How to Break Up with Someone as Painlessly as Possible

Breaking up with someone is never easy, and the longer you've been dating, the harder it is. Here are some ways you can make it as least painful as possible for the other person when breaking up with him or her.

Choose the right location for a break-up. If you do it at your house, you may make it more uncomfortable for your soon-to-be ex because it is your domain and when you are finished telling them your relationship is over, you will be effectively kicking them out of your home. If you do it at their house, it may make it easier because you are the one who is physically leaving. If you wish, you may initiate the break-up in a neutral location, such as a cafe.

Be kind and don't be cruel--Elvis had it right. Break-ups are obviously much harder for the person being dumped. Don't make any speeches about all the things you dislike about the person, because it will make them feel even worse and won't really have any advantages. After you break up, you won't have to deal with them again (hopefully) so blowing off steam, so to speak, is fruitless.

Keep things brief and to the point. Don't go into lengthy explanations if you can avoid it. The person will likely want to know what he or she did to make you reach your decision to end your relationship. State your argument as simply and briefly as possible and don't play psychiatrist -- it is not your responsibility to make him or her a better person or solve all their problems with a break-up speech.

Do it in person: If you respect the person, it is much better to break up with them face-to-face than over a phone call, or a cellphone text, or through email or through a messaging program. It is the most difficult way but it is also the most mature method.

Make a mental note of any possessions you wish them to return to you or any of theirs that you currently possess and exchange them after you tell them your relationship is over. It is the right thing to do.

Ensure a clean break. it is much healthier to avoid contact with the person after a break-up, at least for several months, to avoid giving a sense of false hope that you two will reconcile.

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  • If you feel the person will be unable to keep a stable state of mind following the break-up, enlist the help of a mutual friend or family member who you can trust to be discreet and ensure they contact the person after you end the relationship.
  • If you feel the person will act violent following the break-up, carry out the conversation in a neutral, public place.


  • Never be mean or pick on someone's vulnerability during a break-up.
  • Don't break someone's confidences in you even after you break up.
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