Nobody enjoys ending a relationship with someone, especially
someone they care about. Whether you're breaking up or
being broken up with, the key word to remember is "grace."
Try to end the relationship gracefully. There may be 50
ways to leave your lover, but if you sneak out the back,
Jack, you'll only wind up with a trail of ex-lovers bad-
Even if you haven't dated very much, known each other very
long, or made promises of lifelong fidelity, the person
who's being left is going to be upset. They're going to
feel hurt and rejected, and maybe even angry.
So when you break up with someone, be sure to let them know
you think they're okay, that you like them as a person, and
even that you want to stay friends. After all, there must
have been something that you liked about the person in the
beginning. Whatever you liked is still there.
Here's how to end a relationship with class and
- Break up cleanly and completely, not partially.
Leaving someone with hope that you'll get back together
when you know you won't is cruel and unusual
- Show respect for the person by telling them in
person. Breaking up by phone or by letter is cowardly.
Unless you're physically afraid of the person you're
leaving, do it face to face.
- Do it in a restaurant or other public place where
emotions are more likely to be contained.
- Reassure the other person that they're worthy, but
it's just not working out. If you're in love with
someone else, say so. In effect, take the blame and
don't give any.
- Return expensive gifts and belongings. If you've
been given a "friendship" or "engagement" ring or other
gift, give it back.
Related Keywords: Letting Go, Love Strategies
Return to Library Top Page
Return to "Ask Dr. Tracy" Home Page
copyright 1995-2011 Tracy Cabot