How to End a Relationship
It is best to pick a private, neutral location if possible. If
you are not living together, your soon to be ex would probably be
most comfortable in their own home, (that way they can ask you to
leave). A restaurant or other public place is almost always a bad
choice. If your partner is going to have an emotional outburst,
at least let them retain some dignity by way of some privacy. The
only exception to this rule is if you fear that your partner will
threaten you with physical violence, if this is the case, it is
essential to stay in a very public place where help can be called
A similarly bad situation would be breaking up with someone at
work - that's simply cruel. You are putting them in a situation
where they must conceal their emotions (if they can) and therefore
can't discuss anything. They have responsibilities and duties to
perform which are certainly going to be hindered by the resulting
emotional state. The object here is the dissolution of a relationship,
not trying to get them fired!
Never, never break up with someone on the phone or by e-mail, barring
a long distance relationship. This is the most cowardly thing you
could do. It's your decision as at least have the balls to back
up your own choice!
A common phenomena that I don't understand is the "I don't
want to be the mean one, so I'll just do something to make him/her
break up with me" decision. What is that all about? Why would
you do that if you really don't want to be with someone? All that
ends up happening is you hurt the other person unnecessarily
and they might not even break up with you! It might just drag on
forever this way with you being miserable, and you in turn hurting
them. Not a good idea.
Similarly, simply not returning someone's phone calls or altogether
avoiding them isn't a good thing to do. At least this situation
occurs more often in a casual relationship, but that doesn't give
you the excuse to be a coward. You are not saving them from being
hurt. They may become perplexed, angered and come to confront you
when it is most inappropriate. Alternatively, they may start phoning
your friends and family, which also won't be appreciated.
If you are married or have common assets, work things out fairly
between yourselves before going to lawyers! Whether you like the
other person or not, why would you want to give all that money to
divorce lawyers? Neither party wins when this game gets played.
Whatever your ex did to you isn't going to change by nickel and
diming each other into a state of frenzy. Same applies in custody
battles - you're only hurting your children. Obviously this is the
ideal way to handle things - unfortunately we do not live in an
Dealing with "why"
If asked, save the it's not you, it's me line. It's almost always
a load of crap, and no one will believe it anyway. Clearly state
your reasons in a matter of fact way, but don't be derogatory and
hurt someone purposely. Just because you don't want to be with them
any more doesn't mean that you should emotionally scar them for
Another deadly phrase that should never be uttered is "We
can still be friends." Women seem to like this one for some
reason, although it's a bunch of malarkey unless you only had a
very brief, casual relationship. This is like saying, "I don't
want to be with you but I'm going to see you often just to remind
you that you can't have me." Not only that but even the best
intentions generally go out the window when either of you start
dating someone else.
There is definitely no black or white with this issue, but rather,
a huge gray area. How it happens depends on you, your partner, the
situation and circumstances. The object is if you really want out,
get out in a situation where both of you save face. This way all
concerned will be able to get on with their new lives sooner and
with a lot less guilt and unhappiness.