You thought it was just the calm before the storm, but here he is with the most sincere look in his face that you’ve ever seen. If it weren’t for his pained expression, you might have thought he was proposing. But no, his heart is heavy with anxiety as he tells you that he no longer wants to be with you.
It might hit you like a pile of bricks, but now is the most crucial moment to keep your cool! Here’s what you can say to him if he’s breaking up with you.
Do you want to make him stay?
1. For the diplomatic one: Let’s talk this over. Talking is good, in fact communication is one of the important cornerstones of a good relationship. And maybe you guys just haven’t been having enough of it, and this could be the reason your relationship is falling apart. When he says that he wants to break up with you, try to squeeze a reason out of him. Make him explain why he’s doing this because, as the other party involved, you definitely have a right to know. And once you know why he’s breaking up with you, there’s a good chance you can also explain yourself and perhaps come to a reasonable compromise that doesn’t involve breaking up.
2. For the hopeless romantic: But I need you. Jolt him back into reality by telling him how much you mean to him, how much you love him, and how much you need him in your life. At the moment, he might only be thinking of himself and how he’s no longer happy. Perhaps by telling him how much you need him, he can realize that it takes two to be in a relationship, and that he hasn’t taken into account how much you love him.
3. For the Alison Krauss: I’ve already built my world around you. This is like telling him you need him, but with a little more force, especially if you’ve already been together for a while. By telling him that you’ve already built your world around him, you’re telling him how much you’ve already invested in him (and in a way, also how much he has also invested in you). Sure, you’re diving into the sunk cost fallacy, but it might make him realize that because you’ve been through so much, perhaps you can get through this momentary relationship blip.
4. For the remorseful gal: I’m sorry for what I did. You know you did something and you know it’s the reason he wants to run out the door. But before he even says it, beat him to the punch by apologizing for what you did. Maybe this is all he needs – an apology and a way of showing your remorse. Who knows, maybe he originally wanted to break up because he thought you would never own up to your mistake. But here you are with an apology and a heart full of hope that he would change his mind.
5. For the procrastinator: Can we talk about this in person? If he breaks up with you online, through text, or through a phone call, don’t accept it. You deserve way better than a non-personal breakup. By telling him you want to talk about it in person, you’re postponing the breakup. But in the meantime, you can conjure up all the many reasons why you should stay together. Who knows, he might also have some time to think and realize that breaking up isn’t the best thing to do.
6. For the bargain hunter: What can I do to make you stay? It’s not the best tactic for getting a guy to stay, but it might just make him stay long enough to realize that you actually have a good thing going. Bargain with him about the breakup. There might be something he wishes you would do (or not do) and this is the thing that’ been eating at him. By asking him outright what you can do to make him not break up with you, you might get an honest answer. And when you do, it’s time to decide if it’s worth staying for.
Are you breathing a sigh of relief because he’s breaking it off?
7. For the girl who wants to break it off anyway: Glad you beat me to it. It’s short, sassy, and gives him the hint that he’s not the only one seeing loopholes in your relationship. And when you tell him this, he might also breathe a sigh of relief because you’re not contesting his decision. And who knows, you might end on amicable terms and become friends instead.
8. For the apathetic girl: Okay, you do you. If it really doesn’t matter to you that he’s breaking up with you, let him know. It could confuse him and make him wonder why it’s not a big deal to you. But it can also make him relieved to know that you won’t end up being a crying mess after he says his piece.
9. For the girl who saw it coming: I understand. If you’ve seen the breakup coming a mile away, it’s best to just accept it and tell him you understand. In this case, there might not even be a need to talk it over. And once you’re done, you get down to talking about the details of your separation like a pair of grown adults. Discuss when you can exchange the stuff he left at your house for the stuff you left at his. And once that’s done, you can breathe easy and live the life of a happy young singleton!
10. For the girl who has accepted it: I’m still grateful I met you. Even if he’s the one breaking up with you, don’t let bitterness consume you. Instead, remember that for at least a few moments in your life, this man was able to make you happy. And even if it’s over and there’s no real need for him to know, tell him that you’re thankful for him and what your experience together has taught you.
Here is the moment when you should muster up all the courage to stay calm and cool. Reason with him and stay levelheaded through this ordeal so that whatever the outcome, you can say that you took the breakup with grace.