By Laura Snyder
Breaking up. While you know that no matter what you do, it's totally going to suck, there are ways to get it over with as painlessly as possible for both parties.
Pick Your Moment
Steal a page from your boss's policy - fire on Fridays. People tend to be more optimistic then, plus it'll give your recently laid-off lover the whole weekend to cope. But remember, there's not ever going to be a "right" time. So whatever day of the week it falls on, just get it over with. One caveat: If your ex-to-be has just lost a job, been evicted or had a death in the family, sticking with it until he or she is on solid ground won't hurt you and could give you some good karma in your next relationship.
End It in Person
To do otherwise is cowardly - and something she'll be sure to tell all her friends. Sure, it's easier to write it in an e-mail, leave it on voicemail, or - heaven forbid - do the "fade-out" move where you just stop calling and showing up for dates, but that's just plain mean.
Keep It Simple
Your now-ex wants - and deserves - something of an explanation. But spare them the ugly details of exactly where and when and how it all went wrong. Make it simple, like the classic "It's just not working" or "I just don't feel that way about you anymore." Don't be afraid to live the cliché! No matter how much they beg for it - and they will - they really don't want to hear brutal honesty or long explanations.
If you're serious enough to want to break it off, you're serious enough to stick with the breakup. Don't be talked into trying again. Don't make plans to call or hang out. Don't fall for the ruse if your new ex suddenly becomes the very person you wanted them to be. This is only a temporary ploy to win you back; you'll eventually have the same problems you always did.