How to End a Relationship With Someone You Still Care About

The holidays can be a tough time for even the strongest relationships: Probing questions at family gatherings add unwanted pressure, and end-of-year anxiety can cause you to question whether your S.O. really belongs in your future. If breaking up is weighing on your mind, it might be time for the hardest part: telling the person you care about something that will inevitably hurt them. So, is there a "right" way to end the relationship?

"While there isn't a right or wrong way, there are though some guiding principles that can be applied in most situations," says Sameera Sullivan, a relationship expert and the CEO of Lasting Connections. By carefully choosing where and when you have the talk, she believes, you can avoid additional pain.

Paulette Sherman, psychologist and author of Dating from the Inside Out, agrees but notes that it's important to know what not to do before having the tough conversation. The most common mistakes include "disappearing on someone without letting them know it's over [or] telling them you want 'a break' when you know you actually want a 'full stop.'"

If you know the end is inevitable, follow Sullivan's and Sherman's expert tips to end your relationship in the kindest possible way.