Breaking up is tough enough, but calling it quits is even harder when your friends and fam have grown super attached to the person you’ve been dating. To figure out the best way to split with a popular S.O. without breaking hearts or ruining relationships, we talked to Dr. Carmen Harra and Alexandra Harra, the authors of The Karma Queens’ Guide to Relationships: The Truth About Karma in Relationships. Scroll on for their suggestions, which might just make breaking up as pain-free as possible.
1. Break the news gently. Before you call it quits, prepare your family and close friends who love your partner. Dr. Harra says, “Sit them down and tell them that you’ve thoroughly thought it through and that you’re committed to your choice to walk away from your partner. If they begin to disagree, simply hold up your hand. All you need to say is, ‘“It’s my life, my choice and I know you love me enough to respect it.”’
2. Don’t over-explain. It’s easy to fall into the trap of making excuses or justifying your decision, but you don’t owe explanations to anyone but yourself — even if you have some that are totally valid. Dr. Harra elaborates, “Now is NOT the time to admit to your best friend that you actually caught your S.O. cheating.” Feel comfortable keeping your reason for ending things to yourself, as this will not only help you keep your cool, but will also prevent you from possibly coming off as condescending or degrading about an S.O. that people love.
Alexandra stressed another benefit, saying, “The more you explain the details to others, the more they will bombard you with their advice and suggestions. This might confuse or upset you, and chances are that with a pending breakup, you’re already going through a tough time.” Avoid making it harder on yourself by keeping it simple.
3. Let it go. Your family and friends might be shocked, upset or disapprove of your decision in the beginning, but they’ll eventually understand. There’s no reason to bring up the subject — especially if they don’t! Dr. Harra says, “Keep old memories and stories about the relationship to yourself right now. The less you speak about the relationship or the breakup, the less you will have to bear tough convos.”
4. Ask your S.O. to respect your relationships. Your popular partner might have become best buds with your brother, but that can pose a problem because it continues to guarantee him a place in your life. Alexandra says, “It will be tough for you to commit to a breakup if your new ex continues popping up at gatherings or family events — so don’t be afraid to politely ask the person to cut back on contact with your family members, at least at first.”
5. Stick to your decision. Even if your friends and fam are surprised and bummed at first, they will accept your decision. But, Dr. Harra cautions, “at that point, it becomes complete hypocrisy to get back with the partner you said isn’t right for you. If you are ready to end the relationship, stand firmly by your actions.” Your inner circle will respect you for it.
Have you broken up with an S.O. that everyone else loved? Tell us what happened on Twitter @BritandCo!
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