It’s a sad fact of life that all good things must come to an end and that includes relationships.

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So if you’ve decided that time is up on your relationship we’ve got some suggestions on how not to make a pig’s ear out of the breakup process. Yes, it’s likely to hurt, and it’s probably going to get messy. So here’s ten tips on how not to be a douche when you dump someone.

1) Is it really over?

Are you sure? Can it be fixed or perhaps, more importantly, is it worth fixing? If it is then maybe, you need to hash it out with your partner. Have an honest discussion about your feelings.

2) Give an actual reason.

Don’t trot out that clichéd line, “It’s not you, it’s me”. Do you know how annoying that is? It means nothing and doesn’t help the other side have some closure. If there’s no other reason apart from the fact that you’ve fallen out of love, then say that. It can be harsh to say, but the reality of those words should hit home.

3) Quit it and don’t go back.

ARRRRGHHH. Stop playing with my heart. If the relationship is over, make sure it’s over. Don’t give the impression that things could be fixed if they can’t be.

4) Speak to a friend.

Chat with your friends about your plans before you make that break. They may have some insight or advice for you. Ultimately it’s your choice, but it doesn’t hurt to communicate what you’re feeling.

5) Think about you, but also think about him.

Remember you did once love or intensely like this guy, so be nice. Be honest and be firm. THEGAYUK’s very own Jordan Lohan suggests: “Honour the love you once had for each other by being respectful to one another during the breakup process. Break ups don’t need to be messy if you choose for them not to be.”

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6) Don’t procrastinate.

If you’ve made your decision don’t hold off until the “right moment”. Even if that means you’re going to lose money, because you’ve got a holiday coming up or theatre tickets or whatever. If you own a house together or have a huge financial commitment together, then you might need to stay together for a bit longer, once you’ve broken up, until you can sort and separate your finances.

7) Don’t feel sorry for him.

He’s not a child, and he doesn’t need your pity. Try not to feel guilty for your actions. You’re doing this for a reason, hopefully, to make you both better people! Keep focused.

8) Set out some post-bofxit (post boyfriend) rules.

Set out some simple communication rules. Only texts, only emails – or whatever works for you. Don’t get drawn into long, complicated conversations. Keep it polite and professional.

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9) Let him blow.

He might have a few words to say after you tell him you’re done. If he gets angry, just listen. Don’t retaliate and don’t goad. If you feel physically threatened leave. It’s only natural that if the breakup comes as a shock that he might react in an angry way.

10) Plan your exit.

Don’t rely on him to drive you home or lend you cash for a cab after breaking it off. Make sure you know what your exit plan is.

About the author: Jake Hook
The editor and chief of THEGAYUK. All in a previous life wrote and produced songs on multi-platinum records.