Ways & How

how to break up with your boyfriend without hurting him

how to break up with your boyfriend without hurting him

In our journey through life, we change and grow in totally unexpected ways. Sometimes we start out seeking something only to end up wanting something else. Sometimes we pursue one dream and wind up in a totally different direction. This can be confusing and hurtful. Nowhere is the confusion and hurt more pronounced than in the breakup of a relationship. But it does happen. If you feel you’ve moved on, or you’re not getting what you want from your present relationship, or that your future lies elsewhere, you may need to use some of these tips on how to break up with your boyfriend without hurting him.

  1. Examine your reasons for wanting to break up. You may feel that you and your boyfriend are going in different directions. You may feel you’re missing out on other experiences and want to try new things. You may feel that he’s been inattentive to you lately. You suspect his affections are elsewhere, and you want to jump the gun on him. Whatever the cause, consider your decisions very carefully because if you realize that you have made a mistake, it will be hard to get him back with the same level of trust as before.

    cannot just break up with him for no reason at all. If you don’t want to hurt him too much, then you should have good reasons for the breakup.

  2. Talk to him honestly. Once you know why you want to break up, prepare what you will say and how you will say it. You may even write it down on paper first, or run it by a trusted friend. Try to be honest, not brutal; kind, not uncaring; clear, not confusing. Tell him the truth but try to spare him the details that will hurt his feelings or cause him to argue with you. Never mind the tired phrase “It’s not you; it’s me” line. If there’s something he has done that specifically caused the breakup but is something he can change, then tell him kindly because it might help him in his next relationship.

    Don’t insult his intelligence by saying there isn’t anyone else if, in fact, there is. You won’t help him grow if he doesn’t know what it is that attracted you to a new man when you already had someone in your life. If, however, it is something he cannot help-- such as a physical flaw, a medical condition, a financial situation, etc.-- then focus more on your needs and not his imperfections.

  3. Clean up the mess. There’s going to be some hurt involved. You can try to lessen it by making the end of your relationship as friendly as possible. If your boyfriend tends to be unreasonable or difficult when angry, request a friend to be present as a backup ahead of time so someone can rescue you should you need it. If there are items you need to retrieve, make it quick and thorough so you don’t have to go back and forth many times.

  4. Graciously withdraw. You may tell him you can continue to be friends if you feel that there is room for that in both of your futures. However, limit your interaction and contact with him. No matter how hard you try to break it off gently, if your boyfriend loves you dearly, he will end up getting hurt. Make it easier for him to get over you by actually not acting like his girlfriend anymore.

  5. Move on. Even though you initiated the breakup, you might have periods when you regret your decision. It will especially hurt when you see him with someone new and you’re alone. This is why it is important to be clear about your reasons for breaking up so that you can revisit them and confirm to yourself that you did the right thing.

Closely following these tips may not guarantee your boyfriend won’t feel hurt. But it will greatly lessen the pain if you treat him with respect, candor, and allow him to retain his dignity. You will also lessen your guilt and be free to explore your new life with less baggage from the past. Make the effort to follow these steps on how to break up with your boyfriend without hurting him, and you will be well on your way to a new life.


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