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How to Break Up with Someone Who Loves You & Not Hurt Them More

You know your relationship is over, but you don’t know how to break up with someone who loves you. So just follow these tips, and it’ll be alright.

how to break up with someone who loves you

Breaking up is always difficult. Some people just try to make their partner hate them because they don’t have the courage to break up with them. Who wants to break up with someone they love? Unless that turns you on. But for the rest of us, knowing how to break up with someone who loves you is hard to do. You have to meet up with them, sit them down, talk about how you feel, and then watch them crumble in front of you.

Are you now free? Absolutely, and sure, it may sting, but it does feel like a weight has been lifted, right?

Is it okay to break up with someone who is madly in love with you?

You might be feeling like a real jerk for wanting to break up with someone who is madly in love with you. Of course, you don’t want to break their heart. So, there might be a lot of guilt that is weighing on your mind. 

You also might be thinking, “What’s wrong with me? This is what everyone wants in a partner – someone who is madly in love with them!” And if that’s most people’s goal, then why would you want to give that up? 

All of these thoughts and questions might have you second-guessing if you should break up at all. If you have someone who loves you madly, should you give that up? Will you ever find anyone else who loves you this much?

The answer to all of these questions is – yes, you will find someone else. And yes, it is okay to break up with someone who is madly in love with you. [Read: How to break up when he doesn’t want to – the step-by-step guide]

Here are the reasons. You see, if you’re having thoughts about breaking up, clearly something is not right. Your gut is telling you that this person and this relationship are not a good fit for you. It doesn’t matter why. All that matters is that your intuition is telling you to break up.

So, don’t feel like a bad person. You are not responsible for other people’s happiness. There isn’t any requirement to stay with someone just because you think they will be hurt if you leave them. After you break up with them, then their feelings are in their own hands, not yours.

How to break up with someone who loves you 

When you break up with someone who loves you, it’s not that easy. In other words, the actual breaking up may be easy. However, if they really love you, they may not be as easy to get rid of as you once thought. [Read: How to break up with someone you love – 18 steps and the things to say]

You were their world! You were their life! What does that mean? Yes, you know what it means, the “I love you” texts, the 1 am drunken phone calls—they start rolling in. But you avoid that from happening if you break up with them properly.

Because you’re going to have to do it eventually – they’re not going to do it for you.

1. If you think it’s over, it’s over

If you think about breaking up with someone who loves you, well, that’s a pretty good sign you should follow through with your thoughts.

In other words, if the thought of breaking up crosses your mind, then it will happen eventually. It may take months or years to do so, but you did it eventually. Listen to your gut. [Read: Should we break up? 17 signs you’re past the point of no return]

2. Sit down with yourself and make sure it’s what you want

Even though we just said that you should follow your gut, sometimes it’s not that easy to do.

Regardless, you should sit down with yourself and think about what you really want and if you’re getting that from your relationship. If not, then you definitely know what you need to do.

3. Know that you won’t be friends after

Yeah, don’t expect them to call you the next day, asking how work was. Actually, don’t expect anything for at least a year or so. You don’t really know your partner’s feelings towards you, so it may take longer for them to move on than you expected.

Point is, consider this as if you lost a friend. Yes, it’s sad, but if you think of it like that, you won’t be tempted to talk to them. [Read: Why staying friends with your ex don’t work]

4. It’ll never be the right time

Okay, there will be some moments which are better than others, but there’s always a holiday coming up so it doesn’t matter. If you want to know how to break up with someone who loves you, start by accepting that you’re only procrastinating.

You need to break up with them ASAP, not only so you can be single but also so that they can grieve and move on. If you keep holding back, you hurt both of you even more.

5. Prepare yourself

If you live with your partner, you should already have preparations made for after you break up. You should know who you’re going to be living with for the time being, where your things will be stored, etc.

You don’t know how the breakup is going to go, so having a plan set in place is a good idea. [Read: Keep the peace – How to break up with someone you live with]

6. Don’t surprise them

This isn’t a birthday party, it’s a breakup. And you’re breaking up with someone who may still be very much in love with you. This is delicate, so there’s no need to pick them up from work and on the way home drop the “I think we should break up” line.

Be mature about this and consider their feelings. Tell them that you need to talk. That’ll be a good hint that they should be expecting shitty news.

7. Use the word “I” 

This is about you. It’s about your feelings towards your partner and the relationship. So, use the word “I.” You need to tell them what isn’t working in the relationship for you and why you want to break up.

So, saying something like “I feel that we aren’t connected like we used to be” is a way to show them your feelings. By doing this, you’re not creating false emotions for them. [Read: Breakup talk – 25 tips to end a relationship without making it messy]

8. Honesty is the best policy, but don’t be a dick

Be honest, people want to hear honesty, especially when it’s concerning a breakup.

That being said, there’s no need to tell your partner that you’re breaking up with them because they’re bad in bed. Rather, you’re breaking up with them because “you don’t feel the chemistry anymore.”

Don’t degrade and strip them down of their self-worth. Be classy. [Read: How to be friends with an ex without any complications]

9. No, don’t say the “let’s be friends” line

Please don’t use this line, especially when you break up with someone who loves you! That’s like the worst thing they should hear from you. It basically means, “I don’t see you as someone I want to spend my life with, but rather someone I can sit at Starbucks with once every couple of months and catch up.” So, cringe-worthy, come on!

Now, if they later message you to go out for coffee or to be friends, that’s different.

10. Don’t text them

Don’t like their status on Facebook, don’t like their pictures on Instagram, or text them when you’re bored. This isn’t some game, this is someone’s emotions. You need to leave them alone so they heal.

When they’re ready, they’ll like something on your Facebook page or wish you a happy birthday, or some shit. The point is, you let them come to you. [Read: How to break up when your partner doesn’t want to]

11. Don’t make it a dramatic goodbye

You’re not in The Notebook. This isn’t some romantic drama, so just keep it cool. Breakups don’t have to be filled with yelling and crying – they can be – but why not just leave the relationship on a positive note?

Why not leave the door open for a possible friendship further down the road? When we mean further down, we mean years from now.

12. No breakup sex! 

DO.NOT.DO.IT. It doesn’t matter if your partner used to be a model, don’t do it. They love you and if you sleep with them, that only causes more problems.

In fact, you’re an asshole if you do it. If you’re trying to break up with someone who loves you, let them heal, let them have time on their own—now you’re using them for sex and that’s not cool.

13. Analyze the relationship and the breakup

Yes, you’re single, but now you need to look at the relationship and the breakup. What went wrong in the relationship? What do you want in future relationships?

This is hard for them, but it’s also a learning lesson for you as well. Or else, you end up in the same relationship over again. [Read: How to end a long-term relationship like a grown-up]

14. If they’re trying to move on, let them

You have the upper hand because you’re the one who isn’t in love. For you, it’s great but don’t be the person who abuses this.

They’re trying to move on, so flirting with them or becoming jealous when they go on dates isn’t helping. That’s actually your ego and you need to tame it. They’re just trying to move past their pain, so let them.

How not to hurt someone when breaking up with them

Of course, when you break up with someone who loves you, you don’t want to hurt that person. So here are some tips to make sure it goes the best it can.

15. Don’t drag it out

Once you have made the decision to break up, just do it. You don’t need to drag it out and say things like, “We need to talk.”

If you want to break up with someone who still loves you, rip the band-aid off quickly. Make sure you have somewhere to go afterward so they can’t rehash everything and drag out the breakup conversation. [Read: How to help your ex move on, get over you for good and find peace]

16. Be kind

This should be a given, but be kind to them. You are breaking their heart.

Even if they did something wrong and that’s why you’re breaking up with them, just be mindful of their feelings and break up with them in a kind way.

17. Don’t criticize them

Make sure you don’t talk about any of their shortcomings. Their ego is already taking a blow since you are instigating the breakup. So just stay away from any kind of criticism, even if you want to do it.

18. Be direct and firm

Keep in mind that they might want to change your mind. They might even beg and plead and promise to be a better person. But stand your ground.

Be direct and tell them that you are not changing your mind. [Read: How to say no – 15 ways to reason politely stop pleasing, and feel kickass]

19. Avoid clichés 

Don’t say things like, “It’s not you, it’s me” or “I just need to find myself right now and work on me.” It may sound easier to use those lines, but they probably aren’t truthful. Just be honest and true to yourself without saying these clichés.

20. Don’t give any false promises

It might be easier to say, “Let’s take a break and see where we are in six months.” Saying things like this might help you avoid feeling bad at the moment, but it’s not true.

Plus, it makes them hold on to false promises and they’ll think that you might get back together in the future.

21. Have empathy

Keep in mind that this is not going to be easy for them when you break up. So, have empathy. See the situation from their point of view and try to convey that you know how they are feeling. [Read: How to show empathy and learn to understand someone else’s feelings]

22. Break up in person

Sure, it might be easier to send a text or even break up when you’re talking on the phone, but that’s not the classy thing to do.

You should really meet them face-to-face and have the conversation that way. Don’t be a coward – do it the right way.

23. Choose the right setting

If you think that your partner is going to have a really bad reaction and might start crying, then you don’t want to break up in a public setting. That could be embarrassing for them.

So, make sure you find the right setting to break up with them. [Read: How to break up with your girlfriend like a man, stop pussyfooting and help her heal]

24. Accept that it’s going to be difficult

Prepare your mind for the fact that breaking up with your partner will not be easy. You are going to feel uncomfortable, and that’s okay.

Just keep in mind how much happier you’ll be when you can finally move on with your life.

[Read: Example conversations to break up with someone without hurting them]

The worst things you can ever say to someone during a breakup

It’s easy to be cruel at the end, and filled with bitterness. It’s human instinct to be tougher than you actually are at such a vulnerable moment. It’s usually during these times that words are said that can’t be taken back.

As terrible as it sounds, sometimes it’s easier to live with the end of the relationship if you make your ex feel bad or hurt them by saying something mean.

Does that mean it is acceptable to be hurtful? Absolutely not! But it is a fact: if you inflict pain on the person that caused you pain, it gives you something else to focus on—something other than your own misery. You may not realize this, but this is something many people do.

Very often, the person breaking up says something really mean just to hurt their soon-to-be-ex just to get even.

As much as you may feel like saying it, the following phrases are some of the worst to say in the midst of a breakup, and we’d recommend you stay away from using any of these lines!

1. “I don’t love you anymore”

This is terrible whether you’ve been dating for months, or years, simply because it’s like saying that after X amount of time with them, you no longer care. They’re not enough for you to love. [Read: How to know if you’re truly not in love anymore]

2. “I don’t care about this relationship, and I haven’t for a long time”

Well, why not say that sooner, when you could have possibly worked through the issues? This is an insult, because it means you stopped caring about the relationship, and didn’t bother communicating.

In a relationship, both parties have a right to know immediately when this happens, not weeks or months later.

3. Pointing out all their flaws and annoyances

“Your breath stinks, your feet scratch me at night, and you’re way too short.” That’s nice of you to say!

Pointing out someone’s flaws is a great way of making them feel beneath you, even if they actually aren’t. Don’t do it.

4. Telling them you don’t think they’re attractive enough after having sex

Makes you wonder what on earth your lover was thinking while having sex for the last time. Did they think of someone else, or did they enjoy it because they knew it was the last time? You essentially get used, then dumped because you’re ugly.

5. “I don’t trust you”

Obviously, one of you messed up one too many times, and everything burst at the seam. But there’s something about saying these four little words that really rub some salt in the wound.

It’s both, pointing out the obvious, and making it clear that the person isn’t trustworthy or reliable at all. [Read: 12 subtle signs it’s time you need to end your relationship]

6. Suggesting you can remain friends with benefits

Oh, so the official status is too much, but the sex is just fine? Just a few downgrades, until you find someone better. Once you do, they can rest assured you’ll lose their number.

7. “We make better friends”

This is the equivalent of saying “The sex isn’t good enough, you’re not attractive enough, but we have fun together when we’re not trying to be physical.”

Being better friends means you get along, know how to have fun and laugh together, but you’re better off keeping it strictly platonic. Hearing that during a breakup is like a slap in the face.

8. “Can you help me move my things out?”

If you’re dumb enough to ask this after you’ve broken up with them, then, quite frankly, they’re better off.

Don’t ask for help leaving—just leave. No one should ever have to help their partner move out, because that’s going to hurt even more—the process of undoing everything.

9. Not saying anything at all

The only thing that’s worse than yelling, screaming profanities, and demeaning the other person, is falling off the face of the earth.

Never texting, calling, or talking to them in general. Breakups should honor what you had together at some point, or at least be cordial, but this is pretty mean on all accounts.

This is like saying, “You didn’t mean enough to me to say anything about wanting to go separate ways.” [Read: What is ghosting and how does it affect you?]

10. “You’re just not… my long-term goal. I’d like to see who else is out there”

This translates to, “You were good for a while, but I never intended this to be a long-term thing, because I have higher standards.”

Not only does this suggest you think you’re better than them, you are also suggesting they’re mediocre compared to the other fish in the sea.

11. “My ex wants to get back together”

Saying this means only one thing: rebound. This simple phrase is tantamount to, “Congratulations, you’ve been used and discarded after serving your purpose.”

Saying this during a breakup means you didn’t love your significant other; you simply needed someone for the time being, to feel less lonely and hurt. If you never stopped thinking about your ex *or never stopped talking* you had no business being in a relationship.

Avoid this phrase at all costs—even if it is the case. [Read: 13 secret signs your guy isn’t over his ex yet]

12. “You’re not worth the effort”

This means one of you put the other through so much pain, anguish, trouble, etc. that the relationship died off. This is what happens when you continue making the same lousy mistakes, and never learn how to kick your bad habits.

But saying it in the middle of a split? Cold-hearted.

13. “There’s someone else”

What’s one thing worse than leaving someone for their flaws? That’s right, leaving someone because you found someone else’s flaws bearable.

This means the person leaving was looking around for someone else, or randomly met someone without intending to. Either way, the new person was “superior,” so your relationship is done. [Read: Love triangles and the confusing complications it brings]

14. Saying anything about their weight, or penis size

If this is the reason for the breakup, for shame. Vanity screams immaturity, and surely the one being dumped is better off.

If this is just what’s said after the fact, but not the sole reason, then you don’t really mean it—you’re just hurt. Whatever the case, though, this is a low blow, and chances are you aren’t in high school anymore.

15. “We’ve grown apart”

Sherlock, you’ve solved the crime! Here, you point out the obvious *because it always is obvious*, and leave because you think you’re headed in a better direction. Although this is a legitimate reason to break up, it is one that both of you already know; it doesn’t need to be said.

Now that we’ve gone over what you shouldn’t say, it’s important to remember that it’s always better to simply be respectful. Regardless of why or how it ended, you two shared time together, made memories, and felt something. Chances are, you still do. Keeping these things in mind, and breaking up in a clear, concise, yet respectful way will make things go smoother.

Breakups are terrible, inevitable events that everyone has to go through at least once—though, for most, probably a lot more than that. They should honor what you both shared, once upon a time, but they rarely do, because it’s easier to be angry.

So all said and done, if you’re breaking up with someone who loves you, leave these out of the conversation for greater healing and peace in the aftermath of a breakup.

[Read: How to break up with someone in a way that won’t hurt them]

Who said breaking up was fun? It’s not, but using these steps on how to break up with someone who loves you, you can do it in a way that doesn’t make them eat a tub of ice cream while staring at your photo. That will probably happen anyway, but you know, not for months on end.

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