Dear Level

How to End Your Relationship Like a Man

Breaking up is hard to do. Here’s how to handle it with dignity.

Elisabeth Ovesen | NYT Bestselling Author
LEVEL
Published in
5 min readNov 26, 2021

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Photo Illustration: Save As/Medium; Source: Getty Images

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but no matter how in love you are, there’s an expiration date on your relationship. Being with someone forever is a myth, a unicorn, the kind of thing you always hear about but will never see because one of two things is almost certain: You and your partner will break up or be together until one of you croaks. Either way, this ride’s going to end. Sorry.

Breakups are always tough, even when they’re for the best. Sometimes, you’ve fallen out of love with your significant other, but still care for them and don’t want to hurt their feelings. Other times, you’re still very much in love but have managed to love yourself more and walk away from an unhealthy situation. Then, of course, there are those times when someone has done such irreparable damage that all you see is red when you look at them and there’s no love lost when you walk out the door. Still, one or both of you will feel the weight of such a significant shift when it’s all said and done.

If you’re a good guy and lucky enough to have found your person, congratulations, you’re winning. But if you’ve looked over at your partner while reading this and realized you don’t see your relationship going the long haul, perhaps you should start thinking about separating. There’s no easy way to do it, but listed below are some tips on how to walk away from a relationship like a man — not a douchebag-coward hybrid who can’t handle big feelings and grown-up words.

  • Listening to your partner is the most valuable tool at your disposal during a breakup. You two are experiencing the same relationship in different ways. So, when they’re talking, listen. Give your partner the floor, but take notes. There will be clues that can help you understand their pain and what you may have done to exacerbate it.
  • Talking instead of shouting at your partner is the best way to avoid turning a breakup into a blowup. Now, obviously, you can’t control her rage or decibels, but just because she’s losing her shit doesn’t mean you should. Remain calm. Literally, bite your tongue if you have to, but don’t escalate things by yelling. For some women, it…

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Elisabeth Ovesen | NYT Bestselling Author
LEVEL
Writer for

3x New York Times bestselling author, art enthusiast, and design girlie living between Los Angeles and New York City