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.
- University of Georgia: University Health Center: Managing Stress: A Guide for College Students
- The Catholic University of America: Ending Relationships
- The Ohio State University Extension: Dealing With Anger in a Marriage
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Experiencing and Expressing Emotions
- Mayo Clinic: Combat Stress With a Strong Social Support Network
- Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Getty Images