How to Break Up

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Female
how do i confront and break up with a person who doesnt like to be confronted and doesnt open up with his feelings? Advice
It's tough to talk with someone who avoids confrontation and discussions - that's probably a main reason that you're breaking up in the first place.

I have help on breaking up here -

Really, you can't force him to change, you can't force him to talk. But when you break up, you want to be as fair as you can be. Breakups can go smoothly, or they can scar someone for life. Your hope is for smoothly. So do it in a situation that he has the best possible chance of talking, so at least if he *wants* to he can. Explain that you're just not interested in the relationship any more. Don't pick on him and lay out his faults - find ways to phrase things in a "we couldn't" way. "We couldn't find a compromise on chore sharing." "We couldn't find a way to spend enough time together." You both tried, it didn't work. It's time to move on.

Let him talk, let him vent. You spent time together and now you're ending it, so he could be upset or angry. That's OK, and if you have to deal with him yelling or being upset, such is life. Think of it as an exercise in self control. Stay cool, and say you understand. It will just be for 1/2 hr, you'll survive.

But in the end, however he feels, you don't have a desire to work on the relationship any more. And since he deserves someone that will actively work on a relationship, it's in his own best interest that he's not "stuck" with you any more, and can find someone that really appreciates him. Note that I realize he could be the one at fault here :) But when you let him go, it's good to do so in an encouragingly way, to show him that this is for his own good as well as yours. That will help him get over it more easily.

If he doesn't want to talk, that's fine too. You can't force him to. But if you at least tell him in a quiet spot, and talk to him in a "we" way, that will give him the feeling that it's not you against him, but is more a "we together just couldn't make it work". Which might make him feel more able to talk about it. But in the end, if you let him know, share your thoughts and then wait and let him ask questions or talk or just sit and think, you've done everything you could do. He has to get through the breakup as best he can, and both of you have to move on with your lives.

Breaking up is *never* easy. But believe me, if the relationship isn't right, it's always better to break up sooner rather than later. Otherwise you get more and more mired in unhappiness, which isn't good for either of you. And if things go well, you will both end up with great new partners, and still have each other as a good friend. You'll look back and realize that your time together was fun, but just not right, and that it made you both better people.

Good luck with things!

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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