Knowing how to break up with someone with sincerity and finality is a hard skill to pin down. Depending on the person you’re breaking up with, their reaction will differ quite a bit. There are, however, a few general principles that will help make breaking up go much more smoothly and easily for you both. By following them, you can be sure that the suffering relationship has been mercifully yet firmly laid to rest.
Get together with your soon-to-be ex. The best way to look at a proper breakup is as a “final date” of sorts. Though a lot of communication within relationships is done electronically nowadays, it never has been and probably never will be a good idea to try and break up with someone over phone, text messages or e-mail. The other person has likely devoted a lot of time and effort to trying to make the relationship work. Even if that effort was unsuccessful, they deserve the courtesy and respect of an in-person break up.
When the time comes, be courteous, but honest. No break up has ever gone well when the dumper is downright mean to the dumpee. That being said, blaming all of the relationship’s problems on yourself or flat out lying about why it’s over isn’t going to work either. Your significant other knows you well, and will be able to sniff out dishonesty in a hurry. The best way to do it is to plainly state the reasons you want to move on, while making a concerted effort to avoid harshness or bitterness -- even if things haven’t exactly been amorous lately between the two of you.
Be prepared for the reaction. At this point, you probably know how your former significant other is going to respond to this news. They might get viciously angry, plead with you to give them another chance, or just remain silent and sullen. In any case, it’s a good idea to expect the unexpected. If you’re really concerned about what they might do, avoid going public places to hedge the risk of an embarrassing scene. Hopefully, after clarification and closure, you’ll both be able to walk away on decent terms.
Stay firm. The period immediately following a break up is usually when people are at their most weakest vulnerable. They’ll often find themselves with their ex in an uncomfortable, wishy-washy grey area between friends and lovers after a short time. Don’t let this be you. Now that the break up is done, it’s time to focus on moving on. You made the choice for a reason, and when you find yourself experiencing a moment of weakness, try to remind yourself why the relationship’s end was necessitated.