The realization that your relationship with your boyfriend of five years is not going to survive can prove challenging, distressing and even overwhelming to navigate through. Take heart, while an understandably difficult situation, breaking up with your boyfriend doesn't have to be a dramatic and draining life experience. While extracting yourself from the relationship is paramount once you've made up your mind, after spending half a decade together, you still want to take the necessary steps to ensure you make as graceful of an exit as possible.
Schedule the meeting with your significant other. Yes, putting the break up on your calendar's list of to-do's might seem callous. However, we all tend to put off things we'd rather not deal with. Adding a non-negotiable deadline date will help ensure you stick with your resolve to end the relationship and not fall into a vicious cycle of prolonging the inevitable.
Find a safe, comfortable place to have the conversation. For most of us, that place may very well be our own homes. However, if you worry that your news will not be well-received, choose a neutral, more public location to have this difficult conversation. Even if you don't fear your boyfriend's response, conducting the breakup in public may give you an extra boost of confidence to address the matter at hand effectively and efficiently.
Be direct. Don't spend most of the evening discussing trivial matters trying to warm up for the difficult conversation. Instead, address the issue as soon as it is appropriate. This will help ensure that you've allowed plenty of time to discuss any details that may unexpectedly arise during this conversation.
Be honest. Don't gloss over the important and potentially awkward details. After five years of dating your boyfriend deserves to understand what drove you to this point and the reasons why you've decided to end the relationship. Yes, this will probably be an uncomfortable conversation. However, your boyfriend will appreciate and respect you for your honesty.
Listen. Now the you had an opportunity to speak, allow your boyfriend the chance to share how he is feeling about your choice. While he may not agree with the decision, he will appreciate being given a chance to at least express himself as he digests what you've said.
Stand firm. With emotions running high you may find your resolve deteriorate during the conversation. Remember, you did not make this decision lightly. While people are certainly capable of change, odds are your boyfriend requires more time than it took to have this break up conversation to be able to truly meet your needs. Allowing a second chance at this point will just prolong the inevitable and undo all the progress you've made so far.