How Do I Break-Up with My Boyfriend?

Breaking up with a guy you’re just not compatible with is always difficult. Maybe you no longer feel an attraction to him and are tired of constantly coming up with excuses on why you won’t go out with him again. Or maybe you are attracted to him but have realized that most of your time together is spent fighting, or with you in tears.

All you know is that it has to stop!

It’s natural to feel some grief. Maybe you even want to postpone the breakup since you know it’s going to crush him emotionally. It’s going to be ugly, you know that…

But it’s important that you DO IT as soon as possible and stop beating yourself up with unwarranted guilt.

Remember first of all this simple lesson: you don’t owe any man his happiness.

Only HE can make himself happy. If he doesn’t make you happy, the best thing to do is end it now so he can regroup and find someone else. Hanging on to something that will never work, and that gives him false hope, is the cruelest move of all.

Here are a few points to remember when it’s finally time to have the dreaded “we need to talk” conversation.

1. Be patient, be sensitive, but be strong.

Don’t back down now. At first you may feel like sugarcoating the blow at first. It’s less harsh if you say something insincere like, “We should take a break” or “We need time apart to think.” But the best thing to do is to end it in CLEAR terms.

Don’t use ambiguous wording that gives him ANY hope that you’ll get back together. Don’t be flirty and suggest to him that there is still an attraction—that you still want him to be romantic and sweep you off your feet. You have to be firm and resolute.

But you can be delicate and sensitive in the way you word it. Try to avoid assigning blame. Be patient because he may need several minutes, or hours, to process the breakup. All you owe him is a conversation…but nothing more.

Preferably, you should meet in a quiet place where you won’t be surrounded by lots of other people.

2. Don’t focus on fault. Focus on incompatibility.

There’s no need to kick him while he’s down and accuse him of messing the relationship up. Even if you think it’s true, focus instead on incompatibility. You’re not happy. He’s probably not happy. You want different things out of life.

You might even try writing down the reasons why you want to break up so that you’ll have them fresh in mind. If you “improvise” the conversation, he could steer you back into seeing things from his point of view.

Your reasons should be simple but direct – NOT overly specific. The more specific your complaint is, the more he will promise that he can change. Focus on things that cannot change. Your goals in life and how they differ from his; your unhappiness in this relationship. The fact that you don’t feel attracted enough to stay in this relationship…and he deserves to be with someone who can give their whole heart to him.

Do NOT focus on his personal flaws, or mistakes he might have made. He will either promise to change or blame you for what happened. This is not productive conversation. All you need to say is that you’ve grown apart and that you want to be on your own. DO NOT give him any false hope about getting back together or trying again later.

It’s okay to accept part of the blame, if you think that validates his point of view. But all that really matters is that the both of you should pursue a relationship that makes you happier.

3. It’s okay to say you cherish the memories you had. That you will always care for him as a friend. But be careful not to send him mixed messages.

You can be kind to him and admit the truth—that you did have good memories together. But you must let him know that the caring feelings you do have for him as a friend is NOT love. There is nothing he can do to soften you up and give him another chance.

When it’s time to go, give him a hug but don’t kiss him. No last fling. No mixed messages that suggest you still love him (at least in the same romantic way that you used to). It’s actually shrewd to leave first and not linger around just to see what his full reaction will be.

He may want to cry in private or be alone with his friends and family. But you probably shouldn’t wait around too long, or else he’ll want to talk at length. Talking to you is really not what he needs right now. He needs to be alone and process what happened and how he’s going to recover from it.

4. Do NOT be available to him like a girlfriend or like someone he’s dating.

While you can talk to him in emergencies, resist the urge to comfort him, or be there for him whenever he wants to talk. He has to go through this process alone. Every time he talks to you, he gets a little false hope. He may even escalate the tension, creating conflict all the time, just to have you in his life. Don’t jump into another relationship. Don’t fall for any ploys he invents to create more drama between mutual friends.

You should be busy. Work on self-improvement and becoming more independent. Don’t let yourself be defined by a relationship. Discover who you really are. Spend time focusing on your health and happiness apart from him. In many ways, being single again is like rediscovering who you are and what things you used to want to be in life so long ago.

Breaking up with someone you care about is a challenge…but in the end, it’s the kind thing to do for yourself and for him. He will learn to put this relationship in the past and how to cope. Eventually, he will meet someone better for him, just as you’ll meet someone who better matches you. You will both be happier with other people.

And maybe someday, after some time passes, you can both stay friends.

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Talk soon,

Matthew Coast

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About The Author

Matthew Coast

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