someone you once loved.
So, the first thing to do is acknowledge and accept that this is a hard thing to do. Do you feel sad, afraid, awkward, or terrible about saying it’s over? Be honest with the person you’re breaking up with. “I don’t know how to say this because it’s one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done, but there’s something you need to know.”
2. Deal with guilty or “bad” feelings about yourself for wanting to break up
Sometimes we stay in dead, unhealthy, or even abusive relationships long after we know we should leave. Why?
A million different reasons! One big one is that we feel bad or guilty after “abandoning” a man we once loved. Women often feel the need to take care of people – including men – and the last thing we want to do is hurt them. We forget that we’re actually hurting them more if we stay out of obligation or guilt.
Know that there is nothing bad or selfish about wanting to break up with someone you no longer love. It feels awful, but it’s not wrong. Don’t let yourself become overwhelmed with feelings of guilt or self-loathing, and don’t second-guess your decision to end the relationship. Your time together has come to an end.
3. Choose the time and place thoughtfully
Some of the worst times to break up with someone you love are before Valentine’s Day, after family funerals, on New Year’s Eve, at huge public events, and just before or after birthdays. Of course there’s never the perfect time or place to break up, but some times are certainly better than others.
Since you’re the one initiating the breakup, you have the advantage of already disconnecting from him. You’ve already started pulling away emotionally and physically; your ex may have some catching up to do. He’ll feel shocked, confused, and heartbroken. He won’t understand how you can be so cold and heartless – but you’re not! You’ve just already started to move on in your heart, mind, and soul.
To learn more about the psychological and emotional experience of thinking about how to break up with someone you no longer love, read 6 Things You Need to Know About Uncoupling After a Breakup.
4. Start “the talk” on a positive note
What do you love, appreciate, or respect about the person you’re breaking up with? What parts of the relationship worked well? This won’t take away all the pain of the breakup, but your partner will remember it later and perhaps feel a little better. Chances are, the person you’re breaking up with will play back your conversation in his head later — and this is why it’s important to give him positive feedback.
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The longer you stay in a relationship that’s unhealthy or bad for you, the harder it is to break up with someone you once loved. If you’re involved in an affair, read How to Break Up With a Married Man and Heal Your Heart. You might find it particularly helpful to read through the comments, because you’ll meet many women who wish they would’ve broken up with their affair partners long ago.
5. Have the courage to say good-bye face to face
Read How to Break Up With Anyone: Letting Go of Friends, Family, and Everyone In-Between if you’re scared or anxious about breaking up. Don’t resort to a text or email message – and don’t just ignore your ex! Get help if you have no idea how to break up with someone you no longer love.
In this book, relationship expert Jamye Waxman offers the perfect guide to every step of a breakup with someone you don’t love. She focuses on non-romantic breakups, but her tips will help anyone end any type of relationship. She provides strategies for disengaging from a friend, family member, community, or even former version of oneself. She discusses both practical and emotional concerns, and helps readers find healing and freedom. While ending a relationship can be painful, Jamye’s positive message focuses on the ultimately liberating aspects of putting unhealthy relationships to rest.
The person you’re breaking up with deserves a face-to-face good-bye, and maybe even a discussion about why the relationship is over. Don’t use email, voicemail, or text messages (or Twitter or Facebook or YouTube) to end a love relationship, even if you’ve only been together a few weeks or months. I don’t know what’s worse: breaking up with someone, or being broken up with…it hurts in different ways. If you’re stuck in a love relationship because you’re scared or reluctant to break up, you have to on’t stay in a relationship longer than necessary. You’re just prolonging the pain for both you and your boyfriend.
6. Be honest about why you’re breaking up
This is the hardest part of breaking up with someone, even if you don’t love them anymore! Being honest takes courage and tact. But it’s the best “breakup gift” you can give the person you’re breaking up with. This breakup tip really depends on the reasons you want to leave the relationship, your partner’s personality traits, and how much control he has over the issue. So, I encourage you to sprinkle your honesty with tact and compassion.
7. Let the person you’ve broken up with share his feelings
Ending a love relationship can involve anger, tears, bitterness — or no reaction at all! Part of saying “our relationship is over” involves letting your partner share feelings and emotions. Remember that the initial reaction might be awkward (even scary and painful!), but it’ll soon wind down…and you both will be able to talk calmly. Soon, you’ll both be at the “letting go” stage.
It’s important to end “the talk” with words such as, “I can understand that you’re angry and hurt. This isn’t the way I wanted our relationship to work out, either. I’m sorry for hurting you.” Remember that the person you’ve broken up with is confused, hurt, shocked, and possibly angry. Try to acknowledge his feelings.
Help Letting Go of Someone You Love
I wrote 75 How to Let Go of Someone You Love: 3 Powerful Secrets (and 75 Tips!) for Healing Your Heart because I needed to learn how to let go of my sister. Letting her go was the most painful and difficult thing I ever did, but I had no choice.
To write this ebook, I interviewed life coaches, counselors, and grief coaches on letting go. I know how shocking, confusing, and heart-wrenching it is when you’re letting go of a loved one. It’s devastating – and it changes how you see yourself. Learning how to let go of someone you love is about rediscovering your passion and identity.
Here’s what a reader recently emailed me about Letting Go of Someone You Love: “I gobbled the book down. Great help in putting things in perspective and in taking positive thoughtful action. Many thanks for sharing your wisdom and experiences.”
Are you worried about what to say to your boyfriend – and how he’ll respond? Read How to Tell Your Boyfriend the Truth.
What do you think – what have you learned about how to break up with someone you no longer love? I welcome your comments below. I can’t give relationship or breakup advice, but you may find it helpful to share your experience. Writing about your relationship can help you work through your feelings about breaking up with a man you don’t love anymore.