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How to break up before Valentine’s Day

Our guide on how to take the stress (and mess) out of a relationship

With February 14 rapidly approaching – a time of year some data analysts have found is actually a peak moment for breakups – couples across the UK will soon be crumbling faster than Harvey Weinstein’s friend count. And, if you’re thinking about calling it quits on your own relationship, then we’re here to help you out. From the decision-making to the moment you bring down the curtain, these are the five steps to splitting up gracefully this Valentine’s Day.

First, make sure it’s the right decision

Before strategising over how you should break up with someone, make sure that it’s something you’re certain about. Couples often get back together quite quickly after an initial break (something that will make your Valentine’s dinner reservation awfully awkward) before separating again days or weeks later. To avoid this, weigh the pros and cons and make a firm decision on which way you want to go.

Choose your moment

Akin to telling your colleagues that you’re not really digging the latest series of GoT, there’s never a correct moment for executing the fractious act of breaking up. If your soon-to-be-ex has no inkling of what’s about to occur, it’s a monumental blow – not only for your relationship, but to his or her ego too.

So, time the event with as much care as you can. To this end, ensure that there aren’t any family gatherings or birthdays in the calendar, and remember that the further you string them along, the closer Valentine’s Day will creep up on you. Few things are worse than dropping the b-bomb 24 hours before the big day, because – regardless of however many liquor-filled chocolate hearts your ex will consume – nothing will be able to soften the blow.

Don’t be cruel

While you shouldn’t be flat-out dishonest, don’t act as though we’re nearing a futuristic utopia where infantile bluntness rules the day. If you aren’t attracted to your partner anymore, the arguments are as rough as Don Draper’s morning hangover, or you wish for death whenever he or she #over #hashtags #on #every #single #Instagram #post, keep it to yourself – they don’t need to know the minutiae. These are all things that can be distilled into easy-to-hear generalities, so state that you’re “in different places” rather than telling them how much you abhor their mispronunciation of the word “diaspora”.

Don’t drag it on

For some reason, some people favour the unabridged version of breaking up. You know, with several lengthy conversations and the nine-page follow up email. Too much information, however honest, is the worst.

So, remember that this isn’t the moment to prepare for your SNL monologue, wrapping things up with takeaway narration, and keep things concise and succinct instead.

Make sure you do it face-to-face

This is paramount. No Whatsapps, Facebook DMs, 140-character-long Tweets, LinkedIn messages, letters via pigeon or proxies to do the deed on your behalf. Removing Cupid’s arrow may sting, but biting the bullet will prove far less painful.

Decided not to break up? These are the best his and hers gifts for Valentine’s day

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