Want to break up with your significant other, but don’t know how to do it without hurting them?

The thing to remember about breakups is this: They’re PAINFUL and HARD to do.

There’s no escaping it.

But you know what’s even MORE painful?

Staying in a bad relationship, that’s what. And if you’re in a bad relationship that’s not getting better, it’s probably time to leave… even if you still love them.

Painful decision of having to end a relationship one day

It is important to remember that both parties in a relationship need to be happy for it to be successful and meaningful, otherwise you both fail in achieving your goals… sometimes that means having to keep your integrity and take the relevant steps to ending it.

This article will help you find out the following:

  1. Whether breaking up with your significant other is REALLY the right thing to do;
  2. And if it is, how to break up with them gracefully and in the best way possible.

Let’s get started with the first step.

Signs You Should End Your Relationship

So what are the signs you really SHOULD break up with your significant other?

It all boils down to three major deal-breakers that you should pay close attention to. Check your relationship for any of the top three following signs:

Sign #1: You Feel Trapped In The Relationship.

According to behavioral scientists, people who feel trapped are more likely to leave their relationships within the first 8 months than people who don’t feel trapped [R].

Feeling like you cannot leave your relationship?

My advice? Get out now instead of later. Life is short!

Sign #2: You’re Too Different.

The second sign is when you and your significant other are too different in the most important aspects of your lives together:

  • You have vastly different goals in life
  • You have vastly different ideas for managing your finances
  • You have vastly different opinions on whether or not to raise a family, and where
  • You have vastly different values and beliefs
Differences causing unhappiness with significant other

The happiest couples out there are those who take steps to reach a compromise – a “happy middle ground,” if you will, in their major areas of life. If you’ve tried several times to find that middle ground with your significant other – and keep failing to do so – then it’s probably time to give up and move on. [R]

Sign #3: You’re Being Abused

Physical, mental, and emotional abuse have absolutely no place in a healthy and meaningful relationship. So if you’re getting abused by your significant other in any way, and they’re not stopping, it’s best to dump them… and the sooner, the better!

Experiencing characteristics of emotional abuse? Don’t live in fear

So does your current relationship show any of the three red flags above? If so, then it might be time to rethink your current situation and consider changing things in return for a little more me time and a better life.

Don’t just take our word for it, here’s more signs that you need to break up:

Have another red-flag you want to share? Make sure to leave it in the comments below.

Why You Need to Be 99.9% Sure About The Breakup

Before you do anything rash, remember this tip: You need to be 99.9% sure you want to break up with your significant other, without a shadow of a doubt holding you back.

“A successful breakup is dictated by the absolute certainty of wanting the breakup”

Why? Simple – because the it’s a lot easier to breakup when you’re certain about the decision. Otherwise:

  • You’ll hesitate and put off breaking up with your significant other
  • You’ll halfheartedly ask for a breakup, and you’ll be easily swayed to change your mind
  • Even if you do manage to break up with your significant other, you’re prone to running back to them or accepting them back if they beg for you… and the cycle continues

So make no mistake: You MUST be 99.9% sure you want to break up. Otherwise, you it might be easier to wait until you are. Take a step back to get a better perspective if you need to!

On the other hand, if you’re 99.9% sure it’s what you want, then here’s the next step to take.

Give the Right Reasons for Breaking Up

When you break up with your significant other, you will no doubt be considering how to do it as nicely as possible. This however, normally leads to giving wrong and false reasons to cushion the blow. You’ll have to do it:

  1. Honestly
  2. With complete certainty and conviction
  3. Face-to-face

Yup – one of the best tips is to do it face-to-face. Don’t break up with them over the phone or over text – not only is it tacky and disrespectful, but they’re more likely to refuse to leave you.

Source: Breakup quiz on how people break up

Don’t believe us? Then take a look at the above statistics. These are results gathered from The Breakup Quiz App taken by both men and women. These interesting findings tell us:

  • Talking in person is the preferred method of ending a relationship by both men and women, which is also the expert-recommended method.
  • The second most popular way of ending a relationship is over the phone
  • The third most popular method is via text messaging.
  • The fourth is ending the relationship by ignoring the significant other. Interestingly, it is women that do this the most.
Find closure by tell the truth for your split up

What’s more, don’t give them the wrong reasons for breaking up, that’s the worst thing you can do. The “wrong” reasons include half-truths and white lies, such as:

  • “It’s not about you… it’s about me”
  • “I can’t explain why… you wouldn’t understand”
  • “Just trust me on this… it’s best for both of us.”

    What to say when ending a relationship

As incompatible as they might be for you, your significant other still deserves some proper closure, regardless of the sensitivity of topic at hand. Giving the “wrong” reasons will only peeve them as they will more than likely know you are not being fully honest. Remember, there is no halfway point here, you either do it or not. So be sure to:

Use The Right Reasons To Split

The “right” reasons are those based on hard facts – facts your significant other can’t help but admit and agree with. You need to override their emotions (and yours) with logic when determining what to say.

For example: If you’re not happy in the relationship, you can tell them:

“I just realized that I want to be single again. And I think it’s best for both of us if we broke up – I’ll get what I want, and you’ll have a chance to find someone new… one who actually wants to stay with you. I think you deserve that.”

Or if you have glaring differences with your significant other:

“It’s just not going to work out – you’re getting your dream job in New York City in a few months, and I’ll be studying in London by then. We’d be miserable in a long distance relationship after just a few years. I think it’s best if we spared each other that misery and just parted on good terms now.”

Or if you feel you’re being abused:

“I’m just not happy anymore. I want to go back to the way I was before we started this relationship – happy, whole, and in control of my destiny. I can’t have that while I’m with you, so I’m breaking up with you. I’m sorry, but I’ve made up my mind and no longer want to live this way.”

I hope you’re getting the idea. You want to be clear, firm, and factual when you break up with your significant other. Be an adult about the situation, don’t stir up any drama, and be perfectly clear that you won’t take “no” for an answer.

What Never to Do After the Breakup

So let’s say your significant other agreed to end the relationship, and you parted ways… but later on, they changed their mind and started begging you to come back. What should you do?

Here’s a fact:

The easiest breakups are the cleanest ones. So don’t respond to your ex’s calls, texts, and emails. It’s best to delete their contact information from your devices, unfriend them on social media, and even get rid of any physical reminders of your past relationship at your place.

Facebook breakup
Source: Facebook post breakup study

The study found that even though staying friends on Facebook actually reduced your desire for them because it removes the mystery of not knowing “what happens to them”, it actually impedes your ability to move on with your life.

Ultimately, even though it might be a little harder at first, keeping zero contact not just for yourself, but it’s also best for your ex, as well. That way, you get over the breakup faster, and things will be much less awkward and emotional if you ever bumped into each other later on. [R]

“Keeping zero contact after a breakup is the easiest way to move on”

It will remain unwritten, unspoken and probably unsaid, but in the long term, they’ll appreciate the sensitivity of your approach to breaking up.

How to Start Over With a Clean Slate

So how do you start over after a breakup? There’s only one rule to keep in mind, and that’s to focus on yourself. Spend time working on your health, career, hobbies, friends, and – perhaps most importantly – seeing other people.

It’s the fastest way to realize that your ex isn’t the only person in the world out there for you, and that there really, truly are plenty of fish in the sea. And… if you need help meeting any of them, we’re here to help!

If you have a friend in a bad relationship that can use this article, make sure to forward it to them. If you’re currently going through a breakup, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

Resources & References

Want to learn more about breakups or just take a look at our sources? Here they are:

  1. Should I stay or should I go? Predicting dating relationship stability from four aspects of commitment A behavioral study done by Rhoades, G. K., Stanley, S. M., & Markman, H. J. (2010).
  2. The Development Course of Marital Dysfunction – A book on marital dysfunction by Bradbury, Thomas
  3. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking – An interesting study on Facebook behavior surrounding breakups by Tara C. Marshall.
  4. An excellent talk by Matthew Hussey on breaking up while maintaining your integrity.
  5. And on a lighter note, 12 Worst Ways to Break up with someone by NigaHiga.
  6. Cheating, Breakups and Divorce: Is Facebook to blame? A look at how social networks have affected our relationships.