How do you tell someone you don’t love them anymore?

Italian composer Puccini once said that love is a many splendid thing. The giddy feeling, the tingles when you see the object of your affection, the way your breath catches in your throat when they gaze back at your and smile. Yup. There is no force on earth quite as powerful.

Yet for those who fall in love, time, location, different ideals and goals or physical changes can over times erode that tingly feeling and replace it with indifference and apathy.

Feelings lost can sometimes be reignited but often they remain gone forever and if one is truly honest it spells no sense to stay in a union where there is no love or the love has changed into something closer to the kind of affection that siblings share.

Trying to recapture lost love is like trying to crawl back into your mother’s womb: that ain’t happening. So when do you man or woman up and say it and how do you do so?

Assess your feelings carefully

Before you muster up the courage to even say the words, be very certain you not only mean it but understand the consequences of saying it. Make sure it is a relationship you are willing and able to let go of.

Weigh the pros and cons to figure out what will happen once you open your mouth to speak and do not for a second believe that the consequences will not be heavy.

It’s a painful process

While you do not want to be living a lie, you also want to make the pain and the hurt of such a statement as minimal as possible. The term ‘let her/him down easy’ sounds simple enough but there is nothing simple about breaking someone’s heart.

Be as honest and straightforward as possible and avoid blaming the person for your own feelings and actions – do not take the cowardly way out and go into criticism mode.

At all cost avoid platitudes like “it’s not you, it’s me” because that tells the person nothing and is just something spouting by simple-minded people doing simple stupid things.

Be compassionate, be respectful and allow them to ask questions and even be angry. That is their right. Anger is natural and normal so take it on the chin by donning your big boy briefs or big girl panties.

If in their hurt and anger they do not want to see you, they leave or cut you out of their life, it is again their right so respect their wishes and just let them be. You can send a message or an email a few days later to express how sorry you are for hurting them but avoid calling them repeatedly or demanding that they see you.

If there are no children involved, they do not have to do any of that. People handle break-ups differently and once you determine you do not love them, they can determine when they move on.