Here's How To Break Up With Someone Who Didn't Exactly Do Anything Wrong

by Cosmo Luce
Joselito Briones

Sometimes, things just don't work out. When you're trying to figure out how to break up with someone when nothing was exactly wrong with the relationship, you will probably find yourself trying to find a justifiable reason. It feels too arbitrary to dump somebody without an explanation, particularly when you did have feelings for them. In your head, you might think that this person should be perfect for you; in your heart of hearts, you know that they aren't right. When you're about to break up with someone, you need to listen to what your intuition is telling you. You probably know, deep down, why this isn't right.

If you know why they aren't right for you, but you don't want to hurt them, then you don't have to tell them what was wrong. You don't want to be vague in your terms, but you also don't want someone to feel like, if they did something different, they would have ended up with you. If you care for this person, you know that it's not about who they are as much as how you two work together. You can say, “It's not you, it's not me — it's both of us.”

Here's how to break up with someone when nothing is wrong with them, but "nothing is wrong with you" doesn't seem to suffice.

1. Clearly State That There's Nothing Else They Could Have Done

When you're about to break up with someone and they did nothing wrong, you want to make it as evident as possible that it isn't their fault. Your partner will probably still believe that if they had done something different, things would have worked out. That's why you need to stress that nothing could have changed this outcome. There's nothing to feel guilty about in the course of your relationship.

Even though you ought to absolve them of any guilt they might have, you don't want to imply that there is anything keeping you together. If it isn't working out now, it isn't going to work down the line, because this relationship isn't what either of you need. Don't make this just about you and what you want in a partner, because when you break up with someone, they are not going to be able to immediately see that this is the best for them, too. Stress the importance of neither of you being able to give one another what you need, and that you know they will find someone who makes them truly happy. This parting kindness is free.

2. Express Your Gratitude For The Time You Spent Together

Particularly when you are going to break up with someone who did nothing wrong, you might feel the need to create a distance between the both of you. Being rude, dismissive, or cold toward your partner creates this distance because it allows you to create a problem where there wasn't one before. Don't fall into this temptation when you break up with someone.

If you break up with someone on bad terms, you will probably regret it down the line. It takes a lot of energy to be considerate and kind, even when you are going through something as difficult as a breakup, but you'll be glad that you did. Otherwise, you both run the risk of saying some parting words that can cut deep and leave some permanent scar tissue.

3. Never Engage In The Blame Game

Don't find a reason to blame your partner for the relationship ending, but don't allow them to blame you either. Your ex will probably want someone to be angry at, and that person will probably be you. Know that it is natural and healthy for someone to experience anger. It's unpleasant to be at the receiving end of it, but it's a natural stage of grief. If your ex reaches the stage of being angry at you, that means they are working through their loss and making progress. It's just something that has to happen when you break up with someone.

Even though your ex will be angry with you, do not internalize anything they might say in anger. If they blame you for not allowing the relationship to work, reinforce the reason you gave when you broke up: Neither of you could give one another what you needed. It would have happened eventually. You just happened to be the one who made the decision.

4. Don't Try To Be Friends

Particularly when you break up with someone who did nothing wrong, you feel like there's all the more reason for you both to be friends. You obviously connected on a personal level, and it's difficult to lose a person whom you care for. You need to understand that in order for both of you to find your happiness, you can't be in one another's lives after you break up. If you circle back around to friendship eventually, that's amazing. But you have to come to the friendship organically, without the expectation that it will become anything more than platonic.

In order to do that, you need to build in time and distance. If your ex reaches out to you and asks you to hang out a week after you break up with them, tell them you think you both need some space. Giving your ex time to work through all their stages of grief — and giving yourself time to work through that grief, too — is the only way both of you can heal from this breakup. Because trust me: Every break up requires some degree of healing, even if you are the one initiating it. No matter what, when you break up with someone who did nothing wrong, remember that you did nothing wrong, too. Remember to forgive yourself.

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