For most of us, life is not a fairy tale. So when you're in a relationship that's not making you feel like a Disney prince or princess, it's probably a good idea to end it. But those who have a hard time giving the bad news or uttering the dreaded f-word ("just friends"), here are some tips to make the break a little bit less painful.
Write it down.
Articulating yourself is not an easy task when emotions get in the way. And when your heart is under a lot of pressure, so is your brain. You may not say exactly what you mean. In a moment when you have a clear head, write down what exactly isn't working with the relationship. Then, when you're giving the "we need to talk" talk, you can always refer to your notes to stay on track.
Go all or nothing.
If you have any inkling that you're going to cave and get back together, it's not a good idea to break up. A break up should be for good. It's different from a break or separation, which is typically more open (and therefore open to interpretation). When it comes to playing with emotions though, we suggest that you clearly end it with no second chances. If it didn't work once, it will most likely not work the next time around.
When having the break up talk, it's tempting to rehash what you've been saying all along. Don't focus on how much you say, but what you say.
Don't get defensive or offensive.
Your goal isn't to victimize your soon-to-be-ex, or make them feel like they messed up. You can have a civilized discussion using words like "I feel" instead of "You do this" and "You don't do that". Don't put words into this person's mouth. Say that from your perspective, this is how a certain conversation sounded, or this is how something made you feel.
Don't surprise them.
If you've been feeling bad about the situation for a while, don't try to act like everything's okay and then suddenly have the talk to end all talks. A proper break up will be a mutual understanding, and not a total shocker.
Pick a private, appropriate moment.
This is pretty clear. Don't make a public announcement, post on social media, or billboard advertisement that you are now single and ready to, you know. Be respectful and keep it on the down-low.
Resist the temptation.
Maybe your ex will try to get back in touch with you, but set clear boundaries. If you want to try to be just friends, then do that. Don't, in a moment of loneliness and compromised inhibitions, say you were all wrong and get back together. Recognize momentary sadness from real sadness. A break up will be hard, but if it wasn't meant to be, you and your ex will get over it.
Don't say, "It's not you, it's me," if it really is them. Don't make up some crazy lie like you're moving out of the country or something. If you're just not into it anymore, you're just not into it.
Can we talk?
Have a better break up and get out there again. You'll find your fairy tale soon enough, and if not, there's always Disney movies.