How Do You End Things With a Guy You're Dating Because He Has Feelings for His Old Girlfriend?

by Anthony Oster
Give your boyfriend the opportunity to pursue his ex by moving on with your relationship.

Give your boyfriend the opportunity to pursue his ex by moving on with your relationship.

Breaking up is never an easy thing to do, but when your boyfriend still has feelings for his ex-girlfriend, breaking up may be in your best interest. Whether you are tired of being compared to his ex, or simply feel that your boyfriend's heart is elsewhere instead of in your own relationship, being honest with him about your decision to end your relationship will make the breakup go as smoothly as possible.

Plan your breakup speech beforehand. Even if your boyfriend acknowledges that he still has feelings for his ex, he might attempt to circumvent your breakup attempt by begging, pleading or promising that he can change. Preparing what you want to say may prevent you from giving into his requests for a second chance when you know it's not best for you.

Ask your boyfriend to meet in public to avoid any attempts to coerce you to remain in your relationship. Meeting in public will give you a way to stop his romantic gestures, while also cutting down the chance that he may get aggressive or attempt to make a scene. While breaking up in person is often considered proper etiquette for ending a relationship, there are situations where you might not feel comfortable breaking up in person. The National Dating Abuse Hotline suggests that if you are concerned about your boyfriend's reaction to the breakup, you can also consider breaking up via text or email to avoid an attempt at physical coercion.

State your intent to break up with your boyfriend clearly and firmly. LisaMarie Luccioni, adjunct professor of Communication at the University of Cincinnati, in a March 2010 "Psychology Today" article suggests taking ownership of your breakup by focusing on "I" statements, such as "I am unhappy in our relationship," "I don't feel needed or wanted," or simply, "I want to break up. She also suggests avoiding "You" statements that might place blame on your boyfriend, causing him to become aggressive or confrontational. For example, you should avoid statements such as "You make me miserable," "You were never there for me," or "You spend all your time pining over your ex." Clearly state your intent to break up with statements like, "Jared, I don't feel as connected to you as I believe I should and I think that your heart is in another place. It's best for us to go our separate ways," or "Jared, I don't think that we are on the same page when it comes to our relationship. I've given this a lot of thought and I want to break up." This way, you're letting him know why you're breaking up with him and owning your decision.

Cut off contact with with your ex. Breaking up is sometimes the easiest part of ending a relationship, while staying out of contact can be difficult if his intent is to keep in touch and possibly get back together. After breaking up with your ex, delete his phone number, block his email address and de-friend him on social media sites. Furthermore, don't answer his calls or texts. Even responding to mundane queries can give your ex an opportunity to spark a conversation in an attempt to reignite your former relationship.


  • Gather up any personal belongings that your ex has at your home and bring them with you when breaking up, or leave them on his porch while he is at work to avoid an excuse to get back in touch.

About the Author

Anthony Oster is a licensed professional counselor who earned his Master of Science in counseling psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has served as a writer and lead video editor for a small, South Louisiana-based video production company since 2007. Oster is the co-owner of a professional photography business and advises the owner on hardware and software acquisitions for the company.

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