Breaking up is hard to do. It’s often difficult to make the decision, and once it’s made, it can be hard to find the right time, place and words to follow through with it. Following are some tips to make the process easier on both parties.

Things to Keep in Mind for Break-Ups

It’s very important to be sure that ending the relationship is the right thing to do. Breaking up should not be a spur of the moment decision, particularly in a long-term relationship. Weigh the decision carefully, and be sure about the desired outcome before following through.

Try to show respect for the other person by handing break-ups in person. The only exceptions to this are if it was a very short relationship, for instance, just a few dates before realizing the person is not the right one, or if the person lives too far away to make an in person talk feasible. Otherwise, it’s not a nice idea to end a relationship by phone, email or text.

The only other situation in which these kind of break-ups are the better option is if there is fear of the other party. If there is any danger the person could become upset enough to become violent, by all means, keep the distance when breaking up.

It’s a good idea to use the other person’s home for talk of ending the relationship. Some people use public places for break-ups, as the other person is not likely to make a scene that will be uncomfortable in public. However, this can be very embarrassing for the partner, and in most break-ups, it’s better to be as kind as possible. Using one’s own home for a break-up can also backfire, as it can be difficult to get the other party to leave afterwards.

Using someone’s home turf enables the other person ending the relationship to leave when the discussion is over, as well as avoiding the possible danger of the other person leaving the discussion very upset and getting behind the wheel that way. This also will allow the party breaking off the relationship to gather any items that have been left at their former partners home, without the need to contact them again or come back soon.

While remaining kind, be as honest as possible about why the relationship did not work out. Avoid cliches. Doing this might help the other person find happiness in future relationships. Often, people don’t even realize what the problem was, and telling the person in as gentle a way as possible can spare him or her weeks or months of agonizing over what went wrong.

Things to Avoid When Ending a Relationship

Don’t give false hope that the break is temporary if it’s not. It can be tempting to take the easy way out, particularly if the other person becomes very upset, but in the long run, honesty and knowing the true intentions of the other person is better for both people.

Resist the urge to call the other party soon after the break-up. This can drag out the situation and may give the person the idea that there has been a change of heart. Maybe someday there will be room for a friendship, but for the time being, allow the space for healing.

Never use breaking up as a ploy to get something. This is cruel and can backfire. Only break up with someone when the true intention is to sever the relationship.

Ending a relationship is difficult and complicated. Showing respect for the other party, being kind and honest during the break-up, and allowing the other person time to recover before contact can make the situation a bit easier.

Ending a Relationship: Making Break-Ups Easier for Both People