The Break-up...

That thing you didn’t even consider when you were on the high of relationship bliss. Why would you? At one time you thought your partner was the perfect match for you, but somehow along the way things didn’t work out. Don’t beat yourself up over a break-up—these things happen! However, the way that you handle the break-up is key to making sure that you are true to your feelings without being a total jerk. Remember, you once thought this person hung the moon so take it easy as you let him or her down gently.

Do it Face-to-Face

You may think it is easier to break up with someone over text, email, or phone, but never end a relationship this way! Telling someone how you feel in person is not only respectful, but also makes you think about what you are going to say ahead of time. Breaking up in any other way is simply cowardly and in poor taste.

Choose a Private Location

Remember that breaking up is hard enough without the added blow of an audience. Try to choose a location that is private so that you can really talk about how you feel without interruption. Being broken up with is embarrassing enough —don’t put your partner through it in a public arena.

Do Honesty is Key but Resist the Urge to Use Language that Sounds Condescending

Break-ups are hurtful. The words that you say to your partner are going to sting no matter how gently you say it. Be honest to yourself and, to your partner. Sure, “when one door closes, another will open” – and “things happen for a reason.” We all know this - and in time your partner will know that your break-up was the reason that he or she eventually met the right one. BUT! Let his or her friends console them with this logic. It is not your place to say this during the break-up as it makes you sound pompous. And for goodness sakes – don’t say, “It’s not you, it’s me.” Why? Because it IS that person. If there is a reason for the break-up that you can truly articulate, honesty is best.

Tell Him / Her First

You may be tempted to tell your friends and family your plan for breaking up. Don’t do this! The first person that should know about this is your partner. Consider how you would feel if everybody else knew something about your relationship that you didn’t!

Be Prepared

The break-up is not easy for either of you. Plan ahead. You may want to prepare yourself for anger or tears. Know that what you are saying is going to have a negative impact. Have a plan for how you will respond. Also, be prepared to answer the typical question of “why” this is happening. Know that most likely, nothing you say will make your partner feel completely better, but at least try to be sensitive.

Give Yourself a Break

It’s okay for you to move on, just do so in good taste. If there is another person that you’re “moving on to,” be discreet. The break-up can be difficult for everybody involved. Sometimes hurt feelings are inevitable and it simply takes time to recover. You can control your own actions, so be as kind and caring as possible.