How to Break up with Someone in Relationships

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Whether it's dumping someone, being dumped or deciding together to call it quits - splitting up is never easy.

It doesn't have to be a major drama though, and there's no reason to go from being lovers to being enemies.

I feel like we're drifting apart - what can I do?

The best plan is to talk to them about how you feel.

Arrange a time when you can be somewhere private together and don't have to rush off and do something else.

Unless you're determined to split up, try to keep an open mind. You might feel differently after you've talked.

If you've been feeling like this for ages and have already talked, it may be best for both of you to bring things to a close.

How can I dump them without hurting them?

Dumping someone is always going to hurt, but you can let people down gently.

Make a list of the real reasons and let them know about them - they will expect decent answers to the question "Why?"

  • DO try to do it in person and face-to-face
  • DO go somewhere you can get a little privacy, but avoid personal spaces like bedrooms
  • DON'T announce it in front of mates - that's just cruel
  • DON'T just start another relationship and hope they'll get the message - that's┬ácheating
  • DON'T just ignore them or be nasty in the hope they'll dump you instead.

If you can't face up to doing it in person, you could call them on the phone.

Dumping someone by text is a bit blunt, but a well-written email or letter can let them know how you feel. Even a text is better than them finding out from someone else.

What if I'm worried they could get angry or violent?

If you are in an abusive relationship like this, it could be dangerous for you to keep going but you need to be very careful how you end it.

It's still best if you can end it in person but to keep yourself safe:

  • don't be alone with anyone you think could do you harm
  • take a mate with you or at least have them nearby
  • do it in a place where you can get away quickly if you need to
  • parks or other open spaces with people in them during the day are good choices.

If you think they could still turn nasty even with other people around, it's okay to tell them by telephone or in a letter or email.

What if I'm worried they might get so upset they'll harm themselves?

Keeping a relationship going because you worry about how upset they'll be if you end it isn't fair on either of you.

Be as honest and gentle with them as you can.

If possible, speak to one of their friends about what you're going to do and arrange for them to be around for your ex after you've done the deed.