I Love Him But I Can’t Be With Him Anymore: How To Say Goodbye

Leaving someone you’re still in love with is one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do. Sadly, there’s no easy, pain-free way to go about it. However, there are things you can do to make the process a little less traumatic. Here are the steps to take when you love him but can’t be with him anymore. It won’t be easy, but taking this step is vital for protecting your future happiness.

  1. Make sure this is the right decision. Not that you need a reminder of this, but breaking up with someone is a big decision. Often, it’s life-changing. So this isn’t something to take lightly. Really think about whether this is the right decision for you and why you’re doing it. Breaking up with someone is likely to be a permanent thing, so you definitely want to be sure it’s what you want.
  2. Write a list of reasons why you should leave him.  It can help to write a list of reasons why you should leave him. This not only makes it easier to figure out whether you’re making the right decision, but it can also give you the strength to follow through with it. It will likely be difficult to actually break up with someone you still love, so reflecting on a list of reasons why you’re doing it will motivate you to stick to your guns.
  3. Make a time to tell him in person. Just because you’re breaking up with him doesn’t mean the respect flies out of the window. Experts agree that the best way to break up with someone is in person, even though that’s likely to be emotionally challenging. To make things a little easier, be selective about the time and place you choose. Choose somewhere safe and neutral where you have the freedom to talk alone. Don’t choose the night before he has a big presentation at work or the day of his sister’s wedding. There’s never a good time to break up with someone, but use common sense when deciding the circumstances.
  4. If it’s not safe, don’t tell him in person. The exception to the suggestion above would be if it’s not safe to tell him in person. If you’re in a domestic violence situation or another situation where your wellbeing is at risk, then it’s okay to find another way to break up with him. You might consider using the phone. Whatever method you choose, remember to be honest and gentle.
  5. Be honest, but be kind. It’s best to be honest, no matter how difficult it is. Don’t blame your breakup on anything or anyone else. At the same time, try to be as kind as possible. Tell him why you’ve made this decision, but be mindful of his feelings and avoid saying anything insensitive. Try to be as gentle as possible.
  6. Remove him from your social media. Removing an ex from social media is a necessary but painful step, according to breakup experts. It’s difficult to get over someone—especially when you still love them—if you see them constantly on your feed. If blocking or deleting him will make things awkward, you could always mute so he doesn’t know. Now is also a good time to delete his number so you’re not tempted to text or call him.
  7. Get rid of physical reminders of him. Deleting him from social media clears reminders of him away from your digital life. Now it’s time to clear him from your physical world. That means getting rid of reminders of him, such as gifts he bought you and photos you have together. You don’t have to throw them away altogether. But while you’re getting over him, put them somewhere you can’t see them. Either pack them away in storage or give them to a friend to look after. When you are finding the process a little easier, you can bring them back.
  8. Allow yourself to feel sad. This is a super important but often overlooked step. Embrace feeling sad. It’s okay to feel sad, especially when you say goodbye to someone you still love. Even if that person didn’t treat you well and everyone is relieved you left them, you’re still allowed to feel sad. Allow yourself that time and don’t beat yourself up over it.
  9. Find positive things to add to your life. Once you say goodbye to someone you still love, there will be an empty space in your life. When you’re ready, start to fill it with things that make you happy. That doesn’t necessarily mean dating someone else, although it can. Find people, places, and things that make your day a little brighter and make time for them. It will take the edge off the pain that comes with leaving someone you still love.
Vanessa Locampo is an Aussie writer who’s equally obsessed with YA fiction and pasta. Her time is divided between writing all the things, reading all the things, listening to Queen, and bopping her cat on the nose. She has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and has written for sites including Hotsprings.co and Discovering Montana, and currently works as an editor at Glam. You can keep up with her on Instagram @vanessaellewrites.