How To Break Up With Your Girlfriend Without Hurting Her

The truth is, it will hurt her no matter what — but you can still try to cushion the blow.

man trying to break up with girlfriend without hurting her Olena Yakobchuk / Shutterstock

Learning how to break up with your girlfriend compassionately is a lot easier than you think.

If something feels off between you two, you have to go with your gut. Just because you might be able to handle the breakup well doesn't mean she will, though.

However, learning how to break up with your girlfriend kindly will make everything easier for you. 

"Wish her well and hug her one last time," Life Coach Anne Papayoti says. "Be kind to yourself as well. Breakups suck. Most feel guilty even when they know it is the best thing for both."


Breaking up is hard on both the person being broken up with as well as the person doing the breaking up.

It's not easy to let someone down. Breaking up with someone can alter your day-to-day life.

Your close friends, for example, are now your mutual friends, and you're going to have to deal with sharing some friends with your ex or cutting ties with everyone — neither of which is easy.

Clinical Hypnotherapist Keya Murthy says, "Breaking up is hard because your heart breaks when you have to formulate out of your emotions."

However, there are some do's and don'ts you can follow to make the breakup process a little more manageable for everyone involved.


RELATED: 20 Crucial Things To Do (And Not Do) After A Breakup

How to Break Up with Your Girlfriend — Do's:

1. Keep it short and clear.

No need to unleash the speech of all speeches to your future ex.

In the moment, it might feel right to beat around the bush and fill the awkward silences with words.

Let there be silence. Give your former "person" some time to process. 

No beating around the bush, please. You want to make it clear that you're breaking up with this person. 

2. Stick to your boundaries.

The last thing you want to occur is going into a breakup conversation and coming out of it still together. 

You've already identified that isn't a healthy relationship. Time to accept reality for what it is and move forward. 


3. Rehearse what you're going to say.

Call a friend or family member that you trust and ask them for insight on how to structure your breakup speech.

Getting a second opinion can help you figure out how to be poised, direct, and gentle. 

Unfortunately, 'How to Break Up With Someone 101' is not part of the school curriculum, so it makes sense that you'd need a little practice. 

4. Give your reasoning.

Let your partner know exactly why your relationship is coming to an end.

For example, "I'm breaking up with you because I can tell I haven't been there for you in the way you need me. I've tried to change, but that's not something I feel like I can do in this relationship. It's hurting both of us, and I don't want to hurt us any longer," will do. 


5. Use a lot of "I" statements.

Instead of saying, "you are so clingy, and it overwhelms me," say, "I need more alone time, and I feel like we have different expectations about quality time in this dynamic."

"The cliche 'It’s not you, it’s me…' may be worn out and cause an eye roll, but at least it is true," says Papayoti. "The breakup is about you. Even if you have a laundry list of your girlfriend's annoying habits or flaws, those are your perceptions."

RELATED: 35 Getting Over A Breakup Quotes To Help You Move On For Good

How to Break Up with Your Girlfriend — Don't's:

1. Have sex with them after. 

A time to break is a time to break — emotionally, mentally, and physically.


Breakup sex will just leave things messier than they already were.

Plus, it could leave your ex feeling more confused, damaged, and heartbroken. 

2. Do it over the phone. 

Stay classy and keep the breakup face-to-face.

Of course, there are times when you must break up over the phone. For example, if your ex is abusive or if you're in a long-distance relationship.

3. Blame them for everything.

Playing the blame game will inflict harm more harm than good. 

It will open the door for a nasty fight, which you obviously want to avoid.

4. Let the person talk you out of it.

It’s normal to feel guilty when breaking up with someone you’ve dated for a long time. Don’t get tricked into thinking it’s a good idea to leave the door open.


A breakup is a breakup. Remember you weren’t having a good time, which is why you initiated a break in the first place.

5. Subtweet them. 

When it comes to coping with a breakup, taking to social media is not the answer. 

If you lash out online, you'll regret it in the long run. 


Spending time with your friends, venting your heart out, however, is acceptable.

What to say to your girlfriend when you break up:

When it comes to breaking up, it's best to keep it simple. There's no need to spew a long monologue of reasons why you don't like the person anymore. 

Be delicate and soft. Try to communicate "it's not you, it's me" without explicitly stating that.

Clinical Hypnotherapist Keya Murthy suggests using the AAA method, "meaning appreciate-ask-appreciate, aka the sandwich method," she says.

"You tell them how much or what you appreciate about them," she says, "Then instead of telling them you are breaking up bluntly, ask them if it's a good time to talk about something important and if they say 'No,' don't continue the conversation. Get their permission before you tell them you are breaking up in your own words. Quickly follow up with something you appreciate about them."


Remember, kindness never fails. Even when it's time to sever a relationship. 

RELATED: 10 Ways To Survive Your Worst Breakup (And Bounce Back Stronger)

Izzy Casey is a writer who covers pop culture.