How To Break Up With Someone You Love

Breaking up is hard to do, especially when you're still in love, but these tips will make it easier.

How To Break Up With Someone You Love Getty

If finding someone to love is the most wonderful feeling in the world, coming to the realization that you have to break up with someone you love is arguably the most horrible.

You found someone and quickly fell madly in love with them and with all of the hopes and dreams you shared together, but then you realized that no matter how much you love them, you will never be truly happy in a relationship with them.


You know for certain that the relationship is over and it's time to break up. As much as it hurts, you have to let them go.

Breaking up with someone you still love isn't easy, but it possible to make things a little bit easier for both of you.

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Follow the steps outlines below and before you know it, you'll let go of the relationship that's been holding you back — and you'll both be able to move forward with your lives.

How to break up with someone you love:

1. Ask yourself how determined you are to do this.


Before you begin any life-changing process, you must ask yourself how determined you are to actually do it.

On a scale of 1-10 — 10 meaning you are absolutely done — how close to a 10 are you? Without steadfast determination, you will not be able to accomplish something as challenging as breaking up with your man and getting past it.

Are you ready to do this? Is there any part of you that is holding on to the possibility that things could still work out? Do you feel like you aren't 100 percent ready to do this yet?

If the answer to any of these questions is a "yes," perhaps you should wait a bit longer before you begin this process. Time is a great clarifier. After taking a momentary pause, your resolve may get stronger and you'll feel more ready to take on this challenging task.


2. Identify what it is that's finally causing you to take action.

Why do you need to break up with this person if you still feel a deep love for them at your core?

For example, I have a client who knew she needed to break up with a man she loved very much because she was certain that, no matter how much she loved, he wasn't the man for her. She struggled with this knowledge because of the deep feelings she did have.

The thing about feelings is that they are like layers of an onion. Once you pull back the most superficial of those layers, what emotion truly lies at the core? In order to understand why he wasn't for her even if, at the surface, she felt a real love for him, she needed to look deeper.


When she did, she saw found her feelings of anger and hurt about his poor treatment of her, as well as anger toward herself for already wasting so much time and allowing him to treat that her way. She was also hurt that he wasn't willing to make an effort to change despite her pleas with him to do so.

Once she realized this, she knew it was time to let him go.

The next layer she found was the hopes and dreams she'd had for the life they would create together, and that she was still clinging to. This layer was thick, and was perhaps the one most strongly holding her back.

Their relationship seemed promising at the beginning, so she still found it hard to believe they couldn't make it so again. Once she recognized this would never happen, she was able to let go of those hopes and dreams in order to move on and make new ones.


Finally, once she reached the core, she found the love she still had for this man. She decided that love wasn't something she wanted to let go of, and seeing the other layers for what they were, she didn't have to. She now understood that they didn't have a future together as a couple, but their past experiences together and they way she felt about him were positive memories she could always hold on to — not in a hopeful way, but as something that was once special to her.

By examining each layer of the onion, she was able to peel back and discard one layer of emotion at a time, leaving her with the one piece she wanted to hold on to without allowing it to hold her back from breaking up with him and moving on.

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3. Ask yourself what is true about your relationship vs. what you want to believe about it.


We all have ideas in our head about what we believe our relationships to be. Unfortunately, what we want to believe is often not the truth of what we are experiencing, but rather a reflection of hopes and dreams that haven't manifested into reality.

I have another client who had hopes and dreams of a life that she wanted with her boyfriend that had absolutely no basis in reality. She wanted them to move together to the woods, raise sheep, have kids, and grow old together. This vision was so firmly stuck in her head, she believed that, if her boyfriend loved her enough, he would simply embrace it and this would become their reality.

What she refused to acknowledge was that, although this dream of hers was beautiful, there was no way it was ever going to happen with this particular man. Her boyfriend loved living in the city, hated livestock, and didn't want to have kids for at least another decade.

I asked her to consider these things that she knew to be true about what he did and did not want and take an honest look at hem alongside what she knew she did and did not want. Once she did, she finally saw that the truth of the situation was different from what she had been telling herself in her head.


Armed with that knowledge, she found the strength to break up with him and move on.

4. Ask yourself what it is you really want in a relationship.

Before you break up with someone you love, it's important for you to be clear with yourself about exactly what it is that you want from a relationship overall. If you don't know what you want, not only will you have a hard time getting it, but you'll never feel sure if you may have already had it before you let go.

Make a list of what you want from someone in your ideal relationship. The list doesn't have to be long, but it should be comprehensive.

Here's my list of what I want in a relationship (at least, in part) as an example:

  • I want to be in a relationship with someone who makes me laugh.
  • I want to be in a relationship with someone who knows who he is.
  • I want to be in a relationship with someone who knows what he wants.
  • I want to be in a relationship with someone who loves my kids.
  • I want to be in a relationship with someone who makes me a priority in his life.

After making your own list, run back through it with your current partner in mind. Chances are, if you are reading this article, they won’t match up with several things you really want — and you will finally understand why it's time to move on, because you will see it there clearly, written by your own hand in black and white.

Before you know it, you will have the clarity you've been seeking to know that you are making the right decision by breaking things off.

RELATED: How To Know What You Really Want In A Relationship


5. Tell them, clearly and concisely, that the relationship is over — then insist on having no contact.

Many of us think we need closure when a relationship ends. We believe we'll get that closure if we have one final conversation during which both partners get to say everything they've ever wanted to say to one to one another. If you can just do that, you'll both understand each other better and walk away as friends.

I am here to tell you that closure is a myth. In truth, the closure you crave is really the desire to have one more chance to spend time with and talk to this person you still love, even if you know you don't have a future together.

But really, if it was really as simple as having one conversation in order to finally understand each other, why can't you make it work as a couple?


When you've decided the relationship is over, tell him so, clearly and concisely, and then cut him off entirely. Block him on your phone, disconnect from him on social media, and stay away from places where you know he will be.

You to change your habits in order to get over what will still be a painful loss. Even one point of contact can draw you back into their circle — the circle you just worked so hard to decide that you are determined to break yourself out of.

So go no contact right away. It will make the process of breaking up easier on you both.


6. Get back out there.

I know that right now you feel like you might never fall in love again, but putting yourself back out there doesn't mean you have to fall in love right away. Putting yourself back out there just means that you get to dress up and flirt and have a lot of fun.

Breaking up with someone you love is difficult.

It will take some steadfast determination on your part, but you can do it. Check your determination, peel back the layers of the onion, question your assumptions, define what you want, cut them off, and then get back out there.

Maybe, just maybe, you will find another love. And in the meantime, you can enjoy yourself and the freedom to live the life you truly want.


Embrace that for the gift it is, and move on.

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Mitzi Bockmann is an NYC-based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington Post, Prevention Magazine, The Good Man Project, among others. Contact her via email her to get started.