The Right Way to Say You’ve Fallen Out of Love Without Hurting Someone
Sometimes in a relationship, you’re not sure how to phrase a delicate subject or tricky topic. Sure, saying nothing at all is easy, but avoiding the subject doesn’t do anyone any good. Awkward Conversations provides you with a template for what to say — and what not to say — and why, so you can have those difficult discussions without them turning into full-blown fights.
Falling out of love isn’t uncommon. It’s devastating, yes, but sometimes it just happens. A relationship his a sour note, things go stale and you’re ready for something else. You have no desire to carry on a romantic relationship with your partner any longer, but you don’t know how to tell them without causing some serious hurt.
Feeling tempted to avoid the messy breakup talk by pretending the two of you will get through it? Or maybe you have plans to just ghost on ‘em entirely? Well, just hold on a second. Below, you’ll find some tips on how you can navigate one of the most potentially difficult conversations of your life with consideration.
1. Pick a Private, Comfortable Setting
Here’s the thing: You have an advantage over your soon-to-be-ex. You know that you’re about to break up, but your partner doesn’t. With that in mind, put their convenience first. Don’t take them to a restaurant or busy café in order to drop this bomb.
RELATED: How to Break Up With Someone Nicely
Don’t do it over a phone call, text or a hasty email, either — do it face-to face, somewhere where neither of you will be interrupted. It’s likely to be an emotional conversation, so give your partner the luxury of a place where the two of you can be alone, and where they can cry, vent or otherwise experience the moment in their own way.
2. Explain That Something Has Changed
“Laura, I value you immensely, but I want to be honest. I feel like I’m not the same person I was at the start of this relationship, and I can’t give you what you deserve.”
Instead of using harsh phrasing like “I don’t love you anymore” (which will come as a shock), explain that your feelings have changed.
What was once working just isn’t anymore, and as a result, you can’t be a committed, loving partner that they need in their life. Hearing that will be difficult, but it’s the only way to move forward on the new path you’re looking for.
3. Resist the Temptation to Do a Detailed Post-Mortem
Your partner might ask why you don’t love them anymore, or what exactly has changed. While you may want to give them what they want to ease their pain, that doesn’t mean you need to answer. You also have no obligation to go into a detailed analysis of how your relationship deteriorated over time.
Extra words might encourage your partner to place blame for what happened:
“It didn’t help that you had so little time for me with the new job. I’ve felt like a stranger to you for months.”
They may insist that things can be fixed, or that you can work on whatever went wrong:
“I can cut back hours! I can make more time for you from now on.”
If you don’t want to go down that road, try not to dissect your past relationship issues. It’s enough to tell them that this isn’t working for you, and with that said, it should be enough to get across that you want to put things to an end.
4. Use Neutral Statements That Don’t Assign Blame to Either of You
Don’t be accusatory. Try not to use phrases that make it seem like they’re the cause of this split when explaining the breakdown of the relationship. On the contrary, make it patently clear that it’s nothing either of you could have helped.
“I’ve been feeling like things aren’t right with us for some time now. I wish that it didn’t have to come to this.”
Your partner’s initial reaction might be to point fingers, but make it clear that assigning fault is useless in this situation. That way, you won’t be trapped in a painful fight where there’s resentment on both sides.
5. Don’t Give False Hope
Don’t suggest that you’ll reconcile in the future if you know in your heart that will never happen. It’s tempting to offer your partner something that’ll give ‘em some sort of hope down the line, but these are the kind of things that people cling on to that ultimately mean nothing.
All you’d be doing is making the final severance worse. Be firm about the state of your relationship — if you don’t think it can be salvaged, then don’t let them think so either. The sooner they realize it’s final, the sooner they can learn to live with it.
6. Take Ownership of Your Feelings
Because this is such an emotional conversation, your instinct may be to pull back and appear detached. Unfortunately, that often makes it worse for your partner, and this isn’t the time to keep up a façade of nonchalance or disinvestment.
If you’re experiencing feelings of hurt and loss, too, be honest about those feelings. Tell your partner how important they are and will always be to you. These may sound like trite things to say, but they’re still necessary. If you keep it to yourself, they’ll be left feeling like you chose to walk away without any sort of detachment on your end.
7. Don’t Suggest That You Can Still Be Friends
Telling them that you’d love to stay friends is misguided. It may seem like a nice gesture in the moment, but it can feel insulting. Friendship isn’t a consolation prize for the dumped, and besides, it’s way too early to suggest it. They will likely need time and space to get over you, so your best bet is to offer them that while being as kind as you can.
You Might Also Dig: