Ending any relationship is hard, but ending a long term relationship is even harder. Since you have been in a relationship for so long, your lives are more intertwined and your feelings will likely be deeper. However, there are ways your can handle the situation if you are ready to end your long term relationship.
Tell your partner as soon as possible.
You may want to delay the breakup because of how hard you know it will be, but this is not going to help the situation. Staying with your partner after you know you want to leave them is not helpful to you or your partner or considerate of either of your feelings. Just drum up enough courage to end your relationship. It will be better for everyone.
This doesn’t mean that you should not take your time in thinking about your decision. You cannot undo a breakup easily once it is gone.
Do it face to face.
Although it may seem appealing to end your relationship where you don’t have to see your partner’s face, this is a childish and harmful way to end a relationship, especially a long term one. It will be hard to tell your partner in person, but given how long the two of you have been together, your relationship deserves more respect than that.
Don’t leave a voicemail, write them a letter, tell them over the phone, or tell them through email or social media. These are cowardly and hurtful.
Pick the right time.
There is never a good time to end a relationship, but there are better times than others to break the news. Avoid telling your partner right before leaving the house, before you or your partner has to go to work, or at other busy times.
This will not give you and your partner adequate time to deal with the situation and give the breakup the attention it deserves.
You should also avoid telling them in public.
Be firm in your decision.
You made the decision to end your long term relationship for a reason. When you tell your partner, you need to stand firm in your decision to end it. Let them know that you are unhappy and that you are not interested in trying to make it work.
If you know that your relationship will not last, make sure you don’t give in to any pleas made by your partner. You are just delaying the inevitable ending to your relationship.
Practice your delivery beforehand.
You are going to be emotional in the moment when you break up with your partner. Practicing what you are going to say before you talk to your partner will help you feel more prepared. You will be able to think through everything you want to say so it will come out right.
You can even write it down or type it out first so you can get your thoughts in order.
When you end your relationship with your partner, make sure you are honest. Don’t avoid telling your partner exactly why you feel you need to move on and end the relationship. This will only cause problems for you and your partner in the long run.
This doesn’t mean you have to be harsh. Honesty does not have to be damaging to your partner’s feelings.
One of the worse things you can do is get riled up and tense when you are getting ready to breakup with your long term partner. This will make the situations even more stressful for you. The process is not going to be easy, but stressing about it is not going to change it.
Take time to relax as you decide the best way to tell your partner. You want to explain your reasons for breaking up with a clear head and calm demeanor. This may be difficult, but it is possible.
If you are extremely stressed, do something that relaxes you, such as reading or listening to music.
Focus on the present.
There is no reason to bring up the past when you are breaking up with your long term partner. The reasons that you want to break it off are current and about how your relationship is now. Don’t bring up how your relationship used to be or any old fights while telling your partner it’s over.
This will just add salt to wounds and make the breakup that much harder.
Don’t be passive aggressive.
Avoid changing your behavior in order to get your partner to end the relationship first. This will end up making the breakup nastier than it needs to be. Approach the situation like an adult and be honest with your partner instead of trying to make them break up with you.
Avoid being overly aggressive or petty towards your partner and don’t make life miserable for both of you. This will help no one in the long run.
Avoid blaming your partner.
You don’t want your breakup to turn ugly, so avoid placing blame on anyone in the relationship for its failure. Relationships are complicated and never black and white, so try to focus on breaking up with them in a way that does not place blame or sound accusatory.
If there is a reason for you breaking up with your partner that is not your fault, such as your partner cheating on you, still try to take the high road. Blame and bitterness will only make the breakup harder.
Keep your private affairs to yourself.
In the modern technology age, people have a tendency to overshare. When you are going through your breakup, avoid slamming your partner on any social media platform. This will only make the breakup get ugly. You want to give your partner and your relationship its due respect.
You can talk to your friends about your breakup, but do so on the phone or text message instead of public social media accounts.
Know it will take time.
A breakup, especially of a long term relationship, will not happen over night. Considering that your lives have been intertwined for so long, there is no easy break from them. You and your partner will probably have mutual friends, possessions, and routines that will make it tense and awkward for awhile.
Your routines and life will change when your relationship is no longer a factor. This will take time to adjust to.
You will also have lingering feelings, even if you are no longer in love with your partner. You may be emotional for awhile after the breakup as you cope with these lingering feelings.
Focus on other things.
One of the best ways to move on is by focusing your attention on new things. This way, you are doing things that can’t remind you of your partner or your breakup. This will help you heal, with the added bonus of enriching your life.
Trying new things will help you to heal. Start a new project, join a yoga class, or take an art class. Just find something you enjoy that you can focus on.
Rely on your family and friends.
After a breakup, you will need to lean on those around you. Even when you are the one who broke off the relationship, it will be emotional. Lean on your family and friends when you’re feeling down or upset about your breakup. This will give you the support system you need to heal.
Spend more time with your friends and family, go out more, or talk to them on the phone. This will help you feel connected and loved when you’re feeling down.
Go easy on yourself.
You will likely not go back to being 100% happy and healthy right after a breakup, especially a long term one. When you’re feeling down or stressed because of the breakup, don’t beat yourself up or try to snap out of it right away. It will take time to heal.
You need to give yourself time to grieve your relationship in healthy ways so you can move on. If you push down your feelings, you may have some issues later on.
Your friends and family will understand that you need time to regroup and heal.
Take care of yourself.
As you cope with your breakup, you need to take care of yourself. Take time to cope and process your life without your partner. Your feelings will likely be complicated and intense, even if you are the one who ended things. Make sure you pay attention to your own mental and physical health while you heal.
Don’t let go of your healthy lifestyle just because you had a breakup. Keep eating healthy and exercising like your normally would.
If you didn’t exercise or eat right before, consider changing your routine to include healthier habits so you can be healthier after your breakup.