Things between you and your boo not working out? Take the first step to freedom and learn how to end your relationship... Just make sure you don't slam your dignity in the door on your way out.
Time Required: Varies
- The spark is gone, now make the move. You liked or loved him once (or might still do). No matter what he did, he deserves respect enough for a face-to-face breakup. Don't cop out with a text message or Sex and The City type post-it. Muster up all of your courage for an eye-to-eye "I'm out of here!" If you're ending on bad terms, you'll have the opportunity to see him crumble. If things are cordial, an in-person conversation allows for amicable closure.
- You've already got the upper hand. Break his heart, not his stuff. Not only might he retaliate (either by breaking your stuff or via small claims court), but you'll be forever known as the destructive thug that has no control. And he'll be happy to perpetuate that image to all of your friends.
- Keep your cool before, during and after the breakup. My father is an attorney. He once told me that in cases where the facts are iffy, the person that looks the least crazy usually wins. That was the most important legal (and relationship) advice he's ever given me. The rumor mill will be overrun by your relationship gossip. Keep your cool and refuse to engage in slander. Previous circumstances permitting, you'll be seen as the least crazy, and in their eyes, not at fault.
- Secure your belongings before the breakup. There is no guarantee you'll get your stuff back after the breakup and suing him for it is just too time consuming and embarrassing (just look at any daytime court show episode). If you've been planning the breakup for some time, slowly remove the most essential goods. If the breakup is sudden, start collecting before you give your final words.
- Don't be distant, just do it. Being passive-aggressive may seem like the least dramatic route, but all you're doing is harboring resentment. Many guys think if they just fade away, the boyfriend will get the hint. Be an adult an express how you feel in person.
- Take all counsel with caution. Friends and family are great, but sometimes they can give some really bad advice. Plus, you can never be sure about their true motives. If your best friend hates your boyfriend, more than likely his advice will be a little less cordial than the counsel of a neutral friend. Take any advice with caution. Don't broadcast your breakup over the acquaintance waves; confide in a few trusted friends and take their advice under consideration, not as the final word.
- It's up to you to decide if your relationship can be salvaged. If you've come this far, a breakup is looming. One of the biggest mistakes couples make when breaking up is not communicating the issues that led them there. Or the partner that is ending the relationship allows the other to manipulate them into staying. Some partners also second guess their decisions in front of a crying boyfriend. Get the issues out on the table and make a firm decision before the conversation.
- No matter what the outcome, the issues between you and him will continue to surface, unless there is a plan of action (including further communication, compromise, couple's therapy, etc.) or a complete separation. You have to decide what you can live with, just make sure the decision is what's best for you, not him or the relationship.
- In time, the pain of the breakup will heal. Channel your anger, hurt or disappointment in positive ways and leave him be. Walk away with your head up high. The Essential Breakup Survival Kit can help you cope.