How to Break Up With Someone You Love: 10 Tips

Breaking up is tough - especially with someone you love. We have some tips to make it easier to navigate

Ending a serious relationship can be tricky. It's easy to ignore the warning signs when it's hard to imagine your life without your partner.

Even once you realize that calling it a quits is the healthiest way forward, you're faced with the dilemma... How do I do it? It's difficult to figure out how to break up with someone you love.

Our breakdown of helpful tips will make your breakup smoother and prepare both parties to move on with a positive mindset.

How to Know When to Break Up With Someone You Love

Arguably, the first step to figuring out how to break up with someone you love is, well, deciding you want to break up.

You may be thinking, but if I love them, shouldn't we stay together no matter what?

There are many reasons that it may be time to end a relationship, even when you love them.

In fact, breakups aren't always the big drama we see in movies. You may simply be outgrowing each other, or have changing priorities. Sometimes the most caring thing you can do for your partner is initiate some time apart.

If you've been debating about a breakup and experiencing anxiety about making the wrong choice - after all, all serious couples go through hard times, what's the difference? Here are some tell-tale warning signs.

1. You aren't showing up for them like you normally do

If you're ultimately lacking enthusiasm or excitement about the relationship and having a hard time supporting them the way you used to, it may be time to let them go. This is a sign that your personal investment in the connection has waned.

2. Your goals and values don't match up anymore

You likely met your partner during a time when you had interests, goals, and values in common. But a lot can change in the matter of months or years.

Maybe relationships were a top priority for you then, but now you want to focus on your career more, or move to a new city.

If you have trouble agreeing about future planning and what's most important to you, it may be a sign that you're no longer compatible.

3. You're making up and breaking up frequently

If you've already broken up multiple times but keep getting back together, this may indicate that it's time to end things more permanently.

It can be difficult to stick to time apart at first - especially if you have attachment anxiety or fears of abandonment - but those reasons to initiate the breakup haven't gone away.

Learn more about attachment anxiety and how it manifests in relationships.

4. Your relationship feels one-sided

If one partner is pulling all of the weight - emotionally or otherwise - this can quickly become unhealthy and lead to resentment or burnout on the relationship.

Learn more about what makes a relationship a healthy one →

10 Tips on How to Break Up With Someone You Love

Any of that sounding familiar? If you're proceeding with ending things, here are our best tips on how to break up with someone you love.

1. Think About It - No, Really

Like we said before, definitively deciding to break up is the first step on how to break up with someone you love.

Spend some time thoughtfully reflecting on the relationship: are you holding each other back? Does it still add value to both of your lives? Is there anything that has gone unsaid?

Thinking critically about how you truly want to proceed can help you make an informed decision.

2. Find the Right Time and Place

It's important to take into account your partner's feelings and point of view when figuring out how to break up with someone you love. You may be planning this conversation and feel in calm and in control, but it may catch them by surprise.

Try to pick a neutral location that make it easy for either party to physically walk away without discomfort or embarrassment, and a time when you will both have the time and energy to have the conversation (so, not right before something like their big job interview.)

3. Come Prepared

Before meeting with your partner, prepare what you want to say upfront. Additionally, think through possible reaction scenarios: your partner may disagree with what you have to say, or have a strong reaction you aren't anticipating. How will you handle it peacefully and respectfully?

4. Stick to Your Guns

There's a reason that the old saying goes, breaking up is hard to do. But if you've made the decision to end the relationship and feel confident that this is what you want, it's important to stick to it and not be swayed by the upfront difficulty of the situation or the reaction of your partner when figuring out how to break up with someone you love.

This can lead to a toxic breakup/makeup cycle, and leave your partner confused about where you stand.

5. Be Clear and Direct

Make sure whatever outcome you're looking for, or answers you need from your partner are communicated clearly and directly when figuring out how to break up with someone you love. Wishy-washiness can confuse your partner, and make it difficult to reach a peaceful resolution.

6. Put Yourself in Their Shoes

Throughout the conversation, be sure to consider their point of view and exercise empathy. Ultimately, breaking up with someone you love is a decision that has to be made together, and you want your partner to have a say in how to handle it.

Learn more about empathy and how to show it for yourself as well as others →

7. Listen and Ask Questions

Your partner is likely to have plenty to express regarding their feelings about the relationship. Make sure to listen to everything they have to say, and regularly ask for feedback.

A simple "Do you agree?" "How would you feel about that?" can go a long way when you are deciding how to break up with someone you love.

8. Set and Respect Boundaries

Boundary setting should be a key part of the discussion when you are figuring out how to break up with someone you love.

Decide on definitive parameters for the logistics (Will you live separately? Who will leave, and how soon?) and cadence of communication (Is it ok to call, or will you try the no contact rule?)

9. Lean on Your Support Network

Coping with a breakup is difficult - it's even worse when it's with someone you love. Be sure to share what you're going through with your trusted loved ones for support. They can be there for you however you need throughout the challenges.

Learn our best tips for moving on from a breakup →

10. Focus on Self-Love

Ultimately, you want to end a relationship as a part of setting yourself up for healthier ones in the future. That always starts with your relationship with yourself.

Going through a break up with someone you love is a good opportunity to shift your focus inward and get to know yourself better.

Journaling with a daily journal app like Jour can help you work through any negative thoughts associated with the breakup, improve your mood, and send you on the road to living a happier healthier life on your own.

Learn more about the scientifically-proven health benefits of journaling →

It Will Be Okay

There are many reasons to end a more serious relationship, even one that still has a lot of love. You may simply be outgrowing one another. Look out for one-sidedness, frequent making up and breaking up, and mismatch of goals and values.

When it comes time to break up with someone you love, you can make it easier by exercising empathy, planning ahead, reaching out to your support network, and turning your focus to self-love.

And if you need a new companion for your self-love journey? Jour is always here for you with countless journaling prompts to help you get all your worries out of your head and onto the page.