We told you how to really mend a broken heart. But what if you’re the one who’s doing the heartbreaking? How do you minimize someone else’s pain (yes, even those times when you want to hurt them) and move on with your integrity intact? Here’s what the experts suggest.
Are you sure?
If your feelings have changed, but you’re also a bit torn, here are five questions to ask yourself before you call it quits. They’ll help you understand what’s really going on. The first question is: If your partner asks for a second chance, would you be willing to give them one?
Be honest, do it in person, don’t give a laundry list of what you don’t like about the person, and don’t pause in the middle of the talk to update your status to single… The Angry Therapist at MindBodyGreen gives you the ground rules.
Don’t use the cliché “It’s not you, it’s me”
Psychology Today has 12 rules for a better breakup. If you want to take a scientific approach, they explain the biology behind our reactions and what you can do to ease the pain of parting.
That’s a bit more complicated. Glamour tells you how to do it if you’re shacked up. Their first rule is to plan ahead. (It’s probably not going to be fun sharing a bedroom after you’ve broken it off.)
Take the high road
Don’t do it on their birthday, on Christmas or Valentine’s Day, or while you’re out with other people. The Frisky knows all the times when you shouldn’t.
Did they hurt you? Were they careless with your heart? Sometimes a breakup is fueled by anger or pain and you may want to hurt them back. Or the person getting rejected has a really bad reaction to loss and lashes out at you. Try with all your might not to say things you’ll regret. You can’t take back the impact of your words. Controlling hostility isn’t easy, but it’s a very compassionate, mature thing to do.
If it turns ugly, here are a few ways to cope. And remember that time has a way of healing wounds and taking the sting out of breakups. Trust that you and your former partner will move past this because you will. You may not be friends, but neither of you will suffer forever.
Other types of breakups
It’s not always with a significant other you loved for years. Sometimes you need to end it with a first date, a friend, your hairstylist, or a toxic relative. Jezebel has your strategies for those situations.
And even when you end a relationship, make sure you don’t stop taking your birth control. Breakup sex, makeup sex, and rebound sex have all been known to happen and you’ll want to be covered just in case.