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Dear Dish-It: How Do I Break Up With My Boyfriend?

Dear Dish-It,

I have no idea how to break up with my bf without hurting him. Any help??

Secret Nickname


Dear SN,


Breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend is no fun – but it’s a fact of life for most of us. If you’re in a relationship with someone you’re no longer interested in (in that lovey dovey kinda way), it’s time be honest. Brutally honest. Here’s how to do the deed.


The first thing you need to do is make sure the two of you are alone – and in person. Never break up with anyone when there are other people around. Not even if it’s just your best friend or his best bud – you need to do this one-on-one, face-to-face and alone! Also, breaking up over the phone, by e-mail or through a text is never right. This is one of those things that you should do in person.


Now comes the hard part. Take a deep breath and try to relax yourself. Remember, you’re most likely about to hurt someone’s feelings and, no matter how they react, you need to remember you are doing what’s best for you (and, even if they can’t see it now, you are doing what’s best for them, too). No matter how they react, you keep your cool. Two wrongs don’t make a right, and two people screaming at each other isn’t going to fix anything, so the best thing to do is stay calm, no matter what.


Now’s the time to tell him or her that you feel like you need to stop seeing them or end the relationship. You don’t really need to go into your reasons at this point or try to defend yourself. You’ve said the most important part. Now it’s time to let it sink in and see what the reaction is.


If your (now) ex tries to convince you to give him or her another chance, listen to what they have to say. Maybe there’s a good point in there somewhere? If not, and you’re still sure about breaking up, say you don’t think it’s going to work and you’re really, really sorry. Tell them you’ve already given it a lot of thought and you don’t think you’re going to change your mind. But don’t be mean!


Make sure that, before the conversation ends, you tell your ex where you see the relationship going at this point. That doesn’t mean giving promises of getting back together in the future – it means you need to let him or her know whether or not you’re willing to be friends, whether or not you still want to talk on the phone, whether or not you’ll still say hi when you see them at school, etc.


A very important part of breaking up with someone is trying to put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel if someone you didn’t want to break up with was telling you they wanted to let you go? This doesn’t mean you have to feel sorry for them – it just means you need to deliver the bad news in the best way possible, with the most respect you can give. Think about how you’d like and not like someone to break up with you, and follow the same advice when it’s you doing the breaking up with someone else.


And one last thing: once you know it’s better to end things with your girlfriend or boyfriend, don’t drag it out for very long. If the relationship is over in your mind and heart and it’s pointless to go on, be honest and let the other person know as soon as possible. It may hurt their feelings, but looking back they’ll appreciate you being honest and truthful with them as soon as your feelings changed.


More Great Advice:

  • My Parents Made Us Break Up
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