How To Break Up With Someone In The Least Painful Way

Sometimes love ends. The magical fuzzy feeling is gone and it is time to say goodbye. But how? Today we will discuss how to break up with someone without causing much pain.

How To Break Up With Someone You Love?

In the beginning, most relationships feel like living in a fairy tale. Everything around is so colorful and joyful. It’s going to last forever!

Or so it seems. 

Even the deepest feeling can fade away with time. We might know exactly when it happened. But suddenly you find yourself realizing — your love has left the building.

It surely is scary. What happened? Why are we feeling the way we are? But one thing is for certain: you need to act before it gets worse.

There’s a question though — where do you even begin? Your partnership was your fortress and it doesn’t seem natural for you to abandon it.

So, we need to understand how to break up with someone you love, or used to be in love with, in the least painful way for both of you. To do this let’s first look at some of the most common reasons couples drift apart.

Where Is The Love?

Truth is: every story is different. We fall in love in our own unique way, and we drop out of it just the same. 

But there are definitely some general reasons why people grow apart. These reasons can apply to your relationship even if you have been together for decades. Love’s timer sometimes just runs out without a warning. 

So where did your love go? Maybe it was one of the following causes:

  1. Your love expired. Most of us date several people throughout our lifetime. Sooner or later the majority of relationships fall apart. But it’s not because the love wasn’t real.

    It’s natural for people to develop as time passes by. We have slight shifts in the way we see things, adopt new interests, change our lifestyles. And sometimes our partners are shifting in opposite directions.

    And sometimes it just happens with no obvious reasons. This means you have outgrown each other as partners and it is time to move on.
  2. Different priorities. Let’s be real — we don’t really know our partners as people during the first few dates. First dates are all about keeping it light and sexy.

    But as the relationship progresses, we find out more about each other’s values, beliefs, and preferences. And we realize that it’s not a very good match.

    Your partner wants kids and you prefer a child-free lifestyle. Or you want to get married, and they think open relationships are the best for them. Neither of you are wrong, you are simply not right for each other.
  3. Lack of compatibility. Some people together like two pieces of the puzzle. Others are more like a car with wheels on the roof – what’s even the point?

    You might not see it right away, because you are so overwhelmed by feelings. But later you start arguing about every little thing and no one is happy with the outcome.

    It doesn’t even have to be something important. Food preferences and different favorite sports teams might do the trick. If you disagree most of the time, your life together will be difficult.

    It’s also important to mention, however, that agreeing all the time is not very good either. What you are looking for is a healthy balance between being on the same page and mutually compromising when you aren’t.
  4. Life happens. The universe has a very interesting sense of humor. Sometimes things are perfectly fine and then — boom!

    A job promotion that requires relocation, family trouble, going away to study — all of these can become serious obstacles. Of course, break up is not always the only solution.

    But in many cases, it just makes sense, especially if your relationship is fairly fresh. That’s when you really need to find the best way to break up with someone you care about.
  5. True colors. This one is a bit dark, but it happens more often than you might think. As partners open up to each other, one of them might start showing signs of toxic behavior.

    Manipulation, physical and/or emotional abuse, irrational control, narcissism, irrelevant jealousy are just a few of the dangerous reasons for considering finding ways how to break up with someone.

    Your health and well-being should always be your priorities. If anyone, even someone you love, is treating you badly — time to hit “ESC”.

How To Break Up With Someone: What Are The Signs

If you are having trouble finding the reason why your love isn’t there anymore, that’s ok. Rationalizing feelings is a tricky task.

But it is not a reason to avoid action. Reason or no reason, if you are feeling that your heart does not belong to your partner anymore, you need to act.

One of the signs it’s time to end things can be a lack of effective communication. It is kind of like talking through a brick wall. You can hear the sound, but you cannot make out the words.

More often than not, this happens because we focus on ourselves more. When we are hurting, and dying love is very hurtful, we turn to the most basic instinct — nurture ourselves back to health.

And as we become more absorbed with how we feel, we hear our partners less. Even if they are trying their best to connect with us.

You can also stop feeling sexual attraction to your partner. And this is actually when most people start looking into how to break up with someone. We simply don’t want each other anymore.

Psychologically speaking, the flame can definitely start again, if you put some effort in. Try experimenting with the way you please yourself and each other to see if there are any areas you haven’t discovered before.

But if despite all the attempts, the heat isn’t rising — it’s a very clear sign.

The same applies to the decreased level of interest in each other. You don’t ask how their day went, because you don’t really care.

In a lot of cases, when people choose to stay together out of habit, they stop being partners and start co-existing. Doesn’t sound too romantic, does it?

A very logical question comes next: what if we don’t break up? How much worse can it possibly get. Well…

Is There The Best Way To Break Up With Someone You Care About?

There are several reasons why we might choose to mute our feelings and keep going. Sometimes it’s the uncertainty: what if this lack of love is temporary.

Also, sometimes it is the fear of being alone for the first time in a long time. Or the shared responsibilities that can get severely affected, such as children or pets. 

In fact, it is more likely for us to look for excuses rather than for the best way to break up with someone we care about. So what happens if we don’t?

I apologize for this pretty gross analogy, but imagine any vegetable rotting in your fridge. At first, it’s not a big deal — a couple of dark spots here and there.

Then the spots grow larger and what used to be food starts developing a funky smell. As time goes on, it slowly poisons everything around it and turns your food storage into a complete disaster.

What will you do in this situation? Most likely, you’ll get rid of the bad vegetable and wash the fridge.

Love is more complex than this food waste example. But essentially dead feelings are going to behave in a similar way.

A problem develops into a crisis. And everything around it is forced to face the toxicity.

So what do we do? Yes, we break up in the nicest and least painful way possible.

Why Do You Need To Find The Right Way To Break Up

We wouldn’t be here today if breakups were easy. We need to always decide how to break up with someone in the right way. Otherwise, it gets worse.

There are three common outcomes of doing the break up the wrong way. And each one of them is equally painful. Here they are:

  • Playing chicken. Both of you are unhappy and both of you are too scared to discuss it. This ends up in vague hints and irrational fights.

    Eventually, both of you are going to be so exhausted that your break up will explode all over your lives. Or even worse — you are going to stay unhappy for the rest of your life.
  • Toxic circle. In this case, you decide to discuss the possibility of separating. But one or both of you keep feeding each other with fake promises and empty words.

    You tell them what triggers you and they say they’ll change. But they never do. As a result, you grow angrier, and they drown in their own lies.
  • Nuclear War. This type of breakup is disrespectful and extremely painful. It includes pushing the most painful buttons by calling each other words, degrading and maybe even physically hurting each other.

    In the end you will obviously break up. But your mental health, and possibly physical too, are going to shatter.

To avoid causing harm to someone you loved, you have to take every available measure to minimize the pain. So, what is the actual best way to break up with someone you care about truly?

How To Break Up With Someone The Right Way

As long as you agree that the least painful way to break up is the right way to go — we are on the same page. Before we go into the step-by-step instructions on how to break up with someone you love, let’s cover several important points. 

First, you need to understand that there is no ultimate best way to break up with someone you care about that works for everyone. Your relationship is perfectly unique and nobody knows better than you what are its strengths and weaknesses.

Then, you have to fully commit to the idea of dealing with the situation. It’s going to get hard. And messy. And you will start wondering what made you do it in the first place.

Don’t worry — it’s all part of the process. The main goal is to get you feeling happy and satisfied with your life. 

And hey — sometimes after going through the stages you’ll find below, couples rediscover the feelings for each other and start a brand-new chapter of their life together.

Step 1: Give It One Last Chance

If you are absolutely certain that there is no way you can proceed – end it. But, if you have a feeling that there are things that could potentially make the situation better, consider trying them out.

Abandoning a fresh relationship is easier than leaving a partner of five or ten years. The amount of emotional connection is just that much bigger and harder to ignore.

A lot of couples go through rough patches. What’s important is the desire to patch up the cracks and go to the next level together.

Consider a couple’s therapy or simply have a sincere talk with each other. You may be surprised by the things your partner has to say. 

Step 2: Head Over Heart

It does not sound natural to try to systemize your feelings and emotions. But in reality that is the only way to go through a challenging situation.

If you are deciding how to break up with someone, you will need to stay as rational as possible. Consider taking some time outside the house and gather your thoughts.

Maybe write down some points, or simply visualize them — whatever works. This is an important step because during the actual “talk” things might get out of control.

Your task is to get through the storm with minimal losses. Clearly explain why your relationship is not working for you. Giving a reason is the most honest thing you can do.

Step 3: Consider Their Reaction

It’s not possible to plan your breakup all the way through. Mostly because there will be at least one other person involved in the process.

Imagine what their reaction might be like and get yourself mentally ready for it. No one is expecting you to soldier through without blinking. Cry it out and get emotional. Just be ready that they might cry and be emotional as well.

However, if your partner is abusive or you suspect they might be — take safety measures. Consult with a specialist on how to handle the situation best.

Sometimes, these types of breakups are handled from distance, over a phone call or a text. 

No matter how you choose to break up with someone — your safety comes first.

Step 4: Get To The Point Quickly

If you are starting a breakup conversation — let them know what this is. In other words, don’t drop the separation bomb casually in the middle of an unrelated conversation.

Human emotions are serious. You should treat your breakup with as much respect and awareness as possible.

Don’t be afraid to sound cliché, either. Phrases like: “This is not working for me” or “I am not happy with you anymore” exist for a reason.

Focus on how you are feeling and what you are trying to say. The rest of the world should not really matter to you at the moment.

Also, make sure to actively listen and take notes of your partner’s responses. Maybe they will change your perspective on things by explaining their behavior. Or maybe they will confirm that breaking up was a good idea.

Step 5: Be Nice But Confident

Remember the “Nuclear War” from earlier? It is the absolute worst scenario and you should try your best to avoid it. 

Stay away from name-calling and physical violence. After all, you used to love this person, you shouldn’t harm them in any way.

Admit your mistakes along the way and let them know that you have tried everything to keep the love going. They will want to hear that this is not a random decision, but something that actually has some ground to stand on. 

Acknowledge their pain and express your regrets. And try to focus on the positive. Explain that this way everyone will feel better.

Step 6: Don’t Dictate The Future

Some say that the best way to break up with someone you care about is by offering being friends. And it is also true that many exes end up being friends after the breakup.

But the friendship between former lovers has to happen naturally. It is not something you decide on during a breakup.

Your partner might be offended by the offer to just be friends. Or they will tell you that it is impossible, because of the past. 

Whatever is going to happen next — let it happen on its own. Breaking up is a very nerve-wracking experience as it is. Don’t make it harder by promising good terms in the future.

Yeas and Nays Of How To Break Up With Someone

There are some very specific do’s and don’t for how to break up with someone you care about. The yeas include things like:

  • Give them a chance to voice their opinion
  • Unfollow or block them on social media, at least for a while
  • Focus on healing and getting to know the new self
  • Avoid reminding yourself about how great things were at the beginning 
  • Stop listening to “your” song over and over again
  • Consult a therapist to help you cope
  • Have fun

The nays are pretty universal, yet a lot of us completely ignore them after a breakup. Do not:

  • Start another relationship immediately after, that’s just not healthy
  • Cyber stalk your ex on social media or follow them around IRL
  • Develop unhealthy habits like excessive drinking, binge-eating, self-loathing and so on
  • Belittle your ex-partner in the eyes of your shared friends or family members (such as children)
  • Try to go back together despite all the red flags
  • Constantly contact them to check how are they doing

Healing After A Breakup

You are now single. It’s a whole new way of life and it might seem a little too much.

This is the time to get back to your roots and remember who you are outside of relationships. Stay healthy and look for new ways to explore life. Maybe pick up a new hobby or travel. 

The good sign is that you are looking into how to break up with someone in the least painful way. This means that you are a kind, genuine and wholesome person. Don’t you ever forget that.