The Best Way to Get Rid of a Girlfriend Without Being Mean

Breakups can be painful, but handling it right can help minimize the heartache.
... Image Source/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Whether you’re trying to escape the relationship because you’ve emotionally checked out or you just find yourself constantly unhappy, splitting up with your girlfriend can be done in a pleasant way. Some breakups result in the potential for friendship, while others are a disastrous crash and burn. If you’d prefer the former, show your girlfriend respect and consider her feelings throughout the process.

1 Tell Her Face-to-Face

With modern technology, ending a relationship via email or text may seem like the safest option to avoid an emotional scene. However, breaking up using either of those methods only makes you look cowardly, suggests love and relationship expert Hadley Finch, writing for Your Tango. Finch goes on to note that when you have the courage to break up in person, you’re dignifying the feelings you once shared together. If you’re going to end things face-to-face, it’s also important to make sure you have the right setting. For example, pick a neutral location that you know she doesn’t typically frequent, which means you won’t ruin a special place for her with memories of getting dumped.

2 Be Honest With Her

It can be tempting to be a little dishonest to your girlfriend in the hopes that she’ll take the break up easier, but honesty may serve you both better in the future. In the "Marie Claire" online article “Is Truth in Breakups Overrated?” author Maura Kelly notes that there should be a distinction between having an honest discussion and being obnoxious. If you’re going to be honest when you break up, make sure you’re not placing all the blame on her or being insensitive. For example, instead of being overly blunt by saying that you feel smothered, express that you need more independence.

3 Be Strong and Remain Calm

If the breakup isn’t mutual or expected, there’s a chance that your girlfriend will react emotionally. She might yell, cry or show other signs of being upset, which makes it even more important that you keep your cool. In her "Psychology Today" online article, “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, So Here’s a 6-Step, How-To,” Dr. Susan Heitler recommends keeping a calm tone during the entire discussion. Heitler also suggests that letting yourself become upset and emotional could also mean that the conversation ends prematurely. To remain calm during the break up, keep focus on the result you want, which is being as nice as possible while still ending things. For example, instead of yelling, calmly express that although you understand her agitation, you have already made your decision.

4 Don't Embarrass Her

You may have confided in your friends that you want to get rid of your girlfriend, whether for emotional support or just to vent. Involving them in the actual breakup or having them around when you end things can be mean and embarrassing. This is a private situation between you and your girlfriend, which means you shouldn't embarrass her by making all the private details public knowledge. Ensure that the breakup comes from you and isn’t mean gossip she hears about from someone else. For example, confide only in a friend that you can trust to keep the discussion in confidence.

Based in Chicago, Nicole Nalls has been writing and editing career and education-related articles since 2008. Her articles have appeared in "Venus Zine" magazine, as well as a number of online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Science in sociology from Illinois State University.