When you know it’s the right decision for both of you, breaking up is the best thing to do. But it has never been easy.
A calm well-intended conversation can turn into an argument as emotions run high or someone can feel hurt, rejected or that the trust has been broken after sharing their life with someone.
Often people who have made peace with their decision still do not know the best way to break off the relationship and wish for some kind of blueprint in how to approach such a difficult situation.
The Independent spoke to Relate relationship therapist Gurpreet Singh about the best way to handle a potentially difficult decision.
"Breaking up really is hard to do," Singh says. "There are no hard and fast rules about when a relationship is over - it's usually a feeling that builds over time that things just aren't right, that you and your partner aren't making each other happy anymore, that the tough times are outweighing the good. That 'it doesn't feel like it used to.
The most important factor when breaking up with someone is honesty. It is important, to be honest with your partner and yourself - explaining all the reasons you have for ending the relationship and listening to them. It is important not to leave any stones unturned, even if you feel it is nicer to hide certain parts of the truth.
Don't leave them confused. You might be tempted to be nice and say 'let's just take a break for now', but if you know this is the end then it's kinder to say that rather than drag things out. Don't string someone along by giving them unintentional false hope.
Whichever decision you take should be mutual. Zero down at the same point. It would be unfair if one of the partners never want to see the other one while the latter forces him to be friends.