Tips for Breaking Up Respectfully
One of the
hardest things to do is end a relationship. Being the bearer
of bad news isn't easy, particularly if a lot has been invested
in that relationship. The only thing worse is being on the receiving
If you know
it's time to part ways, it's important not to drag out the process.
Staying in a relationship that isn't beneficial to you is unfair
to both you and the person you're dating. What makes breaking
up with someone extremely difficult is you know you're hurting
the other person. Yet the sooner you do it, the sooner you (and
your "partner") can move on.
Here are seven
tips on how to break up respectfully and maintain your dignity
in the process:
Tip #1: Do it in Person
It's surprising, but there are a growing number of people that
break up via email, IM, or on the phone. You owe it to the
person you were dating (and yourself) to break up in person.
It's the only respectful way to do it and allows the other
person to seek closure.
Tip #2: Don't
A lot of times a person will try to "sugar coat" a breakup. "It's
not you, it's me" is one of the most overused lines when breaking
up and one of the biggest "lies". If you were the one being broken
up with wouldn't you really want to know why? Don't
disrespect the person you are breaking up with. Be honest ("I
don't feel we have enough in common," "I feel too much resentment,"
"I can't get over you
cheating on me," etc.) Let the other person know the real reason
and even though it
it is respectful.
Tip #3: Avoid
Being on the receiving end of a break up is hard. Having that
followed up with "can we still be friends?" is disrespectful.
It's like offering a "consolation prize". In time that may be
a conversation to have, but it's not right to tag it on to the
end of a breakup.
Tip #4: Be
Empathetic and Avoid an Argument
When you break up in person, be empathetic to how the other person
is feeling. He/she may want to talk a bit and "validate" some
things. Do this. Listen. But at all costs, avoid doing finger
pointing and starting an argument. This isn't the time to play
It is the time to be understanding and to listen to your "partner"
so that they can do the things they need to in order to have
Tip #5: Avoid
Breaking Up in Public
When you break up, do so in a private place so that your partner
can express his/her feelings (or cry) without feeling humilation
because other people are around.
Tip #6: Remember
the Golden Rule
The golden rule states "treat others how you want to be treated".
It's an excellent rule to apply to your daily life. It's also
an important rule to follow when breaking up with someone. How
would you want to be treated if the situation was reversed? Be
sure to keep this in the forefront of your mind when initiating
a break up.
Tip #7: Be
If you know this is what you want, then it's important to be
firm with your decision. The person you are breaking up with
may promise to "change" or plead not to end it. If you know that
remaining together is not what you want, then be honest, respectful,
and firm in your decision. Don't leave the possibility of picking
the one initiating the break up or the one on the receiving end,
take some time to really think about and learn from your failed
What can you do to improve yourself and make your next relationship
even better? What areas do you need to work on? By making yourself
a better person, you become more desirable and increase your
chances of having a more successful relationship in the future.
Joe Tracy is a relationship expert, publisher of Online
Dating Magazine, and an editor for the Online
Dating Industry Journal. Tracy has been quoted for dozens of magazine
and newspaper articles. He's also appeared on numberous radio programs and