Whether you’ve been together for two months or two years, breaking up is always easier in theory than execution. But despite how tough it sounds, having a “clean break” is not impossible—as long as you have the proper plan of attack. We spoke to three relationship experts, and with their advice, created a 10-step plan to help make your breakup stick. Here’s what they had to say:
Step 1: Sudden breakups are often the hardest ones to stick with, so the key to a clean break is planning in advance. “Even if you want to break up this moment, give yourself a few days to build a good case for why it has to be over," says sexologist Gloria Brame, Ph.D., the author of Sex for Grown-Ups. "Don't break up impulsively or you may go back and forth in your mind a thousand times."
Step 2: While you're mulling over whether you really want to cut the cord, distance yourself from your partner, advises Brame. “If you still feel the same a few days later, you will feel emotionally stronger and more definite that breaking up is the right decision.”
Step 3: As part of the “planning” process, it’s also important to consider how a split will impact all aspects of your life. “Think about financial practicalities as well as any other ties you may have, and ensure that your plans are realistic as a singleton,” advises Paula Hall, a relationship psychotherapist and author of How to Have a Healthy Divorce. If you’ve been living together, you'll need to figure out who’s going, who’s staying, or how rent is going to be covered.