The Complete Guide to a Gentle Breakup

Breakups are tough, regardless of whether you’re on the receiving end or not. Emotionally detaching from someone you care about sucks, but it can be done tactfully. So while there is no method for preventing heartbreak, these tips will help you navigate the most challenging aspects of a breakup.

Be Decisive

When debating whether or not to break up with someone, we are most often in conflict with our head and our heart, which manifests in the way we act around our significant other.

As much as possible, avoid the wishy-washy internal debate and make a decision sooner rather than later. Dragging out a decision, or leading someone on for an extended period of time, will do more damage than good and set the scene for a messy breakup.

Be Receptive

Once you’ve made your decision, realize that you have forced that decision on your partner, and they may not be ready for or open to it. Rather than lashing out and becoming argumentative, listen to what they have to say. While their thoughts and feelings may not change your mind, they are valid. Hearing them out will help the process.

Remember that, while you have already come to terms with the breakup, they likely haven’t. Be prepared for a plethora of emotional venting headed your way. That being said, don’t be afraid to draw the line; while they may be upset and confused, that’s never an excuse for verbal or emotional abuse.

Be Firm, Clear, and Compassionate

Be gentle but direct. Leaving questions unanswered, the future open-ended, and explanation limited ultimately results in a lack of closure for the person on the receiving end of a breakup.

For this reason, you should be firm in stating your feelings and closing this chapter of your life. Avoid any harsh, hurtful, or negative phrasing that might inflict more hurt or make them feel blame.

Give Them Space

Whether or not they want it, after a breakup, give your ex some space. With space comes clarity for both of you. Allow them to figure out who they are outside of your relationship. Becoming friends after a breakup is always a possibility, but not an immediate one. Allow for healing first.

Keep the Details to Yourself

When your friends, family members, and colleagues ask you about the breakup (it will undoubtedly happen), don’t air out all of the problems from your relationship.

While walking your trusted, closest friends and family through the breakup can be cleansing, sharing the intimate details with others only showcases one side of the story and can damage your ex’s reputation. It’s best to stick to need-to-know information and leave the rest between you and your ex.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for sparing the feelings of your soon-to-be-ex. However, with the implementation of these tactics before, during, and after your breakup, picking up the pieces will feel a lot less daunting for both of you.

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