鈥淏reakin鈥 up is hard to do鈥 may be the refrain from an old song, but the statement itself is far from vintage. No matter how you look at it, dissolving a relationship is messy business, and thanks to more high-tech modern dating frustrations like breadcrumbing and ghosting, the process has become even more crummy. We didn鈥檛 think that was possible! All social-media-age relationship fouls aside, breakups are still fundamentally the same as they鈥檝e always been 鈥 or, at least, they should be. An entirely new slang language may have emerged in recent years around carelessly abandoning love interests, but who wants to stoop to that level? Not us! We want to leave our relationships the same way we entered them 鈥 as fierce, honest, thoughtful ladies who go high when others go low. (We heard ya, FLOTUS!) Adulting FTW.

Etiquette expert and author Sharon Schweitzer is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to breaking up the 鈥渞ight鈥 way, which she describes as 鈥渁 sensitive matter鈥 that 鈥渘eeds to be treated with respect.鈥 She continues, 鈥淩emember, this person is someone you care about, even if it鈥檚 not in the same way anymore. Take the time to think about what you want to say, and create a plan to make this split as simple as possible.鈥 Here are a few of the details you may want to think through when creating a plan to end your relationship like a (kind, caring) boss.

Sitting in a park, a woman sadly faces away from a man

1. Timing: Don鈥檛 fall prey to the temptations of the digital age and attempt to make the split via text 鈥 or even a phone call. Breakups should happen face-to-face. 鈥淲ithout face-to-face communication, non-verbal cues can鈥檛 be understood,鈥 Schweitzer explains. Don鈥檛 give your soon-to-be ex the opportunity to misinterpret what you鈥檙e saying through a screen. Set a time limit for the in-person conversation to avoid the discussion spiraling out of control.

2. Setting: Just like in real estate, a major consideration in ending a relationship is location, location, location. Choose a quiet location where you both can talk and be heard (yes, that鈥檚 right, both of you). Avoid emotionally significant locations like your go-to date spot or the place where you first said 鈥淚 love you.鈥 (Did we really have to say that?) Save yourself the additional wear and tear of an awkward post-breakup car ride by meeting on-site instead of traveling together.

Two young women sit on a bench as one consoles the other

3. Fair Warning: In some cases, it may be smart to give your current bae a heads-up that a big conversation is around the corner. 鈥淵ou know the relationship better than anyone else, and [you know] how they鈥檒l react,鈥 Schweitzer points out. 鈥淵ou may want to let them know in advance that you need to have a serious discussion. If you think it is best to wait until you meet face-to-face, then do so.鈥

4. Verbal Language: Resist the urge to either get nasty or pull your punches, as much as you might want to. When it鈥檚 time to share your reasons for breaking up, Schweitzer recommends a combo of kindness and honesty. Just as you don鈥檛 want to be mean, you鈥檇 regret being 鈥渢oo nice鈥 as well. Avoid reflecting on the 鈥済ood old days鈥 of your relationship or statements like, 鈥淵ou are the best love I ever had, and I鈥檒l never find a person like you.鈥 Language like this could cause misgivings and leave the door slightly ajar for your ex to question your intentions.

A couple looks at each other sadly on a city street

5. Body Language: The typical rules for confrontational conversations apply here. Don鈥檛 cross your arms or keep your hands tucked in your pockets 鈥 but keep a healthy distance too. 鈥淵ou shouldn鈥檛 touch as much as normal nor stand as close as usual,鈥 Schweitzer advises. 鈥淭hat doesn鈥檛 mean you have to be a rigid statue. Respect the other鈥檚 space and read the situation.鈥

6. Follow-Up: 鈥淛ust because you broke up doesn鈥檛 mean the emotional attachment ends at that exact moment,鈥 Schweitzer admits. Find a solid support group to help you weather the challenging days after the split, and respect your ex鈥檚 need to do the same by not demonizing them to others (unless there鈥檚 genuinely abusive behavior to disclose, of course). If you need to grab your stuff from their place, keep things neutral and polite. Set a date and time, and consider bringing a friend along to help mediate tension and make sure you and your things make it out with minimal drama.

鈥淚t can be difficult to break up 鈥榣ike an adult,'鈥 Schweitzer agrees. 鈥淭he most important thing to remember is to go through the situation with a clear and open mindset so that both parties can walk away with experience in emotionally taxing situations, grow in maturity, and still have mutual respect for one another.鈥

What other tips do you have for breaking up the 鈥渞ight鈥 way? Tweet us @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)