You are ready to take responsibility for the course of your love life. You want to call it quits, initiate a breakup, and move on. Be a conscientious and truthful ex; it will ease those inescapable pangs of guilt. And a damage-controlled breakup with carefully weighed words will inflict the least amount of pain.

The Threefold Breakup

Once you have satisfactorily completed your breakup readiness checklist, you may proceed. It will serve you well in the end if you keep in mind a trio of mechanics:

1. Accommodate what you have to do and say.

2. Get the message across clearly.

3. Cause the least amount of residual pain to yourself.

These fundamentals should guide every action you take. It will deliberate forethought and careful planning on your part to see this through and pull off a breakup that is to your advantage.

An Exercise to Boost Your Nerve.

Athletes use imaging to assist them in executing their best shot, play, or strategy. Imaging combines a positive mindset with a visual mental image. For instance, golfers step up to the ball to tee off. They meticulously determine where it is they want the ball to land and visualize the perfect flight of the ball. Then mentally they set off the next shot that will land them squarely on the green. Imaging makes them focus on their efforts, evaluate their plays, and reinforces the potential for success.

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Romantic Imaging

Breakup imaging takes you through the sequence that will result in severing your relationship. Visualize yourself approaching your romantic partner in a decisive, controlled, and purposeful manner. See yourself maintaining decorum while you explain your feelings. Anticipate your partner’s positive and negative responses along with yours. If you don’t like the picture you are getting, try to re-image the scene until you find a scenario with the most positive results. Landing the proper words is the crucial technique here.

You may find that you aren’t quite in your best form and that you have not perfected your technique yet. That’s okay. There is plenty of help in the words ahead. Nonetheless, finish your imaging session. You should repeat it, however, until you have enough information to draw a complete and satisfying picture. That’s what the athletes do.

In the meantime, imagine positive results. Feel the relief. See yourself smiling and walking away from the encounter free and happy. You may want to go as far as picturing a serendipitous meeting with your next love.

You should emerge from this exercise calm and confident.

The Flight of Your Words

Keep in mind that your words may land like heavy punches on someone’s heart. That doesn’t give you license to cop out. On the contrary, use the information social scientists have validated about the flight of your words until you appropriately refine your image. Remember:

Your emotions facilitate or inhibit certain topics of discussion.

What you say can cause pain to someone else.

How a message is received and assessed by that person longingly looking into your eyes across the table is crucial.

If your message is in conflict with their goals, they are likely to be hurt more.

Because romantic relationships are voluntary connections (unlike family relationships), the hurtfulness of a message may be intensified.

Inherent in romantic involvement is physical passion and/or passionate love. In light of this, hurtful remarks may arouse two extreme responses either a passionate, intense response or a stunned, inactive one.

The impact of hurtful messages in ongoing or waning romantic relationships is greater than in other relationships.

Awareness of the pain a negative message can cause a romantic partner may prevent you from verbalizing it.

Carry this information with you. Be cognizant of the impact of your words. However, do not skirt the real issues because what you have to say may cause pain. Rather, choose your words wisely.

A Critical Breakup Tip

It has been proven that individuals find uncertainty uncomfortable and have a need to alleviate or reduce it. Interestingly, however, there is evidence that if an individual thinks the undisclosed information may be negative, he or she is likely to prefer uncertainty.

The same holds true in romantic relationships. Consequently, the man or woman you are trying to break up with may not want to hear your message and may avoid doing just that. This makes it all the more imperative that your message is clearly delivered without delay.

Breakup Pointers That Facilitate the Deed

Before you get bogged down in planning, there are some pointers you need to take into consideration. Don’t make your breakup more cumbersome than it needs to be. At the same time, do not shortchange a love interest that warrants a breakup explanation. Consider these points as you chart your course of action:


1. Not all breakups should be treated equally. Some require more thought and compassion. Exactly what it is you owe this other person depends on several very practical considerations.

2. Design your efforts around:

How long you have been going out

Your expressed level of prior commitment

Inferences given regarding an ongoing and lasting relationships

Promises made concerning future, shared events

Whether this individual is a jerk or a really nice guy or gal

3. A breakup after only a few dates requires little or no explanation if you terminate your interest early on. It is always nice to say something definite, however, that won’t make anyone wonder if they should expect a call. I’m glad we had the opportunity to meet, is a pleasant enough closing.

Obviously the longer you have been involved and monopolized that person’s time or attention mandates more thoughtful consideration. Your soon-to-be ex has a right to know what went wrong, when you changed your mind, why you decided you weren’t right for each other, and why you are reneging on promises. The kind, caring, and sincere person you have been dating and taking to bed deserves your utmost attention.

Mounting a Breakup Campaign That Heads Off Trouble

A good way to head off trouble is to get a handle on who you are dealing with. If you are right on target, you should be able to plan your breakup in a way that minimizes distasteful consequences by reducing the other person’s anguish.

There are several ways to predetermine how intense your disappointed would-be lover’s reaction will be to your breakup news. The first is to establish whether or not you are dealing with a lover who poses special problems. Furthermore, if you ascertain an individual’s love and sex styles, you might have a better idea how much trouble you are in for.

Lovers Who Pose Problematic Breakups

Take time to review the categories of lovers designated in this article. Try to match up your love interest with one of them or recognize qualities from each that apply to him or her. Doing so will give your a better idea of what to expect and how to handle that individual in order to ward off trouble.

Unrequited lovers. They already developed a strong attachment to you and hoped to gain your love and affection. They are going to feel rejected, disappointed, and defeated no matter what you say or do.

Needy lovers. These men and women will feel that arrow through their heart. They have personality deficiencies that have been nourished by your presence.

Sensitive lovers. These folks will feel a certain amount of rejection. If you don’t want to see them cry, try to delicately impart your unpleasant message.

Aggressive lovers. They won’t shed a tear in front of you, but they could have a show of anger. Depending on how desirous they are of keeping your affection, they could try to talk you back into the relationship. If they aren’t all that interested, they will use their energies in finding other love.

Love Styles Impart Important Clues

Love styles are studied by many in the field of sociology, psychology, and romance. However, most professionals refer to the love styles identified by sociology professor John Alan Lee of Toronto University. It is worth the challenge to figure out where your partner fits into Lee’s scheme of things, whether you are beginning or ending a relationship. While you are at it, put an I.D. tag on yourself.

Eros. This is a mixture of passion, lust, and love. The erotic lover is instantly aroused by a person who displays the set of physical qualities that repeatedly attracts him or her. Unless another love style adds to Eros, the intense physical attraction may subside.

Storge. This type of love style takes time to develop. It grows out of affection and commitment. However, storge love is not particularly romantic. On the contrary, storgic lovers are not looking for love and view it matter-of-factly.

Ludus. If you are breaking up with a ludic lover, you probably already know it. They are promiscuous and noncommittal. They have multiple partners and no ideal mate in mind. You could say they collect love experiences. They fall in love often and indiscriminately.

Mania. Obsessive, preoccupied, possessive, jealous, and in need of love are qualities that describe the manic partner. Manics seek constant reassurance of love and are afraid of not being loved in equal measure. The manic lover, Lee says, is generally incapable of playing it cool with prospective lovers and may pursue an individual unwisely.

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Pragma. The hallmark of a pragmatic lover is that he or she is looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right. For him or her, that means the individual who can be a compatible partner will be capable of sharing interests and will meet their sociological criteria. Pragma is a combination of elements found in ludus and storge.

Agape. Lee thinks this is the least common love style visible in adult relationships. It is characterized by a selfless, altruistic lover who views the act of loving as a selfless duty.

If one were to apply common sense in evaluating these love styles, it shouldn’t be hard to predict where trouble lies. The most difficult to the easiest lover to part with should fall in order something like this:

1. Mania

2. Agape

3. Eros

4. Pragma

5. Storge

6. Ludus