Article Title:Breaking up is hard to do…
Category:Ask Our Expert
Author or
Published on:29th September 2007 - 10:55 am
Internet Archive link:
NDHA link:
Note that the National Library of New Zealand (NDHA) website uses both cookies and frames. The first time you click on a link it first may take you to the archived front page of Close the window and try again. This is because the NDHA website uses cookies and you cannot access an indiviual page without visiting the front page first
Story ID:5015
Text:‘Carly' writes: How do you break up with someone without breaking their heart? Help! A J Marsh comments: What are your reasons for breaking up with this person? Should you not be able to tell them the truth, then come up with an elaborate twist on the truth or a believable lie if it means their feelings are somewhat spared. This could work - if nobody you know will blurt out the real reason. From what I've seen, the only way to break up with someone and not break their heart is if that person is not in love with you. The bottom line is, if you're in a relationship that has to end, let it end now so that things aren't drawn out or compounded. It's not fair on either of you if one is in a relationship that they don't want to be in, and you'll both suffer as a result. I think that trying to avoid it could lead to more heartbreak when you do finally end it.   Jacquie Grant comments: The short answer is you can't - not if the other person is still in love with you. My suggestions may sound hard and cold but do it once, do it cleanly, and get out of the scene the other party is in, at least for a while. That will help the healing process a lot more than if you are continually around. Finally do not allow yourself to be swayed by emotional blackmailing friends intervening etc.   Bill Logan comments: It is sometimes possible to break up without breaking their heart. But the only way to do it is when they have stopped loving you. Of course it is entirely possible that they have already stopped loving you. But unless, unknown to you, it has already happened, then stopping someone from loving you is messy, involving prolonged insensitivity and rudeness—telling them they've put on weight, that their spot grosses you out, and so on. At the end of the process they will probably be OK, and unless they are unusually masochistic the chances are they will have stopped loving you all right. However you might have stopped loving yourself, too. Actually this is the way many break-ups occur, not so much deliberately, as through drift, as a relationship exceeds its use-by date. If you stay together is just because you don't want to break their heart, then you'll end up just becoming a bit nasty, that that's worse than breaking their heart. So the best option is often to end the relationship, carefully but quickly, cleanly, and frankly. Just directly say that the love is over. Alternatively, if it isn't quite over, still be frank and direct about the shrinkage of the love, but try to revive it - try to get the fire going again. It's even worth going to a counsellor for a while. Don't let a relationship peter out in the frustration of small unpleasantnesses. Either end it smartly or work on it. And the work often pays off. There may be a deeper and more intimate relationship than you've yet experienced if you get beyond today's difficulties.   If you have a question for our Family Matters team, send it in on the 'Contact Us' link below. - 29th September 2007
Disclaimer:This page displays a version of the article with all formatting and images removed. It was harvested automatically and some text content may not have been fully captured correctly: access this content at your own risk. A copy of the full article is available (off-line) at the Lesbian and Gay Archives of New Zealand. This online version is provided for personal research and review and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of If you have queries or concerns about this article please email us
Reproduction note:Just before closed in May 2017, the website owners wrote this article about reproducing content from the website: "our work has always been available for glbti people to use and all we ask is that you not plagiarise it... if you use it anywhere please attribute it to and where there is an authors name attached please acknowledge that writer."