The Worst and Best Ways to Tell Someone It’s Over

The intensity and suffering exacted by a heartbreak
depends not only on the core fact that we’ve been left; it also decisively depends on how
we’ve been left. Our hurt can be hugely intensified when we’ve been left badly – just
as it may be rendered a great deal more bearable when we are fortunate enough to have landed
on a lover who has learnt the psychologically-rich art of mature break-ups. There are certain
things guaranteed to make a break up worse than it ever needs to be: (i) Lingering: All
decisions around relationships should be taken with the awareness that life is desperately
short for both parties. It therefore really shouldn’t matter if the holiday has already
been booked or if preparations for our birthday are – awkwardly – well under way. As soon
as the decision is taken, a courageous lover will not dither out of a misplaced desire
not to upset pre-existing plans. They know they must leave. They are ruining things,
of course, but they can see that the holiday or restaurant meal would in any case be doomed
– and they are kind enough to know not to waste any more of our precious time. (ii)
Collateral Accusations A wise departing lover knows not to accuse the other of more sins
than they are guilty of. It is not, they know, our fault that their career is going wrong
and we truly aren’t responsible for their insomnia or the conflicts with their brother.
The wise lover keeps the list of accusations down to the specific problems that necessitated
a break-up; they don’t use the parting as an occasion to rehearse all that happens to
be a bit wrong with us – an inevitably far longer but irrelevant charge sheet.(iii) Deceptive
Niceness The most harmful lovers are those who labour under a misplaced impression that
they need to be nice – even when they are firing us. But there is, in fact, no need
for honeyed words, we simply require the basic information and then some privacy to put ourselves
back together again. Indeed, ongoing niceness simply confuses us all the more. The tenderness
makes us ache to restart the relationship, for there seems no reason why not, given how
they are behaving. (iv) Evasiveness Clumsy lovers are so scared of the news they have
to share with us, they cannot bear to come out with – and let it seep out in odd symptomatic
ways. They start drinking too much, or come home very late, or advance odd-sounding theories
about relationships. They hope – through their strange and harmful behaviour – to
be fired rather than have to resign. In sly and unfair ways, they seek to push us to take
the agonising next step. On the other hand, there is so much that can spare us excessive
pain at the end: (i) Directness Kind departing lovers make a sharp break. Once they’ve
decided, they move swiftly to letting us know; they clear off quickly; they don’t hold
out hints of reconciliation; they don’t suggest that if we changed in certain ways,
they’d reconsider. It’s awful, of course, but there’s a vein of mature kindness in
their brusque manner: in an obviously difficult situation, they are sparing us the extended
torture of false hope. (ii) Reasons Good departing lovers try to explain in convincing ways why
the relationship didn’t work out. They might point out, for instance, that you are both
really quite anxious by nature – and therefore struggle to soothe and calm each other. This
isn’t so much a complaint about you as on observation about why the fit between you
as a couple wasn’t very helpful. Or they may explore the ways in which the two of you
have powerfully divergent attitudes to money – and hence are set on a serious collision
course. They’re not saying you are horrendous or a fool – just that the two of you turn
out not to be very adept partners for each other. (iii) Honesty about who they are Nice
departing lovers let us see and actively remind us of what’s not so nice or good about them.
They admit that they brought a lot of difficult things into the relationship. They admit,
perhaps, that they’re obsessed by work; they may acknowledge they are bossy or very
controlling; they might be open about their unfaithful nature. They are doing us the kindness
of showing us that life with them would be seriously difficult in major ways. We’re
losing them, but we’re not losing the prospect of a blissful or problem-free future. Good departing lovers
know that the news they are breaking will, inevitably, lead to them being hated for a
time. They are brave in the face of this. They don’t suffer from the fateful
and sentimental desire to be loved by people they no longer love. We’re gradually disentangling
two distinct sources of pain – which mean very different things. There’s the sorrow
of losing someone we liked. But there may well also be the suffering caused by the unfortunate
ways a lover acted at the end. We
may not be able to escape the agony of broken hearts but we can always strive to keep it
to a very basic minimum. Our Reilience Cards are designed to help us become tougher in the face of adversity. To learn more follow the link on your screen now.

100 thoughts on “The Worst and Best Ways to Tell Someone It’s Over”

  1. Learning the art of breaking up well can teach us so much about the art of dealing respectfully and directly with a whole host of difficult subjects. Be sure to sign up to our new newsletter and develop your emotional intelligence with us.

  2. Basically very true… Only, I don't think there is any need for any explanation. The relationship isn't working, no reason to explain anything, and nothing to discuss. Be gracious, affirming, and firm. There is nothing "wrong" with the other person, just… "The relationship isn't working, we have both tried our best, and it just would work."

    (Spoken as someone who has been through some very dark break-ups.)

  3. But unfortunately this almost never ever happens, especially in today’s increasingly throw away narcissistic society.
    If you’re heading for a break up, look closely because the writing will be on the walls, pay attention, reinforce your boundaries and start stepping away…

  4. Worst two breakups for me, they refused to say why. Even years later, I'm left with the feeling that I must have done something appalling, but still can't quite put my finger on it.

  5. I unknowingly did all these things in my divorce. I was direct, clear, prompt, not blaming, and didn't confuse the message. 2 years later and she still hates my vociferously. I'd hate to think of how it would have turned out if I did otherwise.

  6. Seeing the things I've done wrong and I'll do better next time. And proud I did some right.

    It's hard to do it right if your partner is demonizing you for wanting out while simultaneously unwilling to see that you are both very miserable and beyond repair…

  7. I really appreciate y’all doing this one because I have learned to be bolder with my breakups after I got divorced because I know what I need and don’t need in a long term relationship, but that’s not too say I haven’t loved them deeply but because I do love them, but I know because of bad timing, loss of attraction and growing apart and so on I don’t want to waste any more of their time and linger past a relationships expiration date. It has been very challenging mastering the art of breaking up because I struggle with regret and cross examine my decisions and sometimes make myself sick because I am single and wanting and craving companionship, love, intimacy and friendship with a woman. It’s the hardest thing about dating in this world is having the guts to know when to say goodbye bye in a serious but loving way. If you are just don’t be afraid of f*****g it up because if you have any kind of respect and love for them,then you will want to do everything in your power to see that they have the best possible chance of being happy even if that’s not with you. It is a humbling experience to come to grips with yourself and your ego and be real with yourself and realize that you might not be enough for that someone in your life, because I don’t want to be in a relationship where I am forcing someone to love me the way I want to be loved. And vice verse. I think if something is bothering you and you talk about it and nothing changes or you aren’t willing to compromise for the sake of the relationship because it’s something dear and vital to the success, sanity and happiness of your relationship you should depart because ultimately it will lead to them resenting you and losing respect for you and may lead to cheating in the end from either partner. But as a male I have learned that women don’t like to break up without someone else to fall back on too easy the pain of being single. But I feel as men if we are the ones that aren’t feeling the relationship and it’s going stale we the alphas, the initiators of the relationship should also be the omegas, the Enders of the relationship. Because typically woman are passive aggressive in there breakups while men are linear and not worry women will have a way better chance of moving on if it’s truly something they were not feeling either. I have learned to try and maximize my on happiness in my single moments between relationships as a way to not use a relationship as a rebound or crouch to boost my ego or low self esteem. Because you have to think also about the way you handle the small short romances and dating partners you come across that you try to leave them best or the same way you found them for karmas sake.😉😘

  8. My ex girlfirend told all her friends, which she made my friends, to hate me and told her new boyfriend to tell me she no longer wanted anything to do with me.

  9. two uk men break up because they need each other money to pay bills. one uk man works oil rigs in finland and use people good show thank you. Why people use people and borrow money from them and don't pay there money back to them?? why??

  10. Thank you, The School of Life, for making these videos. They always hit home in the uncanniest of ways. I wish I had seen this one a few weeks ago. Instead I bargained with myself, and let a broken relationship last until my partner became the bigger person and took the burden upon herself. She handled it with grace, and I'm somewhat relieved. But now I wish I hadn't been such a coward, and wasted more of our time.

  11. I finally understand why it hurt me so much when my ex broke up with me. I stopped loving him months before he broke up, so I'm not really hung up on him. I'm just sad/angry he ended things the way he did. I wish he had seen this movie first.

  12. You tell the person that you love them, but you’re not in love with them. Take some responsibility for the failed relationship and hope that the person sees it too.

  13. Having broke up after 14 years of relationship with the other person doing the exact opposite this video shows was really a living hell (and lasted 1 year until I myself walked away cause I couldn't take it anymore)…Plz be responsible if you are to break up with someone 🙂

  14. As long as you're at least respectful and considerate of your soon-to-be-ex's feelings throughout the breakup process, the bad news might be a little easier for them to swallow and as a result, you'll both be better able to move on and find new relationships.

  15. both times i’ve been broken up with my partner has just ghosted me completely. first one never spoke to me ever again. second one went on vacation and ignored me for a month and a half, then called me and gave me some bullshit reasons. people are dicks.

  16. I was so emotionally dependent on an ex of mine that when he left me, I lost it. It didn't help that he told me he needed to think about it for a few days, and had classes with me in high school so I had no choice but to see him daily. We where together for over 2 years, btw. I'm still pretty fucked up from it. I ignored men for over a year after the breakup, and then went on a tinder-induced sexcapade to fill the hole (heh) in my heart that my ex carved out. That finally ended when I met the guy I'm with now.

  17. No, I'm sorry – you should be kind, but direct when breaking up with someone, and if possible don't let it come out of the blue. Sometimes it isn't possible not to linger if you own a house together.

  18. Broke up a previous relationship, by writing a lyric about 'ending relations'.
    Not terribly polite, but helped clarify the reasons! 🙂

  19. Being given weeks of silent treatment and then dumped by text twice, once before Christmas and Nye, also bday and Valentine's day . Pftttttt 🙄🙄🙄🙄☹

  20. evasiveness…pretty much everyone ive been with except i wait it out long enough that they end up having to dump me anyway lol

  21. Ok. He just broke up with me with by wsp after almost 4 years together, with no explanation or any other word.

  22. 4:50 A snap shot right before the devestating airline accident that took place just days ago. R.I.P. all the victums and peace be with their families.

  23. There is no right or wrong. All's fair in love and war. Lol wtf, belay my last. I don't want my words misconstrued. What I mean is, do the best you can and leave amicably, if it at all possible. If your counterpart crosses the line and makes grave choices, who can blame you for your not reacting perfectly?

  24. How the hell did YouTube know. My ex did a stealth breakup hours ago after learning the details from our friend.

    Im a bit scared and impressed

  25. I have been meaning to break up with my partner for almost a year and still cannot find the strength to leave, I am leaving because he never shows me that he loves me, always distant, depressed, we never have sex… but when I ask him he says he doesn't want to break up at all… but now I want to break up because this relationship is killing but I still love him… how to break up with some you love? that what I need to know… because it doesn't seem physically or emotionally possible to me… it makes me ill…

  26. I’m so happy that I’ll never deal with this again. Not only am I sure that I’ll be married by 2021 but I’m sure that if me and my significant did break up she would do it swiftly, carefully and in a mature manner. I also know the signs when someone has checked out of a relationship but refuses to leave the lobby and I’m no longer afraid to leave a relationship myself. See there’s people who are bad at breakups but there’s also people like the old me who stay in a dying relationships and coax a fleeting partner to stay.

  27. Worst place: just disappear and she'll figure it out eventually (ghosting). This happened to me, it was really dreadful at the time. Although now, I'm really happy he left because he was such a wanker! 😂😂😂 Some people are better gone.

  28. I don't agree with the message of the video. I think it's better to make it more prolonged and messy until both parties realize it's not worth while. Being this direct and quick becomes a shock, and it's not honest either. I think it would be better to communicate a plan to terminate in a few months.

  29. It would be a lot easier to understand what you guys are going to say without background music, which is so familiar that I end up listening the tune, not your explanation.

  30. Most people deserve to be dumped in a shity way. Some people throw tantrums no matter how mature you tried to do it

  31. Well, this just went to further show me how horrible and selfish a person my ex is. Good riddance.

  32. Talking very clearly, sometimes more than once. Explaining why the relation would not work and which are our mistakes before blaming the other one help to tell bad news to a valuable loving partner. Despite pain, they will understand. It is never easy, takes time and respect for the other one. If you are on the side who is still loving, the worst you can do is hanging on a lost love. That brings hope when there is none. In the end, we must move on.

  33. The only thing you owe your partner is the truth. When you let them know, especially in a respectful way that it's over, you've done all you should have done. You can't control or be responsible for how they react. So don't beat yourself up or allow them to make you feel guilty.

  34. I love this channel, and always surprised by the quality of their videos. However, my impression for this video: the music, animation, script and his voice are all good, and i don’t know which one to concentrate..

  35. Wish my ex had seen this video (except this video didn’t exist yet…). He did the opposite of almost every suggestion here, including waiting four months to tell me. He even had a full date with me and gave me a mixtape at the start, which was one of his ways of showing affection. I thought things were finally getting better, and then after like five hours of having a good time together, he dumped me. Then there was a brief “let’s be friends” thing he suggested, followed by ghosting me. It was all such a mess and really messed me up, far more than a simple, clean breakup would have.

  36. Evasiveness… like buying us white, boring underwear for Christmas and not much else when we don't wear that sort of underwear. As if I couldn't figure out my partner was checking out and wouldn't be hurt by that… continued evasiveness. Thought the breakup was mutual when it happened (when it's obvious someone wants to leave, there's no need to prolong it), but later learned that my partner was telling everyone that I was the one who did the breaking up.

  37. I'm gonna throw my 2 pence in since everybody here seems to have conflicting views. The thing that hurt me personally the most was when I was been dumped without knowing I was actually being dumped. If it's over, say categorically it's over. I was dating a girl that messaged me saying things that were so vague and cleverly worded, that kept breathing life into the idea of "us", my hope's stayed way too high for far too long. Things like "you are awesome guy but I'm not sure the time is right for me" or "I do like you alot i just feel I need space right now". Or even "I was having a good time but i just wanted to take a step back to make sure of what I want in life". THIS is how we all get fucking hurt. If its done, tell me its fucking done!! Hurt me! Call me an asshole and walk away!! I'll get over it a hell of alot sooner than if you use kind words to string me along and keep me on the fence. No staying friends (which never works let's be honest), no let's see how I feel next week. Just end it and walk away. I really would wish that other person the best for being honest enough to state their true feelings even if it hurts. I've for respect for that. Rather than clinging on for weeks thinking theres something when there isn't. Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. Doesn't mean you have to be heartless, but do be direct.
    Anyways there's my opinion. Take the clever way of wording things, and the "soften the blow" compliments, say exactly where I stand. We'll all move on with our lives alot sooner.

  38. I need help. I gave reasons and I was direct about us needing to break up. However, I am still friends with him (since we study overseas together and have so many mutual friends). He wants us to still be together but he did agree to break up. So I don't know what I should do.

  39. You seem to have a prescription for all and everything: it suggests to me that you do not have much real experience. I do not say you have not – I say that spreading thin over everything suggests that. Experience worth having is ‘customised’ so to speak – it is unique – there is no prescription for it that is of any worth.
    It took 30 years to find the words appropriate to my ‘break-up’ and it has been worth the waiting – could you have told me that?

  40. I don't understand most of what he's saying(cuz i'm still learning english) but the animation and his voice is just too good to not watch this video

  41. People want to create anxiety fear and regret when they breakup with their partners. This is why ex’s always circle back. To make sure they damaged you.

  42. 🟢 Being single may be better for me… I am a little unstable but please listen to my new song "Honey Boo Boo"… *just kidding…

  43. I've told someone multiple times I want it over and they won't accept it, we've been together over 5 years but it's now toxic and gets aggressive often. When I leave after an argument they drive to my house and bang on my door until I give in, even drive to my work. I don't have the heart to call someone to intervene.

  44. I honestly doubt there is any decent way to break up with someone who does not want you to leave. There may be terrible ways, but no good ways. The worst, though, is this whole "We can be friends" malarky. No one wants to be friends with that other person ever again. It doesn't help, it makes things much worse. It is just a way of one person trying to feel less guilty about it, and then blackmailing the other into accepting this bogus friendship, by acting as if it is somehow wrong to NOT want to be their friend.

  45. If you decide to end a relationship and don't have the spine to do it face to face, you shouldn't have been in it in the first place.

  46. Yeah..had this happen twice in my life. Out of two relationships I've had in my life. The departing "lovers" were clumsy….the first too "nice" and the other too accusatory. One line made me laugh…"all we require are the facts and a time of privacy to "put ourselves back together""….maybe it was me but that last bit was the trick….I've NEVER "put myself back together". The way it was stated in the video made it sound like a simple, reasonable thing to do, hey, everyone does it. Well…two times sufficed. I've never had another relationship and never will. Price is WAY too high.

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