The toughest part of a relationship is breaking up, isn’t it? But you know what’s tougher? Figuring out how to break up with someone who loves you. Yes, it happens all the time, to ‘nice’ men and ‘nice’ women who are committed to loyalty, togetherness and other lofty ideals of love.
Your partner may be great. You may have shared fabulous times together. Heck, you may even have made future plans of living together in that gorgeous Manhattan apartment. But is that a guarantee for everlasting love? No; love may present another scenario too. You suddenly realize you don’t want to be with him or her anymore.
The reasons may vary from falling out of love to wanting different things from life or realizing that despite all the love between you two, you are in a toxic relationship. No matter the reason, when the realization that a relationship isn’t working out hits you, you’ve to make the difficult choice of breaking up with someone who loves you. We know it as well as you do that there is no easy way to do it.
To help make the journey a lot a tad less taxing on you and the person at the receiving end, we’re here with some tips on breaking up with someone who loves you in consultation with emotional wellness and mindfulness coach Pooja Priyamvada (certified in Psychological and Mental Health First Aid from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of Sydney), who specializes in counseling for extramarital affairs, breakups, separation, grief and loss, to name a few.
Why Should You Break Up With Someone Who Loves You?
Is it wrong to break up with someone who loves you? There is no real answer to this question. As much as we would like to think that relationships are forever and love is all it takes to keep two people together, the harsh reality is that most love stories come with an expiry date. Now, if a couple is going through a tough time because of external factors – cheating in a long-distance relationship, another person, financial issues and such – the breakup can happen organically. But more often than not, one partner begins to see the end of a relationship long before the other.
This necessitates you having to break up with someone who thinks you’re the one. And when one person falls out of love while the other is still blissfully in it, the going gets infinitely trickier. How do you break up with someone who loves you deeply? Isn’t that the wrong thing to do? More importantly, how do you deal with your own conflicting emotions?
With relationships being as complex as they are, there are innumerable reasons why one partner may be giving up on love while the other is still involved. To be able to figure out how to break up with someone who loves you, you need to first get to the bottom of the why of it. Perhaps one of you has fallen in love with another person. Perhaps a certain kind of boredom has set in. Or perhaps you may be living with someone you care about but do not love; at least not enough to want to make it work.
There may even be unhealthy patterns to the relationship that makes breaking up an act of self-preservation. Pooja says, “Sometimes people may love you but their love is toxic for you, not good for your mental health. That’s when you must go ahead with a breakup. Also, any kind of violence must be non-negotiable in any relationship no matter how much your partner claims to love you otherwise.”
If a relationship has gone downhill to a point of no return, walking away is often the sensible choice. But the nuance and the balance of a one-sided split are very intricate. Yet it is essential to walk away, simply because being in a stagnant relationship just because you do not want to break up with someone who is in love with you is doing a disservice to both, you and your partner. The only sane next step is to think of ways to break up without causing too much hurt.
Related Reading: How To Get Over Someone You Love Deeply – 9 Steps To Follow
Breaking Up With Someone Who Loves You: 11 Tips To Make It Less Hurtful
Let’s make this loud and clear. When you plan to break up with someone who thinks you’re the one, it’s going to hurt you a lot. You may stall it for a long time as you grapple with the dilemma of how to break up nicely but trust us, there is no nice way of doing it. Mark Manson, the New York Times best-selling author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, has a few questions in his essay on the subject.
Are you the one being dumped or are you the dumper? Is the breakup caused by one big issue or several small problems including the death of chemistry between the two of you? Would you want to stay in touch with your soon-to-be-ex? What if they want to get back together with you? Unless you have the answers to these questions, it’s going to be a tough ride.
So, introspection is the first step to softening the blow of breaking up with someone who loves you. Once you’re clear about why you want to end the relationship, the dilemma of how to break up with someone who loves you may begin to resolve itself to a large extent. We’re here to help you deal with any residual challenges with these 11 tips on breaking up with someone who loves you a lot:
Related Reading: How To Get Over A Breakup Fast? – 8 Tips To Bounce Back Quickly
1. Be sure of your feelings
Cutting off a boyfriend or girlfriend requires preparation. So make sure of what you feel. It is not wise to cut a partner out of your life only to regret your decision later. Making such a decision implies the acceptance of consequences and not playing with the other person’s feelings. How would you feel if they did it to you?
Often we get so wrapped up in our own emotions and how they will affect us when we trigger a breakup that we don’t think about the other person. One of the simplest answers to how to break up with someone who loves you is to put yourself in their shoes and take some time to analyze the situation from their perspective. This will help you operate from a place of empathy.
There is nothing worse than breaking up with someone who loves you and then living with the regret of having acted prematurely. Before you bring it up with your partner, be sure of your feelings and your decision. If you don’t know what to do, do nothing. Act only when you get the answers to your questions and you are sure that there are valid reasons for a breakup.
2. Do not do it virtually
Like all modern relationships, technology may have played a part in bringing the two of you together. But please, let it not be the means to take you apart. If you want to break up with someone nicely, do not do it over the phone or through a breakup text. Do it face to face, with dignity.
Breaking up with your beau over a text (‘it’s not working anymore’ or something schmaltzy like that), or over FB or Instagram or a Whatsapp is NOT cool. It shows a lack of courage on your part to have the difficult chat. Your partner deserves an interaction, however difficult it may be for both of you.
Speaking of the right way of breaking up with someone who loves you a lot or sees a future with you, Pooja advises, “Nowadays, everything is practically at our fingertips – love, sexting and even breakup. However, it is not just impolite but also rude to break up with someone who thinks everything is fine in the relationship or someone you’ve been in a long-term relationship with using tech. It means either of you didn’t have enough respect for the relationship. Try to have this last difficult conversation in person and not via a screen.”
3. Choose an appropriate date
how to break up with someone who loves you? Location and timing are both important pieces of the puzzle. Don’t lose sight of the fact that you’re going to break up with someone who loves you deeply. And so, you obviously need to take his or her emotions into account. Avoid doing it on your anniversary or closer to their birthday or some happy occasion like Christmas or Thanksgiving.
Unless you have been hurt physically or emotionally – then you need to snap it off immediately – wait for an opportune moment. Choose a peaceful, non-eventful day when you have plenty of time. Also, do not break up amidst a big argument. Wait for things to subside and calm down before you tell them your decision.
Related Reading: The 7 Stages of a Breakup That Everyone Goes Through
4. Avoid the “we need to talk” talk
You may prepare yourself for days on end but please do not give your partner that time to anticipate what could be forthcoming. Do not keep him or her waiting for the verdict. When you say you have to talk, it means there is something urgent and stressful so they are likely to be more worried.
The rather dreaded “We need to talk” message is intimidating, to say the least. Chances are, your partner may have already read the signs a breakup is near and that things are not exactly hunky-dory between the two of you, so do not prolong the agony by making them wait for the big lecture.
Pooja explains, “How to break up with someone who loves you? Some people think that a scheduled conversation is the best answer to this question but that’s not always true. Pre-scheduling ‘the talk’ often makes partners stubborn or shut behind an emotional barrier. It is better to have a free-flowing and easy conversation here.”
5. Be honest about your reasons
As we said, there is no easy way of doing this. But before you start telling him or her that you no longer want to be in the relationship, start by telling him your concerns. You must have valid reasons for a breakup, all you need is to communicate them clearly and firmly. It is not worth attacking your partner or leveling accusations at this point. Thank them for what they brought to your life instead.
When breaking up with someone who loves you a lot, it’s best to focus on the “I” rather than “you” or “we”. This simply means you need to start your sentences with “I think”, “I feel” and so on. Make yourself part of the conversation. It is only natural that your decision to end the relationship will invoke confusion and anger (for they still love you, remember? ) in your partner. Even so, you need to explain to them why you want to break up despite what the two of you share.
Explaining why this is important, Pooja says, “Not giving yourself and your partner closure is plain mean, especially when you decide to break up with someone who thinks everything is fine. Ghosting here or not telling them what went wrong for you is not right. You must always come clean and have a heart to heart so that you and they are clear on their stances and reactions. It also helps in moving on.”
6. List the advantages of the split
Yes, a laundry list of why the breakup is a good idea might sound like a brutal and clinical answer to how to break up with someone who loves you. But listing out the benefits of parting ways can, in fact, soften the blow a little and make it easier for your partner to accept the signs that the relationship is ending. When you’re breaking up with someone who loves you a lot, they may not be in the right frame of mind to be able to see reason behind your decision but you must spell it out for them anyway.
Focus on the good things about leaving the relationship. Maybe you two will stop fighting and wearing each other out. Perhaps, the breakup will give you both an opportunity to focus on your individual dreams. It may seem like a long shot but by making it clear that they (as well as you) would be better off without one another, you can make it easier to break up with someone who loves you deeply.
Related Reading: 10 Signs He Is Still In Love With His Ex
7. Make it quick
Sounds cruel for sure, but try NOT to prolong the talk. The day you decided to break up with your partner is not the day you wanted to be out of the relationship. The day you have the chat is just the day you decided to follow through with it. So do not procrastinate and put it off for too long.
As we’ve said before, when you decide to break up with someone who thinks you’re the one or someone you’ve been in a long-term relationship with, be 100% sure of your decision. But once you put the breakup on your table, do not take it back. Behave in the way you would want to look back on it. Do not regret hurting your partner later. You wouldn’t want your final moments to amount to anger, sadness or guilt. To avoid it, be sure, firm yet kind.
8. Don’t make the promise of friendship
Avoid the “we can always be friends” trap. It’s great to have a cordial relationship with your ex but that takes time and should happen organically, over time. At that particular moment when you’re breaking up with someone who loves you, you should not give false illusions that you will continue to be in their life or try to comfort them with your friendship. At this juncture, being friends with your ex won’t work out.
Give your now ex-partner space and respect. Your objective might be to break up with someone you love nicely so you may end up promising to remain friends but that gives your partner false hopes. This decision might seem like the right answer to the question, “How do you cope with breaking up with someone you love?”, but all you’re doing is assuaging your own guilt. In the process, you will only end up complicating matters.
Pooja says, “Everyone can’t be expected to be mature enough to be friends with your ex. Promising them that you shall remain friends could cause both of them further hurt and isn’t advisable. Please draw clear boundaries about what the nature of your interactions is going to be like if cutting ties completely is unavoidable owing to your circumstances; for instance, if the partner and you are colleagues or have a child together.” Likewise, setting clear boundaries and creating some distance also becomes vital if you’ve decided to break up with someone who is obsessed with you.
9. Go into the no-contact zone
Once you break up with someone who loves you, do not leave any room for back and forth. Follow the no-contact rule. A lot of people split with their partners and secretly hope they will chase them because they want validation. This is not fair. Such behavior can drive your partner crazy. This also lays the foundation of an on-again-off-again relationship, which is a textbook example of toxicity.
The problem in this pattern is that the breakup then loses its effect. Do not keep in touch constantly after the breakup, at least for a while. If the reconciliation happens gradually let it. But do not force it out of guilt or concern. Do not feel the need to sacrifice under the weight of your own decision. The no-contact period becomes even more important when you break up with someone who is obsessed with you or are getting out of an unhealthy relationship marked by toxicity, abuse, codependency or trauma bonding.
Related Reading: 10 Things To Do When You Are Drifting Apart In Your Relationship
10. Allow your own emotions to come to the fore
Despite having valid reasons for your breakup, do not bear the guilt for it for the rest of your lives. Both you and your partner will get emotional and it’s very likely that the latter may be in hurt or shock and will try to fix the relationship. Even if you’re the one who pulled the plug on the relationship, you may still go through the various stages of grief after a breakup.
A relationship becomes an integral part of our lives and identities. When it ends, irrespective of whose decision it was to break up, it leaves behind a giant, gaping hole in your life. You need to embrace all the uncomfortable, often confusing, emotions after a breakup to be able to fill this hole and begin moving on.
11. Do not have sex with them
Your intention might be to break up with someone you love nicely, but in the process of being too kind, you might just end up comforting them, and one thing might lead to another. Ending up in bed with the person you want to split with is the worst possible outcome of a tough conversation.
Just because you are worried about how to cope with breaking up with someone you love, does not mean you get physical with them! Sure, the physical attraction may still be there but that is not enough of a reason for you to want to stay in the relationship. Walking out thereafter becomes even more complicated.
“Sleeping with your ex is a big no-no. People often claim makeup sex is the best but it only complicates things further. Having sex with someone you intend to break up with means you are going to be still physically and emotionally inextricably entangled with them, which is not a good sign,” says Pooja.
Ultimately, there is no right or wrong reason or method for breaking up with someone you care about but do not love. Unfortunately, this is one arena where there can’t be a set template either simply because you don’t know how your partner will react. It will be painful even if it is for a better future for the two of you. And if nothing works, then just let time do the healing.
First and foremost, be sure of your feelings. Be 100% certain that you do not want to continue the relationship even if that means initiating a breakup with someone who loves you deeply.
Make it a face-to-face conversation. Prepare well before you have the conversation but have a valid reason for initiating the breakup. Your partner deserves to know the truth. Give them time and space to process and heal.
But once you take that call, do not look back. Do not break up over text or Whatsapp or social media. Do not linger too much, make it quick. Do not make false promises to ease the pain and try and move into the no-contact zone immediately after the split.