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How to Break Up With Someone You Love

Breaking up with someone you love is challenging. Discover the reasons why you may need to end a relationship and learn how to approach it.

Sharon Riley By Sharon Riley Reviewed by Lea Bennet

Being in love is a feeling unlike any other. When you find someone who inspires these emotions, it makes you never want to let go of them. Of course, there are situations and relationships that succeed, but sometimes you might find yourself wanting or needing to break up with the person you love so deeply.

Differences Between Wanting and Needing to Break Up

Sometimes, you find yourself in a situation where you know you want to break up with the person you love. Other times, you wish you didn’t have to break up with them, but you know you need to for various reasons. Here are some of the differences between wanting and needing to break up with someone.

  • Wanting to break up with someone you love: You may still love the person, but for one reason or another, you want to end the relationship. You no longer desire to be in a relationship with them. Perhaps your love for them remains but has transformed into a different kind of love, likely a less passionate one.
  • Needing to break up with someone you love: In this situation, you wish you didn’t have to break up with them, but you feel it’s necessary. This could be because of various reasons, such as moving far away and not wanting to pursue a long-distance relationship even though you would like to be with that person, or maybe you know you need time apart from your significant other to grow as an individual. This is the most challenging of the two options because you don’t want to do it, but you deeply feel that you need to.

6 Reasons Why People Prolong a Relationship Deemed to Fail

Reasons why you keep pushing your relationship.
Reasons why you keep pushing your relationship.

You might know the breakup is coming, but for some reason, you keep pushing it. Here are some of the possible reasons you might be prolonging your relationship:

1. You get used to it.

Change is difficult for most people, and when you’re accustomed to someone’s company, talking to them, and having them do nice things for you, it makes approaching that change even harder. Understandably, you might be avoiding breaking up with that person.

However, it’s essential to stop pushing the relationship further and figure out a plan for when you break up with them so that you can better navigate the process of losing something you are so used to.

2. You love them.

Naturally, if you love someone, not being with them will be incredibly difficult. Although you know breaking up with them is imminent, you don’t want it to happen because of how much you love them. So, you push the relationship a little more to avoid the breakup for a little longer.

3. Family bond.

Sometimes you’re with someone and form a special bond with their family, or they form one with yours. Perhaps they have a unique effect on one of you, or you deeply care about them or what they’ll think if you break up. There are various reasons why the family bond could be a factor, but you know when you break up with them, things won’t be the same.

4. Friend groups splitting.

If you have shared friends or happen to be in the same friend group, the chance of the friend group splitting is high. Ending the relationship on good terms could help, but it’s a tricky situation to navigate, and it will likely be difficult for your friends as well.

5. Fear of being alone.

Suddenly being alone can be a challenging feeling to navigate, especially if the relationship was serious, you spent a lot of time together, or it was a long-term commitment. In these cases, it’s even more likely you will deal with a fear of being alone and, for that reason, avoid ending the relationship. It’s essential to remember that all the feelings you will experience are valid and manageable.

6. Personal interest.

Although it may sound selfish, some people hold onto a relationship and keep trying to make it work because of finances or other conveniences. It might be difficult to handle tasks like dividing your assets and whatnot, but this should not be a reason to stay in a relationship.

4 Reasons to Break Up With Someone You Love

Break up reasons.
Break up reasons.

These are some reasons you might be considering breaking up with the person you still love:

1. Different life goals.

Unfortunately, your life goals aren’t always going to align with your partner’s, and neither of you should have to sacrifice the big things in life for one another. Sometimes, when you are in this situation, the best thing to do is to go your separate ways so you can both accomplish everything you want to in life.

2. Different values.

For a relationship to work, you need to have similar values as the other person. It’s okay to have different opinions, but your core values should be aligned. If they’re not, you may need to talk about what that means for the relationship. If you can be respectful towards the other person despite their different values, then perhaps you can make the relationship work.

However, if you plan to share a life with the person and perhaps eventually build a family together, you may clash even more when deciding which values will be practiced and which ones won’t be.

3. Career goals.

Some professions are not relationship-friendly, but you need to prioritize what will help you grow and fulfill you the most before anyone else. So if your career goals don’t line up, or you can’t understand each other’s career goals, then perhaps it’s time to end the relationship.

4. Lack of passion.

In the beginning, everything is new and exciting, with plenty of passion fueling the relationship. Over time, this may die down, and if you don’t figure out how to keep it alive, it could be a reason you find yourself wanting to end the relationship.

5 Steps to Break Up With Someone You Love

Steps to break up with someone you have feelings for.
Steps to break up with someone you have feelings for.

Breaking up with someone you love can be challenging, but sometimes there is no better solution than to take the leap and do it. The process may be more difficult if you have strong feelings for them. Below are the steps you should take to break up with someone you love and move forward successfully.

1. Tell them.

The first and most important step is to communicate that you are breaking up with them. To do so effectively, try practicing what you will say beforehand or at least think about what you will say to avoid going into the conversation scatter-minded.

You could also write down what you want to say to ensure you cover all the important points. However you choose to deliver the message, be clear to avoid confusion and misunderstandings.

2. Limit communication.

After breaking up with them, avoid communicating with them as much as possible. You’ll probably want to because you’re likely used to talking to them frequently. If you don’t talk to them anymore, you’ll feel the lack of their presence, and it might be difficult to cope, but in the long run, it’s best to cut communication as soon as you can. This will give each of you more space to process things and begin healing from the breakup.

3. Don’t meet up with them.

If you’re limiting communication, you definitely should not be hanging out with them. Establish boundaries for yourself and for each other to ensure a smooth breakup and more efficient healing process.

4. Distract yourself.

Don’t sit around dwelling on sad or negative emotions. Instead, find things to do, go out with friends, meet new people, explore new hobbies, and try new experiences. Engage in activities that might distract you from thinking about your ex-partner or the breakup. By distracting yourself, you also avoid the urge to talk to them or attempt to see them.

5. Wait for certain feelings to pass.

Especially if your relationship was significant or lasted a long time, you’ll need to wait for certain feelings to pass. You can’t turn off how you feel about someone immediately, so you will have to be patient and trust the process you are going through.

To sum it up:

Sometimes the end of a relationship is inevitable, regardless of how much you try to avoid or prevent it. No one enjoys going through a breakup, but if it’s necessary, it must happen.

With the information provided above, you should now be able to recognize when it’s time to break up with someone, understand various reasons you might avoid breaking up with them, and know the steps to take when breaking up with someone you deeply care about.

About the Author

Sharon Riley Image

Sharon Riley is a talented junior content writer, bringing her brilliant topic ideas and exceptional writing skills to our readers. Currently studying Communications at the University of San Francisco, Sharon is passionate about researching and writing relationship-related content in her free time. When not in class or writing, she enjoys listening to music, rollerblading, and browsing her social media feed.