While there may be no easy way to do it, there is definitely a wrong way to do it. Breaking up with class is the way to move forward compassionately.
Breaking up is never easy. Let’s just state the obvious. Who in their right mind has an easy time hurting someone—even if you know it’s for the best? And many of you have likely been on the receiving end of a break up and that’s never fun either.
Breaking up with someone or being broken up with just stinks. After you’ve invested time and energy into getting to know someone, to finally realize it’s just not meant to be can be a real downer. Breakups are sad, they make us vulnerable, we analyze where it went wrong and so forth. But, if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s that there is a right way and a wrong way to break up with someone.
Whether you’ve been dating someone for one month, ten months or two years, there is a classy way to let them down easy, yet firmly.
Don’t Be a Wuss
The first rule of a classy breakup, don’t be that douche-bag who breaks up with someone over text. That is SO not classy. I don’t care how long you’ve been dating someone there is a certain etiquette that should be mandatory when breaking up with a person. Everyone has feelings. Be respectful of that.
You’ve invested time. They’ve invested time. Yes, breakups suck. But, this does not mean you get to take the easy way out and send a lame breakup text or break up with someone over the phone. Super tacky. Totally classless. People these days are so consumed by technology they forget that there are real people on the other end of the line.
For the sake of humankind, do not be that jerk that sends a breakup text. It’s cowardly, not to mention extremely inconsiderate and offensive. You once cared about this person and their feelings, and it’s important to show them you have class even when things don’t work out. So man-up and have an actual face to face conversation. You’ll feel better and so will they, plus you’ll both have closure, which is important when ending a relationship.
Honesty is usually the best policy. Be honest, but not hurtful. There is a reason you’re deciding to move on and that this person is not “the one.” Just say that. “I don’t think you and I are meant to be.” Be mindful of the other person’s feelings and avoid saying deliberately hurtful things. Remember that in the beginning there was something that drew you to this person, something you were attracted too. Being honest doesn’t give you free reign to say unkind or cruel things. It’s not necessary and it’s not classy.
If you’ve made up your mind that this person is not the person you plan to spend the rest of your life with, if you aren’t envisioning your future together, you don’t see marriage, family or life partnership as a possibility with them, then by all means do NOT waiver when you are having the breakup talk.
Don’t use words like “if” or “maybe.” Don’t let them think there might still be a chance for a future or that this is a “break” rather than a “break up,” when you know in your heart it’s not. This is cruel and unusual punishment. If you’re done, be done. Do not lead them on or offer false hope. If you’ve made up your mind and know that there is no future with this person, be firm, but kind.
Try to remember what attracted you to this person in the beginning. Did they have a great laugh? A great outlook on life? Were they outgoing and charming? Recall these things and communicate in an authentic way. Share what you like about them, but let them know that as great as they are, you don’t feel they are the one for you. Remember that no matter how you go about it, hurt feelings are part of the process. No one ever said breaking up was easy, but time heals all wounds. Be compassionate. Wish them well, then let them go.
Do Not “Ghost”
“Ghosting” is for cowards. If you want to end a relationship, have the guts to say so—in person. Give the other person some closure. Do not simply phase yourself out, make yourself scarce and suddenly disappear altogether—aka: “ghosting.” There’s nothing worse, except maybe a breakup post-it note, when it comes to tactless breakups. (Remember that episode of Sex and the City when Carrie gets broken up with via post-it? Who could forget that?!?)
Don’t Trash Talk or Stalk
Post-breakup, do not talk bad about them to your friends, stalk them on social media or otherwise slander them. Such behavior only serves to make you look bad and is not a classy way to handle a breakup. Constantly bringing them up or talking badly about them only fuels negativity. You want to move on and move forward. Focusing on the positive rather than the negative will help you move on and invites more positive opportunities for love into your life.
So remember the “Golden Rule” when it comes to breaking up: Do unto others as you’d have done to you. Stay classy people.
[image: via Niels Linneberg on flickr]