Here’s How To Break Up With Someone In The Nicest Way Possible, So You Can Stay Friends

Brace yourself, here comes a super hot take. Are you ready? All right, here we go: Breaking up sucks. Yeah, that's right, I said it. I went there. (As if you didn't already know.) But in all seriousness, ending a relationship is rarely fun, whether you're the one being broken up with or the one calling it quits. Hurt feelings are pretty much inevitable, but that doesn't mean there isn't a way to go about breaking up in the nicest way possible. Like most life things, there's definitely a wrong way to do it and a few ways to make it slightly less painful — some that might even be pretty surprising.

To help walk us through the process of breaking up with someone as gently and kindly as possible, I reached out to breakup expert Elle Huerta, CEO and founder of the breakup app Mend. Huerta agrees that "breaking up with someone is usually uncomfortable, no matter how you go about it." However, she does assure Elite Daily that "there are a couple things you can keep in mind to have a more compassionate breakup." Because honestly, when has infusing a little more compassion into a situation ever been bad idea? Here's what Huerta says to keep in mind next time you need to end a relationship.

Don’t break up with them via text.

When you're breaking things off with someone, it can be really tempting to just pick up your phone and fire off a text saying “it’s a wrap.” It can feel cleaner, easier, and most of all, saves you from having to face them when you break it off. I get the appeal, but it isn't very nice to the person you’re ending things with, which is why Huerta says if you're trying to be kind, you have to resist the urge to do it via text message. She suggests “breaking up with the person over the phone or in real life if possible,” but adds that “being broken up with over text can add an extra sting to an already very painful situation, and sometimes texts can be confusing because they lack context and tone of voice.” However, Huerta adds one caveat: This only applies if you feel safe. If you feel unsafe, text away!

Don’t leave them with false hope.

If the person you're ending things with doesn't want to break up, you might feel like it's kinder to soften the blow by giving them false hope for a future reconciliation — but don’t do it. “Put a period at the end of the breakup, not an ellipses,” says Huerta. “In other words, even if you think there is a chance you could get back together someday, don't share that idea with them when you're breaking up with them.” The reason you want to avoid it, Huerta says, is because “leaving things open-ended by saying things like ‘maybe in the future’ prolongs the other person's heartbreak and keeps them stuck.” Not cool. Whatever the reason, if you don’t want to “be in a relationship right now,” Huerta says, you need to “let them go so that you can both move forward. If things are meant to be, they will be one day.”

It’s kinder to be direct.

Huerta’s next bit of advice may come as a surprise, but it does make a ton of sense. “Don't try to soften the blow.” As she explains, “If you're being wishy-washy solely because you don't want to hurt their feelings, just remember that being wishy-washy makes the breakup harder for the other person.” While you may feel like you're protecting their feelings in the moment, in reality “the most compassionate thing to do is to be straightforward that the relationship isn't right for you, and you need to move forward,” says Huerta.

Don’t confuse things by trying to comfort them.

When you're in a relationship with someone, your instinct is to comfort your partner when they're hurting — a habit that may be hard to break even after the relationship ends. While the desire to be there for them when they're hurting comes from a kind and loving place, it can actually be more harmful to your ex, says Huerta. “Don't try to comfort the person you're breaking up with, even if they're texting you and reaching out a lot,” she says, adding, “It's only natural that they'll look to you for support when they're sad or lonely, and you may feel like you owe it to them because you broke up with them, but it's better for them if they find support from their friends and family.”

Letting go can be hard, even when you know the relationship is not meant to be. But a clean break heals faster — although it may feel like it hurts more in the moment. However, so much of what can make the post-split hurt linger is the uncertainty and confusion. While you can’t stop them from mourning the end of the relationship, following Huerta’s advice can at least help prevent that uncertainty — which truly is the kindest way you can ever hope to break up.

Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!