Why They Can’t Let Go

Breaking up isn’t hard — until they try to persuade you to stay. Now what?

Relationships are like movies: a bad ending ruins the whole thing. Maybe you think it’s over (you’ve said as much), but they still harbor hope. Any mixed message fuels their pipe dream. Here are some tips for a clean getaway:

MAKE A BREAK — The dump must be direct. Don’t let your fear or conflict avoidance lead you to say something like “Maybe we should take a break” when what you mean is “This isn’t going to work out for me.”

FORGET “BEING FRIENDS” — While some couples can break up and remain friends, it’s rare, and planting that idea during a breakup can lead them to expect more. Tell them you both need to move on, or that you’ll need a couple of months to heal.

SHED TEARS — It’s okay to show your grief so that they understand the breakup is also difficult for you.

DON’T RELAPSE — If your ex shows up at your door buck naked, don’t let them in.