Whether you've caught your boyfriend cheating on you or simply decided that you're not ready for a committed relationship, breaking up is never easy to do. It's easy to see why you might want to take the cowardly way out and send your former beloved a text or email. This, besides being insensitive, could wound the guy for years to come. Gather up your courage and let the man in your life know why you're choosing the single life. A compassionate conversation can set the stage for healing for both of you.
Select the right place to break the news. Private is best, unless you're worried the discussion will turn into a long, drawn-out dramatic affair or afraid of violence. In those situations, arrange to meet your soon-to-be ex in a public place such as a coffee shop.
Tell him the real reason you are breaking up, advises the University Health Center at the University of Georgia. If you don't, he'll be forever wondering where he went wrong.
Avoid inflammatory statements. While you'll want to let him know that the reason you're breaking off the relationship is because you want a relationship with a higher level of commitment, don't tell him that he's "nothing but a boy toy." Stick to the behavior that is the cause of the breakup, says psychologist Susan Heitler in a 2012 "Psychology Today" article. Doing so will make it much easier for him to heal after the breakup.
Invite his feedback, Heitler says. This will likely be the only opportunity he has to express his feelings about the breakup. Validate his feelings. If he tells you he's thrown for a loop by the news, tell him you understand why he would feel that way.
Set boundaries for the final phase of your relationship. If you'd prefer that he not contact you for a few weeks while you both adjust to the end of the relationship, say so. Whatever you do, don't leave the ending fuzzy. Doing so can send him mixed signals about your intentions.
End the conversation on a positive note. Let him know you wish him well and that you appreciate the time you've spent together. Don't take offense if he doesn't return your well wishes, as he might be feeling surprised, angry, sad or another hard-to-handle emotion.
- If your former boyfriend doesn't respect your wish to leave the relationship, you may need to take further action. If he continues to stop by your house, calls incessantly or threatens you, notify the police, who will advise you on what course of action to take.
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