The demise of any relationship is never easy. Emotions usually run high, and someone inevitably gets hurt.
If only there were a way of ending it without all of the pain and acrimony, but there seldom is.
If you’re wondering how to break up with a girl in the most painless way possible, there are a number of ways to soften the blow and still come out of it with a modicum of dignity and respect for one another on both sides.
We’ll examine the possibilities here.
The End of You as a Couple
So, you’ve finally decided to pull the plug on a relationship that just isn’t working.
Whether it has died off gradually or gone down in a spectacular ball of flames, there are many dos and don’ts to consider before drawing the final curtain on your doomed liaison.
Let’s cut to the chase and examine the “Don’ts” first. That way, if nothing else, you can try and exit gracefully without a blunt object buried in your head.
Do not, under any circumstances, break up with a girl via text message, email, or fax.
If you’re trying to send the message “I’m a hopeless coward,” you’re right on point with any of these “E” methods. Unceremonious dumpings like this are heartless, cruel, and totally lacking in respect.
If you ever cared, buck up and do it face to face.
Another rotten tactic a lot of men employ when trying to bail on a relationship is to act moody and withdrawn while ultimately freezing their partner out of the picture until she’s finally had enough and ends it herself.
Again, another cowardly act designed to put the onus on her. This is pitiful.
Creating a situation in your home life that will raise suspicions and lead to fighting on a scale of epic proportions is no way to go out.
Rather than turning everything around on her, starting arguments and behaving childishly, just tell her what’s really going on and spare both you and her all of the ugliness. It’s called being an adult.
Pot Calling the Kettle Black
Along the same lines, if you’re cheating on her, don’t accuse her of doing it just to create discord and distrust between the two of you. Stop looking for easy ways out, because this is not it.
Additionally, it’s transparent, and you end up looking the fool, among other things we can’t print here.
Another class act, simply disappearing into the night shows a complete lack of empathy, concern, and cojones on your part.
If you’re hoping she’ll assume you’ve joined the peace corps, been kidnapped, or died somewhere overseas working as an international spy, you’re in for a disappointment.
Blowing someone off this way will only lead to their trying to find out what happened out of concern for you, something you obviously have none of for her.
If you’ve been thinking about splitting up with your girl for a while, don’t wait until the last minute after you’ve got your ducks in a row to tell her. This is another lousy exit strategy.
Unless you’ve told her you’re unhappy and tried to get her to work on the relationship first, waltzing out without a heads up is confusing for her and callous on your behalf.
A perfect example is going away together on a vacation or going in on a big-ticket purchase and then almost immediately tossing in the towel. Throwing someone for a loop like this is never good, and there is a thing called karma.
Change in Status
Changing your relationship status on your social media accounts to reflect your freshly minted single state, or posting about dates before your soon-to-be-ex knows, is pretty high school.
Don’t be that guy.
Unless you’re genuinely in mortal fear for your life, show a little tact and break up in private. Giving someone the brush shouldn’t be conducted at their place of work, a festival, a concert, family reunion, office party, etc.
At least give her some privacy so she can save face.
Timing is Everything
While there’s never a “good” time for making a relationship break, there are several “bad” times you should avoid.
Don’t break up with someone over the holidays (Merry Christmas, we’re done!), their birthday, Valentine’s day or, God forbid, during a crisis like personal illness or death in the family.
This is truly poor form and shows zero sensitivity on your part.
Drum roll please: for the lowest of the low, getting your new squeeze to break up for you. Yes, that’s correct. Some despicable and incredibly juvenile males have actually opted for this breakup routine.
It’s too bad the women that are foolish enough to accommodate these heartless brutes aren’t bright enough to read the handwriting on the walls for their own futures because this says a lot about a person.
How to Break Up with a Girl Nicely
As we’ve already stated, there is no easy way to break up, but you can do your best to be gentle. How you handle it can actually be a growing opportunity for you—not that that’s anything to look forward to. Regardless, here is a list of “Dos” you can follow for completing the dreaded task.
Yes, it can be difficult to come clean about what’s really going on in your heart and head, but truthfulness is always the best policy. Having said that, brutal honesty can be counterproductive to your end goal and her ultimate emotional well being, so use some tact.
For instance, if you’re incredibly superficial and she’s let herself go, or you’ve found someone hotter that’s willing to put up with you, don’t say, “You look like a walrus, and I just can’t cope.”
Instead, try saying, “Our lifestyles are obviously different, and our priorities on health and fitness don’t meet. I need to make a change.”
There’s nothing wrong with a little sugar coating to let someone down more easily. After all, the point isn’t to leave them devastated with a soul-crushing inferiority complex.
Whatever you do, don’t provoke her. Try and make things as seamless as possible, and avoid being snarky. Above all else, no name-calling, finger-pointing, or blame game playing—no matter how tempting it is. Be civil, instead.
High & Dry
Besides their emotional state, another thing to consider is the financial state you’re leaving them in. If they’ve just lost their job, this is a really cruddy time to split up.
Now, if you were planning the split before they were let go, and their dismissal popped up before you could have “the talk,” then do the right thing and at least make sure they have somewhere to go and live safely until they get back on their feet.
On the flipside, if the woman you’re living with was laid off months earlier, and you told her not to worry, that you’ve got it handled until she finds work, you cannot expect to dump her shortly afterward, because you’ve given her a false sense of security.
A year is another story entirely.
Go ahead and expect to give it up if you’re the dumper and not the dumpee. That means no squabbling over the petty stuff. If she wants the new furniture set you bought together six months ago (which still isn’t paid off), let her have it.
She’s suffered enough.
Leaving someone with a tidy severance package—even if it’s just material items or offsetting their move—is a generous, adult move.
Another way to view it is that often times, individuals being given the ol’ heave-ho may look for things to fight about due to anger, fear, and frustration. By being exceedingly fair and generous, you can hopefully avoid some of that.
Hear Her Out
Whatever you do, at least hear her out and let her have her say.
By allowing her to vent and rail, you’re giving her a chance to begin the healing process. Yes, this is probably the Number 1 situation most men want to avoid—that and the screaming and the tears—but man up and let her get it off her chest, anyway.
Besides, you may learn something about yourself in the process.
Try and be supportive of her and the difficulties she’s going through.
This can be tricky because you don’t want to send any mixed signals. While many professionals recommend a clean break, if she needs a hand now and then and it’s not leading her on or giving her a sense of false hope, there’s no reason you can’t be there from time to time until she adjusts.
Providing support to your ex can be especially important if you and your her are living in a place where she has no support network, like out of state away from family members or established friends to count on.
If she gets a flat shortly after your split, pick her up and give her a lift so she can have it repaired. It won’t kill you to be nice.
Just don’t let it go on too long.
This is a hot topic that you’ll hear all sorts of viewpoints on, but some people do actually manage to stay friends after going their separate ways. Don’t try to force it.
You may need to allow yourselves a bit of time apart first.
A warning, however, should come with this suggestion, and that is a new partner may not understand. This will inevitably lead to jealousy, but you really shouldn’t be hooking up with an insecure person, to begin with—unless you’re into drama.
How to Break Up with a Girl You Love
Many of us have been in relationships that we knew were wrong for us, but our feelings for the other person was just too strong. If you’re in a destructive relationship, but you really love her, you should still end it.
Why? Because if it’s not going to work in the long run, why prolong it? You’re not doing either one of you any favors.
The sooner you end a relationship that is doomed from the start, the kinder you’re being to yourself and her. There is no reason to allow your feelings or hers to grow if it’s never going to work, and any reasonable person knows that. The thing is, reason seldom plays a role in affairs of the heart.
Lay Your Cards on the Table
Back to being honest, have a sit down in a quiet atmosphere free from distraction and ask your partner where they see the relationship going. This will open the door to the conversation and allow you to get the ball rolling.
As gut-wrenching as it is, the truth will set you free—or end up throwing you back in bed together.
As outlined in an analogy on an old Seinfeld episode, breaking up is like up-ending a Coke machine. You have to rock it back and forth a few times before it finally tips over—or it finally takes.
If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again.
Before you take the plunge, you’d better be quite certain this is what you want. Don’t make any rash decisions you’ll regret later.
At the same time, if your unhappiness is evident, try and talk it out before you do irreparable damage that can’t be undone.
Once it’s over, avoid getting back together if at all possible, unless you know in your heart it was a huge mistake and you can’t envision your life without her for another second.
If you’re truly ready to commit and sure you won’t break her heart yet again, by all means, extend the olive branch and try to pick up the pieces—with one caveat: fix whatever was wrong in the first place.
Some couples’ counseling might be in order to make that happen.
If you happen to be on the receiving end of a breakup and you love the girl, grab yourself a gallon of Haagen-Dazs and consider reading one of our other articles on breaking up.
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been together, the rules of etiquette and tips for recovery are pretty much the same.
How to Break Up with a Girl Recap
While there’s no getting around the pain and sadness of the loss of a relationship, realize that it is a new beginning and the opportunity for some self-growth and even a learning experience.
Believe it or not, these life lessons can aid you in other areas of your existence. Don’t let the experience jade you or sour you on future relationships.
The last thing you want to do is drag baggage into your next relationship.
Time Well Spent
Give yourself some time before moving on to another committed union. Most men jump from the frying pan right back into the fire within a matter of days, weeks, or months of ending their last relationship.
This isn’t necessarily a good idea. You need time to figure out what went wrong in the last one before moving on to the next.
Consider self-help or professional counseling in order to work on yourself. This isn’t to suggest you’re broken or the split was entirely your fault. Far from it.
It just means that this is a perfect opportunity to do some internal housekeeping and become the best version of you yet.
Decide what you really want in life and a partner. Going into a situation with your eyes wide open can up the chances for success in future pairings. If you aren’t ready to be tied down, don’t put yourself in a position where you need to commit.
Give yourself a chance to play the field, if that’s what it takes. We all have to grow up sometimes, but it’s best not to leave havoc in your wake.
Moving Forward After a Breakup
Irrespective of the outcome, it’s time to push ahead and make the most of the time you have left. Life is short, and nothing lasts forever, but we can always salvage our remaining moments on Earth.
How to break up with a girl can be tough.
Remember, there are no awards for “Best Breakup,” but it doesn’t necessarily have to be the end of the world, either. Follow these tips, and use your best judgment for your particular circumstances, and you will come out of this on the other side.
With any luck, you’ll be a better person for it.