Two hands on the verge of separation
(C) Love Matters | Rita Lino

How to break up

If you’re the one who wants to break up with your partner, delivering the message can be tough.

But when your relationship has sunk to unhealthy depths, there might be no option but to call it quits.

Here are some tips to help you:

Do your homework.

Know the reasons why you’re breaking up, because if your partner isn’t expecting this piece of bad news from you, you’ll end up doing a lot of explaining. So it’s good to go well-prepared. It also gives you an opportunity to reflect on your thoughts and see if a break up is what you really, really want.

Do it in person.

Do not break up over email, SMS, or telephone, unless the situation demands it. Meeting someone for the last time before the relationship ends can offer a good way of closure, which is psychologically important to move on.

Do it in a place that’s comfortable for your partner.

A crowded restaurant with a lot of strangers around might be intimidating. Pick a place that makes them feel safe enough to express their emotions.

Be honest.

Don’t lie to your partner when you’re about to end the relationship. Tell them exactly what you felt was wrong in the relationship. This might be harsh on them but equally important for them to learn. At least they’d know where it all went wrong.

Don’t be cruel.

Break ups are terrible any way. So don’t go out of your way to make it more hurtful. Remember that you were once in love with this person. Being honest doesn’t mean you have to be vindictive and cruel. Try to deliver your truthful words in a nice package.

Don’t be ambiguous.

Don’t leave your partner in doubt. If you don’t mean it, don’t tell them something like, 'it’s not working out now, but it might work out another time.' That would wrongly make them hopeful.

Be prepared for the worst reaction.

Being dumped is perhaps one of the worst things that can happen to anyone. So don’t be surprised if your partner starts shouting or cries or argues or just storms out on you. Be calm.

Don’t waver.

Once you’ve made up your mind about breaking up, don’t change it. Your partner might convince you to give it 'one last chance' but unless there’s any real reason why you should buy that argument, don’t fall for it. Stick to your guns.

You will find more tips under Breaking up: do's and don'ts.

Did you learn something new?

Comments

Hey Cate, the short answer is yes it can work. However, it depends with whether both partners think it can work and whether they both want to try make it work. First, is the partner who cheated sorry about what happened? Have they taken responsibility and apologized and committed to the relationship? Secondly, is the person who was cheated on willing to forgive and work on trusting the person like they did before? It is important for partners to have an open and honest conversation about this and together agree on how to proceed, whether this will mean breaking up or working on things to keep the relationship. Check out these articles for additional information;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/breaking-up/knowing-when-to-break-up

https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/breaking-up/guide-to-recovery-for-the-cheated

Anonymous
Thu, 07/12/2018 - 03:45 pm
hi, there is this girl i have been dating since 2015 when she was in form 3, and she is the first girl i have ever been in a relationship with, but since last year when she got out of high school a guy(mike) tried to date her but they never managed to get the relationship going and the guy turned abusive to her and the guy also confronted me about being in a relationship with the girl but with me i got over it, after that incident the girl changed, she never initiated any conversation(texting or calling me first before i do) like she used to do before where a day could not pass without her getting in touch since we are in college in different places. After that incident she suggested we terminate the relationship but i convinced her that we just continue but when we met around December after 3 months without seeing each other i realised there was a another guy(joe) she was trying to date, when i asked her, she told me there was nothing between them. that decemeber is when we had sex for the first time after 3 yrs, but during that incident i realised she has never had sex before and she also came to visit me in school around feb, and things were moving fine but she was still in touch with the guy(joe) i suspected she had something to do with but she cleared my doubts about him and i let the story go. around april i went to stay in the same town she goes to school to, i felt more needy for time and intimacy with but she told me to relax until august when she finishes exam the we can spend some time unfortunately last week one of my friends(vic) caught her in the room of the guy she told me she had nothing to do with, where she spent the previous night with the guy(joe), he also gathered that she has been spending most weekends there. when i confronted her she gave me some reasons lke, she wanted to quit but i refused, her mother don't want our relationship bt now i find it hard to end the relationship and i want to move on with her, she claims she ended both the relationships but promising to get intimate when she finishes exam and i feel she will do it since she has never lied to me about doing that. what can i do

Hi Vin, your partner from her own confession has cheated on you atleast twice and she has also asked to end the relationship multiple times. There is no way to tell what will happen in future or whether will cheat on you again or whether it is still happening like you suspect. You have no control over her actions but you do have control over your own actions and choices. Take sometime and think about what you want in a partner and in a relationship, think about whether you are getting what you want or whether you will get it and then make a decision an informed decision on how to proceed. Have a look at the following articles for additional information;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/breaking-up/knowing-when-to-break-up https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/relationship-problems/how-can-i-know-my-partner-is-cheating-on-me

Anonymous
Mon, 09/03/2018 - 08:36 pm
am in love with a guy that i love much ,but last week she told me that her mother is harsh on her so she had to move to live with his grandma ,when she came back she told me she went to his cousin ,to me i think its lies ,now she want us to continue with love but me i simwamini should i break her? plz help me

Communication is a key element in any healthy relationship. Perhaps, before you break up with her you should have a conversation with her. Share your concerns and what you expect should the relationship continue. Check out this article: https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/happy-relationships/tips-for-talking-to-your-partner

Hello Esther, have you talked about this with him? You may want to talk to him about this and get to know what could be going or why he seems to have suddenly changed. If he is remorseful, willing to change and commit to the relationship you can consider going back to how things were before. If he is however unwilling, then you will need to decide whether to accept this or breakup and move on. Check out this article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/relationship-problems/jealousy-and-other-problems We wish you well. 

Hi Maurine, I am not able to tell how it is you will feel in future, but have you considered how you got here in the first place? It may help to think about what led to this. All relationships will have problems from time to time and it is how partners choose to address the problems that makes the difference. Often, communications will help to address the issues in a relationship. If you no longer feel in-love with your partner, it maybe time to break up. Find a good time and have an honest conversation with them about and share with them you decision. Check out these article for more information;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/breaking-up/knowing-when-to-break-up

https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/breaking-up/how-to-break-up

 

Anonymous
Tue, 10/23/2018 - 10:05 am
My boy have been very mean to me it is now a year since we meet,when tell him about meeting he just ignore, I tell him to assist me financial in case the same applys now I have just decided to be silent.is it the best solution??

Dear Rehema, so sorry about this. Spending quality time time is an important part of any relationship. No spending time together will lead to you growing apart and may lead to a break up. If your partner is unwilling to spend time with you or even offer you support when you need it, you may want to think about whether this is what you want in a partner and relationship. Find a good time and talk about this issues, let him know what your expectations are and have him also let you know what his expectations are. This way you can decide whether to continue in the relationship or not. Check out this article for more information;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/breaking-up/knowing-when-to-break-up

Anonymous
Wed, 10/24/2018 - 07:08 am
I have been silent to my boy almost two month now because he is very mean in terms of finance also about meeting with him it is now a year since I met him.can it be a good dissition?? Plz help

Hello Rehema, communication is an important part of any relationship even when you are addressing problems in the relationship. Have you talked to your partner about the issues you have? You need to find a good time and break the silence, talk about the issues you have and then agree on how to address them especially if both of you are still interested in the relationship. As to whether this is a good decision, it depends on what you want moving forward. Check out the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/breaking-up/knowing-when-to-break-up

Anonymous
Fri, 10/26/2018 - 02:08 pm
I highly suspect my boyfriend is cheating bcz of the way he is acting. Should I breakup or am making mistake?

Hi Vesh, what makes you feel he maybe cheating? Have you talked to your boyfriend about your suspicion? Holding on to your thoughts may lead to you making the wrong conclusion. Find a good time and talk to your partner so that you can find out what could be going on. This can be a difficult conversation but talking about it will help you make the right decision and also address the issues that may have led to you suspecting your boyfriend is cheating. have a look at the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/relationship-problems/signs-of-a-cheating-boyfriend

Anonymous
Wed, 11/14/2018 - 05:26 pm
I keep breaking up with my boyfriend and then we come together again to hook up only. It happened this weekend and after he left I felt very bad about myself and this thing we are doing. To make matter worse he is dating another girl or so he says. Please help me break up with him for good?

Hey Zippy, when you choose to continue relating with your ex after breaking up, it is important to be clear about why you need to keep relating and the boundaries of such relationship should be clearly defined. You need to talk about this with your ex, let them know how this makes you feel and also help him see the need to stick to and work on his new relationship. Be clear about what you want moving forward. Be firm and also make deliberate choices to ensure that this doesn’t happen again. You may even have to stop communicating or meeting for sometime. Check out the following articles for additional information;-

https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/relationship-problems/post-break-up-sex-a-good-idea

https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/happy-relationships/tips-for-talking-to-your-partner

Anonymous
Thu, 11/15/2018 - 03:14 pm
Breaking up has been difficult to. I am unable to move on or forgive my ex for leaving after proposing to me. Sometimes I hate him other times I feel I still have love for him. Please help me because I am loosing my mind.

Hey Joan, we are so sorry about this. Break ups are tough especially when you had been together for a long time or like in your case you were already planning for the future or also the reasons that have led to the breakup. It is important that you recognize that this was not your fault, you had no control over the choices he made including leaving. It is unfortunate that not all relationships last a life time even when you choose to do your best. Start by forgiving yourself and then make a decision to forgive him. Healing after a break up takes time,  and time is indeed a healer. Give yourself time sometime, eventually you will get over this. Lastly, it is completely normal to have all kinds of feelings during this early stages of a break up, once you can think about him and not have negative feelings you will have healed. Check out the following article for additional tips on how to cope with a breakup;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/breaking-up/coping-with-a-break-up

Anonymous
Mon, 11/19/2018 - 03:23 pm
I have been dating 2 girls, just got to know one is pregnant for me. I love the other girl who is not pregnant more. The pregnant girl now wants to move in with me, introduce me to her parents and she also wants to meet my mom. I am confused I don't know what to do?

Hey Drake, you have to come clean to both girls, if you don’t it will come out at some point and it maybe challenging to manage it then. It depends on how they feel about this that will determine the next cause of action. For instance, they may both not be willing to remain in a relationship with you, one of them maybe willing to keep the relationship or even both, at which point you have to decide how to proceed. Take time, think about the different possible outcomes and then make a decision on how to proceed. Remember, you don’t have to move in with her or marry her since she is pregnant for you but you definitely need to be clear about how you will support her and participate in the raising of the child after birth. Find a good time and be honest with both of them to better address the issues. 

Anonymous
Sun, 12/30/2018 - 08:01 pm
Had a messy break up with my fiance of 3 years. He was a cheat. Had invested soo much in the relationship I don't think I can ever move forward.

Hey Hellen, so sorry about this. The unfortunate truth about relationships is that not all of them will last a lifetime, you may have put in your very best effort but you are not responsible for the choices your ex made. This was not your fault. He cheated on you, broke the rules of your relationship and it had to end. All you can do now is to move on. It is tough, it hurts and it may feel difficult to move forward but gets better with time, time heals. Give yourself time, take each day at a time, and eventually you will get over this and perhaps be ready to get into a new relationship. Check out the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/breaking-up/coping-with-a-break-up

Hey GG, if you just broke up, maybe you need to take some time before getting into a new relationship. You may end up carrying issues from a previous relationship into a new one. Also, we are not a dating service and for this reason we are not able to help you meet someone. Check out the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/breaking-up/coping-with-a-break-up

Anonymous
Fri, 02/22/2019 - 06:05 pm
I have tried to break up with my girlfriend but she has refused to move on. She comes to my place unannounced, she even treated my female friend telling her that she is my girlfriend. I don't know what else to do I have been nice I have tried to be nasty but she still insists on the relationship...

Hey Leo, sounds like this has been frustrating for you. If you have been clear and firm about the break up but she still insists, you may have to resort to more drastic measures particularly because this may stop you from getting into a new fulfilling relationship. The drastic changes may include moving houses among other measures that will help deny her access to you. Be firm about your decision, you dont have to be cruel toward her seeing that she may still be in love with you and this is why the break up is tough for her. Have a look at this article for additional tips;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/breaking-up/breaking-up-dos-and-donts

Anonymous
Tue, 03/19/2019 - 06:06 pm
Hi friends have been in a relationship for 2yrs and we have a kid BT after giving birth this guy doesn't pick ma calls not even replying ma texts not unless he wants to date mi,,,have been confused in this relationship yet I love her BT I have no option to do help me please

Hello Beatrice,it is important you talk with the father of your child about your relationship. You need to agree on how to proceed. You need to agree on whether you have a relationship or not including how he will participate in raising the child you have together. You also need to decide what you want moving forward and whether you are happy having him only call you for dates. We wish you well. 

Anonymous
Thu, 03/28/2019 - 05:48 pm
Help me I fell in love with a guy about year ago who appeared to be single and I just found out he is married though he says they separated months ago. He has two kids with his ex. I just dont want to be caught up in the drama with his ex. I want to quit.

Hey Flora, you may want to start by establishing his current relationship status. Is he together with his wife, are they separated and what does the future of his relationship with his wife look like. More importantly, you need to decide who want for a partner now and in the future. Ask yourself if he fits the kind of person you want ask you make a decision on how to proceed. We wish you well. 

Anonymous
Fri, 04/05/2019 - 09:25 pm
I have been with my husband for six years ad he started cheating on me ad when I ask he just say it's just a friend ad I can't judge him coz I love him so I believe what he says but every Tym I go to where he works I meet him wid this gal ad am confused coz my man even treat me lyk am just for the sake ad even he comes home late he even beat me up so I left him ad went back home to my mum I have one child ad I can't believe dat leaving him I love him buh I want to break up wat am I going to do

Dear Cynthia, so sorry about this. Did you go back to him or you are still at your mother’s place? It appears that he no longer respects you especially if he is cheating on you and more importantly because he beat you. You need to make that difficult decision of breaking up with him, it is a difficult decision because you still love him. You need to think about whether you want to be with a person who treats you this way. If not, let him know you decision. Have a look at the following articles for more tips;- 

https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/breaking-up/knowing-when-to-break-up

https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/sexual-harassment/intimate-partner-violence-top-facts

 

Anonymous
Tue, 04/09/2019 - 05:57 pm
I had a bad disagreement with my fiance and we had to broke up. Now I miss him so much I am thinking of calling him maybe we have our relationship back. Should I?

Debbie, I am sorry for what you went through. Break up is never easy especially considering the circumstances at which it happened. The decision to call him or not is all yours. However you may want to ask yourself few questions; what do want if he picks his phone, what was the reason for breakup, is the issue resolvable, what if he does not pick you call, what if he picks but does not want the relationship back? Think about this and make an informed decision. 

Hey Tommie, it is normal to feel this way soon after a break up depending on the reasons for the break up and especially if you are still in love with the person. To get back together, your ex needs to be willing as well. Also, you need to think about what led to the break up in the first place and whether the issue or issues have since been resolved. Take sometime and think about whether it is possible to resolve the issues that led to the break up and the reach out to your ex to see if they are willing to get back with you. Remember, she may have already moved on or just not interested in getting back with you. Have a look at the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/breaking-up/how-can-i-get-back-my-ex

Hi Salome, breaking up with a person you are still in love with can be challenging. If you, however,  have determined that a relationship will not work and that breaking up is the only option, you need to be honest with your partner and clear about your reasons for wanting to break up. It is important that you are firm about this decision but you don't have to be cruel toward your partner. Try find a good time and a good place to communicate your decision. All the best. 

Anonymous
Mon, 04/29/2019 - 12:49 pm
I just got married but I'm not happy with my marriage because before I got married he rent three bedroom flat two lady collect one room remain two room he promised me there going to live after marriage till now they are not live if I say anything about them my husband will up set with me

Hi Dasola, what relationship does your husband have with the two ladies? I can imagine how frustrating this is especially for your young marriage. It is important that you talk about this with your husband to be able to find a solution that is acceptable to you both. You can also consider having someone your partner respects to talk with him about so you can find a solution. Have a look at the following article for more tips on how to communicate;-  https://lovemattersafrica.com/love-relationships/happy-relationships/tips-for-talking-to-your-partner

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