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How to Break Up With Your Boyfriend After a Long Time

by Maura Banar

Ending a long-term relationship can be devastating. No matter how difficult, be honest about your feelings and specific about your intentions.

Express your feelings about the relationship. There's no denying you have spent a long time together. Acknowledge how you feel about the relationship. Use statements that begin with "I." Stick to your feelings. The relationship is ending, so getting back at him is unnecessary.

Disengage as swiftly as possible. Physically and emotionally separating will provide both of you with a different perspective and the opportunity to start fresh. Avoid having reminders such as photographs or sentimental items. If possible, discard or donate these items. If you can't bring yourself to get rid of them, get them out of your sight or have a friend hold them for you.

Avoid giving your boyfriend mixed messages about the end of your relationship. Mixed messages give your boyfriend false hope about resuming your relationship and prevent him from moving forward.

Connect with social supports. Social supports provide an outlet after the breakup. Friends, family and coworkers reduce feelings of isolation that can occur when a relationship ends. Join local groups, take a class or call friends.

Limit contact with him to necessary communication. You've made the proclamation that the relationship is over; now it is time for both of you to be single again. Avoid delaying activities if you think you'll get a phone call or email from your ex. Weigh benefits versus risks to your emotional health when responding to his communications. If you are unsure, check with your social support before responding. You are no longer together, so you are also no longer obligated to be available to him.

About the Author

Maura Banar has been a professional writer since 2001 and is a psychotherapist. Her work has appeared in "Imagination, Cognition and Personality" and "Dreaming: The Journal of the International Association for the Study of Dreams." Banar received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Buffalo State College and her Master of Arts in mental health counseling from Medaille College.

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