5. Be (sort of) honest.
Psychologist and relationship expert Seth Meyers, PhD. (the other Seth Meyers) has a handy trick for figuring out if honesty really is the best policy. Ask yourself if most people would think that your reasons for ending the relationship are rational. But since it isn’t always wise to base your behavior on what other people think, I’m amending that advice slightly: Decide if you’d think that motivation was rational if someone used it to break up with you. If the answer is yes (your boyfriend constantly flirts with other women; your girlfriend has no interest in spending time with your friends), then tell it to your S.O. straight.
If, on the other hand, you would not consider those reasons rational (your girlfriend doesn’t floss, your boyfriend has an annoying laugh), then come up with a more general explanation for why you’re ending things, like you don’t have the time right now to invest in a long-term relationship. The point is to make your decision understandable for your S.O. — not to hurt his or her feelings.
On a similar note, if the reason you’re leaving is because you met someone else, don’t share that information with your partner. “No good will come from that conversation; it will just make [your partner] feel bad,” says Magdoff, adding, “You don’t owe them the entire truth.”