How Do I Break Up With Someone Without Breaking Their Heart?

Without heartbreak in the world, what would singers write their songs about?!

Hi Heather,

I have a boyfriend that I really don’t like anymore but I don’t wanna dump him. I’ve been dumped before and I know how it feels. But I also don’t wanna be the one that gets dumped. How can I break up with him without breaking his heart?

Here’s the ugly truth: break-ups are never fun, and they’re never going to be fun. It doesn’t matter how long you dated someone, or what the situation is, break ups are the worst—for both people involved. I wish I could tell you there was a way to get out of a relationship without hurting anybody’s feelings, but um, there usually isn’t. I can tell you this, though: staying with someone you don’t like isn’t just hurting you, it’s also keeping the person you’re dating from finding someone who might be totally psyched and happy to date them. You see how that’s not really fair?

Aside from keeping your guy or girl from a really happy relationship—you’re also kind of making yourself miserable, and relationships should make you happy, not miserable! For another thing, he’ll probably be able to pick up on the fact that something is wrong—and if he ever finds out that you’re with him out of pity,  that might hurt even more than a break-up would.

Not every breakup has to be as dramatic as Rihanna's in We Found Love

The most respectful way to break up is in person—I mean, you wouldn’t want a text or FB message saying you and some guy were splitzo, would you? Tell him you care about him, but your feelings have changed. Keep it short and simple, and try not to blame him for the relationship going south. As for the old “let’s still be friends” cliche, only say it if you really mean it—and be prepared for him to want to never see you again. Sometimes having your heart broken makes a friendship impossible.

Even if you say and do all those things, I can’t promise that it will be easy. Sometimes the nicest words can be said during a break-up, but the fact remains that it is just a hard thing to go through. This guy might be upset, and his heart might be broken, you’re doing the best thing for both of you by splitting it off with him now. One day he’ll get over your fabulous self and you’ll both find other fabulous people to be with. Until then . . .

take care,

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Posted in: Help Me Heather, Love Advice, Love&Sex, Your Life
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  • roxylin

    i broke up wid ma boyfren 1ce and i realy dont wana hurt him anymor…but ma family dont like him..and i cant stand against ma family…i need to break up wid him widout hurting him….

  • betty

    I have been with the same guy for 16 years he has hit me once never again though…i have no feelings for him anymore i have teied to make it wek but im just tired now im no not happy at all he still loves me to death how do i break up with him im so miserable please help need some advice…i thought bought taking him to dinner and telling him we have 1 child together hes 14 ….so confused

  • Sophie

    I once broke up with a boy via FRIEND. I’ve regretted it forever since and I’ve realised the best thing to do on the situation is poliyely tell him the the truth. Although it may be hard in the short term, it’ll be a lot better in the long term.

  • Isabel Johnson

    Once a guy was totally obsessing over me and it was awful. It wasn’t the sweet, goofy crushing: he was writing all these weird songs about me, stalking me at school and on Facebook, and he kept annoying one of my best friends by gushing about how much he loved me. Thing is, I had only briefly talked to him once! And he was totally convinced he was deeply in love with me! Finally, I texted him saying, “I think it’s sweet you like me, but I don’t feel the same way about you and I never will.” I thought that would be the end of it… until he started spreading rumors about me. Looks like he didn’t love me after all.

    • Rea

      I have had that before and I thought it was sweet till he was always there calling me texting me and telling me he loved me and he knew i didnt like him like that and never would I ended telling him that I was Bi and thats why I didn’t like him he took it horribly and A huge fight started but he also spread it around when I didnt want to tell anyone in the first place I hope everything turns out okay Gurl!

  • Keryn Bharbee

    I’ve been thru that before… Now I knw what’s best to do when the feelings change. No more pity. Thanks Heather.