Place some time and distance between you and your partner.
Don't answer their phone calls, don't see them and avoid calling them. This will give you some time to prepare for the breakup conversation and give them the hint that something is going on. This will give them time to prepare for and process the end of the relationship.
Think carefully about your decision.
Be certain that a breakup is the best way to handle your relationship. You may find, during this time of distance, that you still very much love your partner and just need to talk things out.
Make a list of the reasons why you want to break up with your partner.
Write beside each reason a possible solution for the situation. This will help you to be sure that you are making the right decision and that you have exercised all possibilities of resolving the problems within your relationship.
Prepare what you want to say ahead of time.
Know what it is that you need to say without dragging out the process. Try to base your reasons on the list that you made, if they should ask. Avoid conversations that might stir up conflict.
Meet your partner in person and deliver the breakup news.
It is important that you are understanding, empathetic and compassionate at this time. Be prepared for anything including accusations, begging, crying, yelling and even possible abuse. Exercising compassion and understanding, however, can reduce the trauma your partner feels.
Avoid giving your partner any hope of a future together.
Don't make statements that might lead them to think that the relationship is not completely over. While you may want to offer these statements to ease their pain, you will only elongate the process and make it harder on both of you. Be very clear in the fact that you are breaking the relationship off for good.
Allow an opportunity for closure for your partner.
In a few days, allow them to talk to you and go over the breakup again, if they need it. Sometimes, the trauma of the breakup is too much to process all at once. You will have to stick to your decision here, so be prepared. However, remember that this step can be very important for your partner.
Help your ex with no contact by not showing up at places they might be.
Avoid contacting them and do not deliberately try to bump into them. This will only re-open the pain they felt from the breakup and drag out their healing process. If you still want to be friends, allow a great deal of time to pass so that they can effectively manage their feelings. However, be warned that continuing a friendship after a breakup is a very rare occurrence and can be extremely difficult.
- If you feel that you might be in danger during the breakup, contact a friend that is willing to go with you. Be sure that this friend is the same gender as you. A friend of the opposite sex could stir up even more conflict.