How Can I End My Relationship with My Boyfriend?

Show compassion when breaking up with your boyfriend.
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Ending your relationship with your boyfriend can be a delicate and painful situation. You may worry about hurting him and experience feelings of guilt, sadness, doubt and trepidation that make you want to put off the breakup. Ending a relationship is never easy, but it can go more smoothly if you are honest and sincere.

1 Consider Your Decision

The decision to end a relationship shouldn't be taken lightly. Make sure your reasons for wanting to end the relationship are valid and that this not a rash decision due to an argument or frustration. Be positive that this is what you want rather than end the relationship out of anger, says Marcia Reynolds, a psychologist and author of "End Your Relationship with Dignity" for Psychology Today. Take time to think through your decision. If you have any doubt at all, hold off on breaking up with your boyfriend until you are certain of your decision, suggests in the article "Breaking up with Kindness and Respect."

2 Time and Place

Pick an appropriate time and place to have the breakup conversation. Show your boyfriend respect and break up with him in person rather than via email, text or telephone. Your breakup should be done face to face, in privacy, without distractions. Don't break up during an argument or in front of other people. Choose a time when you have plenty of time to converse, without feeling rushed.

3 Breakup Dialogue

Initiate the breakup conversation with an introduction. This gives your boyfriend time to prepare himself for the serious conversation that is to follow, notes Susan Heitler, a psychologist and author of "Breaking up Is Hard to Do, So Here’s a 6-Step How-To” for Psychology Today. For example, you might say, “There’s something serious that I would like to discuss with you. Do you mind if we sit down and talk?” It’s important that you make it clear that you have made the decision to break up and you will not waver on that decision, says Heitler. You might begin with, “I have made a decision…” Follow your decision with a specific reason why you are ending the relationship, suggests Heitler. You might say, “I made this decision because I’m looking for someone who more closely shares my values.” Heitler also notes that incompatibility is one of the easier explanations to handle when facing a breakup.

4 Let Him Express Himself

Encourage your boyfriend to express his feelings and thoughts. Allowing him to speak will help provide closure and possibly prevent the need for conversations in the future, says Be honest with him as you try to answer any questions he might ask. Be prepared to remain calm if you are met with an angry or manipulative response, suggests Reynolds. warns not to let the conversation end without your boyfriend being fully aware that you no longer want to be together.

Stacey Elkins is a writer based in Chicago. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and a Masters in social work from the University of Illinois in Chicago, where she specialized in mental health.