All breakups suck, but they can be even harder when you’re the one ending the relationship. It’s hard to know what to say to let your soon-to-be ex down gently, and it’s definitely difficult to know when and where to break the news. Before you get stuck overthinking to the point that you talk yourself out of the split, stop and take a deep breath. Here’s where to break up with someone when you’re ready to end things.
Where to break up with someone you no longer want to be with
- Their place, not yours When thinking about where to break up with someone, it’s always wiser to choose their place instead of yours. It will be way less awkward to get up and leave to head home than it will be to try and get them out of your house or apartment after you’ve broken their heart.
Ending things on their turf has the added benefit of helping to soften the blow for your partner. As Len Rubel, founder of Strategy for Dating, told INSIDER: “It offers the opportunity to have as long a conversation as necessary and they’ll feel comfortable expressing their true emotions. It allows them to feel safe and comfortable while giving you the ability to leave as soon as is appropriate.”
- A quiet coffee shop or restaurant While breaking up with someone in a public place is generally frowned upon, it might be more comfortable to say goodbye on neutral ground. So long as the place you choose is relatively quiet and you can sit away from other patrons to keep your conversation private, there’s no problem with going this route. However, this may not be a good option if you expect your partner to become dramatic or make a scene.
- A local park or other outdoor space Of course, you don’t want to go on a five-mile hike and end your relationship at the top of a mountain. However, meeting up in your local park and having the awkward breakup conversation in beautiful surroundings may make a bad situation slightly more peaceful. This is an especially good choice if you think the conversation might take a while and you don’t want to rush things, as there’s no chance you’ll be moved on or asked to leave (so long as no one makes a scene, of course).
Where not to end the relationship
- Your place It’s always a bad idea to break up with someone in your own home. Again, trying to get your new ex to leave after you’ve just broken their heart is going to be way too awkward. Plus, since it’s your house, it’s not like you can get up and walk out. This is a difficult conversation for both of you, but they’re the one being broken up with, so do the considerate thing and let them have the comfort of their own space.
- A busy bar, club, or restaurant Not only is it completely inappropriate to break up with someone in a room full of people who might hear your conversation but there’s also a chance that your partner won’t even be able to hear you if it’s extremely busy. Plus, kicking someone to the curb in a busy place shows a lack of respect for the gravity of the situation and the emotions it entails for the other person. “It is always important to consider the level of emotions expected and the impact this may have on the partner, and how they may react. The more emotional, the more privacy should be considered,” Dr. Lori Whatley, LMFT, PsyD, told INSIDER.
- Somewhere you visit often as a couple It should go without saying that ending your relationship in a place that meant a lot to both of you is a no-go. While it’s unlikely that either of you will be keen to visit those places once the relationship is over, you don’t want to irreparably ruin it for them by breaking up with them so that they associate the place with bad memories in the future. Skip your morning coffee spot or the bar where you usually grab a quiet drink after work. It’s the kind thing to do.