No one likes to get blindsided by a breakup. At the same time, though, initiating one comes with its own set of worries and decisions no one wants to make: How am I going to do this? What am I supposed to say?
Here are tips to make things a little easier.
Never take the easy way out and do it via technology (email, voicemail, text, or Facebook). You're dealing with another human that you once had feelings for and that you need to respect and honor. It's all about sitting somebody down and giving them the reasons why the relationship is not working out, so they can heal, move forward and maybe develop a friendship with you in the future.
There is no best way to end a relationship, because you can never control how the other person is going to feel or respond. I would recommend, though, that if you are determined to end something, as soon as you know for sure this is what you want to do, summon the courage for your sake and theirs and end it, rather than letting it drag on for fear of hurting your partner's feelings (or whatever other reason). Do your soon-to-be-ex a favor and allow them to put their energies into meeting someone else.
The most important thing to remember is that relationships take work, so you should be certain that you want to end the relationship and that there's no way to fix whatever issues are going on. There's nothing worse than ending a relationship, realizing you made a huge mistake and then begging him/her to get back together with you. If you end up doing that, you run the risk of him/her realizing during the break that ultimately you weren't really the right one for him/her anyway.
When ending a relationship, be mindful of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Gently but firmly state your intention to end things. Be direct, be brief, and remain calm. Don't assign blame to yourself ("It's not you, it's me") or to the other party ("this is all your fault"). Instead, state your disappointment that things didn't work out, sincerely wish the other person well, and then leave. A clean break is the most humane way to put a dead relationship out of its misery.
Ending a relationship is never easy, whether it's after three months or three years. Make sure you've come to this decision after careful thought and not just a heated fight. Decisions made in the heat of rage are often ones we regret. From here, the question arises of how to break up with someone tactfully and gracefully. My advice is to break up with someone in person (no calls, texts, or IMs) and to be honest. No one can fault you for sharing your feelings in an honest and productive way.
There's a time and a place for shortcuts via tech and text, but a relationship isn't one of them-no text or Facebook break ups allowed! Having a conversation face-to-face is not only more respectful but leaves less room for ambiguity. That doesn't mean it has to be or should be drawn out, but it should be live. Emphasize that it's the relationship that's not working, rather than focusing on personal shortcomings. And wait until you've had the conversation to change your Facebook status to single.
Ending a relationship is so uncomfortable. In my own life I've been very cowardly about it because I didn't want to hurt anyone. However the hurt is inescapable. Being honest, clear and brief is the best way to close the door on a relationship. Don't leave loose ends; a clean break is the most respectful way to end a relationship.