If you’re wondering how to break up with someone without hurting them, unfortunately, there’s no simple answer. What you can do is break up with them in the nicest, kindest way possible and hope that it doesn’t hurt them too badly.
You don’t want to hurt the other person, but sometimes it’s just not meant to be. If you’re in a relationship that isn’t working out, it’s important to break up with the other person in a kind and respectful way. Here are 20 tips on how to kindly and politely break up with someone.
Tips For Nicely Breaking Up With Someone
1. Don’t Wait Too Long
If you know the relationship is going to end, the kindest thing you can do is break it off. Otherwise you end up stringing the other person along. Not only will you be wasting their time, but it can also hurt them more. So, if you’ve made the decision to end things, do it quickly.
2. Make Sure You Want to Break Up With Them
Don’t break up with them if you aren’t sure you really want to end things for good. If you have doubts, it might be better to take a break or get some space first. It is unkind to break up with someone only to ask them to get back together with you a week later. You don’t want to put someone through the emotional rollercoaster or ending things more than once.
3. Talk To Them In Person
If you can, avoid breaking up with them over the phone or via text message. Breaking up with someone in person is usually the most polite thing to do. It allows you to say more, use facial expressions, and leaves you open to answer any of their questions. However, if you’ve only been on a date or two, it’s fine to send them a text or give them a phone call to let them know you want to end things.
4. Give Them an Explanation
In order to preserve their feelings, it’s good to give them closure on your relationship. They need to know why you’re breaking up with them. It’s best to be honest and upfront about why you’re ending things. Have a kind explanation ready when you talk to them so they can know if something went wrong or if you’re leaving because of personal reasons.
5. Talk About Their Good Qualities
Even if you’re breaking up with them because they did something that drove you nuts, you don’t have to mention it. Instead, start out by letting them know all of the qualities you appreciate about them. This will help them avoid feeling like they just don’t have enough to offer someone. Avoid picking them apart and pointing out the things that drove you away unless you can do it in a tactful way that will help them in the future.
6. Break Up With Them Privately
You want to avoid adding embarrassment to their heartache when you tell them it’s over. Make sure you do it one-on-one and not in front of friends or others. No one else needs to hear them getting dumped.
7. Be Careful Of What You Post On Social Media
They might be the one to announce their newly single status online. However, if they aren’t, try to avoid making it public while they’re still processing things. This includes posting pictures of you hanging out with someone new for a while. It’s kindest just to lay low on social media for a bit so they don’t have to see you having fun without them.
8. Offer To Remain Friends
Don’t offer to be just friends with them if you really don’t mean that you’d like to hang out with them platonically. However, if you see the two of you better off that way, you can let them know that you’d still like to see them non-romantically. Then they can decide if that’s something they would be interested in.
9. Remain Polite, Even If They Don’t
It’s important that you remain polite and respectful throughout the whole process. If the breakup comes as a shock to the other person, they might lose their cool. If that happens and they are rude and unkind, don’t stoop to that level. It’s likely that they are just hurt and having a hard time processing things.
10. Don’t Leave Things Open-Ended
Be really clear about the breakup to avoid any confusion. If you say something like “I think this might not be working out.” it doesn’t let them know it’s over. Try to use statements that let them know it’s over for sure so they know. You can use our list of things to say when breaking up with someone as an example of things you can work into your conversation.
11. Don’t Blame Them
Even though you might be wanting out because of something they have done or consistently do, don’t place the blame on them. If your relationship is ending anyways, what’s the point of pointing fingers? Just let them know it’s not working out. If they ask for specifics, you can tell them that you’re just not a good fit. They don’t need to hear about how annoying they are or that you hate the way they eat.
12. Thank Them
Let them know that you appreciate them being there for you throughout your relationship. It’s important that you acknowledge the good things they did for you. This will help them feel seen and let them know you did appreciate the positives about them.
13. Don’t Talk About The New Person
You might be breaking things off because you’re interested in someone else. That’s fine and we applaud you for doing the right thing. However, you don’t need to tell the person you’re breaking up with all about this new person you like. It will make them feel like they aren’t as good. They’ll start wondering what this person has that they don’t and might feel like their looks or personality are less than.
14. Don’t Start Dating Someone Else Right Away
Speaking of other people, it’s kindest to wait a while before jumping into a new relationship. Otherwise it will be obvious to your ex that you broke up with them for someone else. It can also make them feel like the relationship was insignificant and that you don’t need any time to recover from them.
You can let the new person know that you’d like to take things slow out of respect for your ex. That doesn’t mean you can’t hang out with them, just that you aren’t rubbing it in your ex’s face.
15. Let Them Know You Care
When you end things, it can make the other person question if you ever cared about them at all. They might wonder if the relationship was one-sided the whole time and that can hurt. Letting them know that you care about them as a person can make a big difference. Saying things like “I really care about you and value you, but I just don’t think we are right for each other.” can help soften the blow.
16. Avoid Ghosting Them
If you don’t know what ghosting is, you can check out our article here. In short, ghosting means that you just disappear from someone’s life without explanation. It can hurt the other person when you just vanish from their daily life.
If it’s healthy for both of you, you can offer to stay in contact to avoid disappearing. It might be good for both of you to be able to ask questions and talk about your feelings to each other. Just make sure that this isn’t leading them on and that no lines are crossed if you stay in communication.
17. Don’t Speak Badly About Them
Being kind shouldn’t end at the breakup conversation. You should avoid saying bad things about them to mutual friends and others. If you have close social circles, it’s likely that something you say could get back to them. This would undo all of the work you did to make sure you were polite and kind in the first place.
18. Acknowledge Them When You Run Into Them
It doesn’t feel good when an ex pretends that you don’t exist and that your relationship never happened. If you run into your ex at school, work, or while you’re out and about, it’s nice to acknowledge them.
You don’t have to start a whole conversation. However, a smile and a wave can let them know that you’re still friendly. This can make future encounters less awkward.
19. Encourage Them To Move On
Let them know that it’s okay for them to move on and that you understand they’ll be seeing other people. Since you’re the one breaking things off, it’s not fair to make them consider your feelings when they start dating again. You should be supportive about their future. Let them know that you know the right person is out there for them and you’re excited for them to find happiness.
20. Wish Them Well
It’s best to leave things on a positive note. Your kind words at the end of the breakup conversation will stick with them. Let them know that you’re rooting for them and their future. Being friendly at the end will help them realize that you do care about them and that it just wasn’t a good match.
The best way to avoid hurting your boyfriend or girlfriend when you break up with them is to end things in a kind and polite way. There are several things to keep in mind when ending a relationship to minimize the hurt you cause. Being upfront and honest, avoiding pointing out their flaws, and leaving things on a positive note are just a few ways to break up nicely.
We know breaking up with someone is really hard. You’re already on the right track by researching how to do it in the nicest way possible!