How To Break Up With Your Boyfriend When It’s Just Not Working Anymore

Your relationship used to be rock solid but no matter how much you’ve tried to get things back on track lately, nothing is working. You’re ready to go your separate ways but you don’t know the best way to tell him it’s done. Don’t panic – here’s how to break up with your boyfriend in the best possible way.

  1. Figure yourself out. Are you really sure you want to break up? Do you feel confident about what you want? It’s a must to ask yourself these questions before you meet with your BF to end things, otherwise you risk regretting your decision later or you can end up making your ex feel super-confused about what’s going on. When you have a clear and concise reason for the breakup and why you want to break up, it’ll make the whole process so much better for both of you.
  2. Do it in person. Now’s not the time to hide away behind your screen. Woman up to your feelings! Be mature enough to end things in person. Disclaimer: if your partner’s legitimately dangerous and you’re afraid of how he’ll take the breakup because it might put your life in danger, stick to breaking up via text. In that case, you don’t owe him anything.
  3. Answer his questions. Be open to answering whatever questions your partner has. If you’ve ever been dumped, you’ll know how it can suck not to know why they want to end things. Everyone deserves closure, after all.
  4. Be gentle. How would you want someone to break up with you? With a gentle hand, of course. Now’s not the time to tell your partner you hate the way he smells or how he can’t stand up to his mother.
  5. Be honest but not cruel. That said, you don’t want to lie. You should be able to be honest, but it’s all in how you phrase what you need to say. Now’s not the time to shout, name-call, or be mean. Focus on being kind, even if you choose to go the honest route. Let’s be real, though: sometimes you can’t be 100% honest and that’s okay. You don’t have to go into all the little details of why you’re ending things or how you feel.
  6. Choose the best location. A busy restaurant might not be the best setting, unless you have reasons for wanting the breakup to happen in a public place. Generally speaking, a quiet, chilled location is usually the best for breaking up. It gives you both some privacy and enables easier communication.
  7. Take responsibility. You should focus on using “I” statements when breaking up with someone instead of “you” statements. The latter can feel hurtful, like if you say “You don’t make me happy.” Remember, you’re the one who’s choosing to end things and you don’t want to end things in a hostile way. Say something like, “I haven’t been happy.” You don’t have to be perfect, but you should be real about the fact that you’re choosing this.
  8. Never use vague statements. If you say, “Maybe I’ll feel better when my work stress is over,” what the other person might hear is, “Maybe we’ll get back on track when her stress is over.” The last thing you want to do is give your ex hope that you’ll resume your relationship. He needs to know that it’s over!
  9. Set some boundaries. While you want to be open to what your partner has to say, you shouldn’t let him talk so much that you end up chatting to him daily. This could be a sneaky way for him to get back into your life or try to make you discover that you still have feelings for him. When you see that the communication is bringing you back to a relationship setup or it’s bringing you down because it’s dragging out the breakup, it’s time to cut the strings.
  10. Decide if you want to stay in touch. Maybe you want to stay in contact with your ex or be great buddies, but it helps to know what you want before you break up with them. This will also help you set boundaries if you don’t want to maintain contact by telling him that you crave a clean break. Bottom line: be clear about what you want so that you don’t do things you don’t want to do. You’ve done enough of that.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.