Once you’ve found that special person in your life, it's only natural that you would do everything in your power to make things work; but sometimes, life can be cruel and things don't always pan out the way you expect them to.

Yes, there are relationships worth fighting for, but in some cases, there will come a time when you’ll realize that you two are better off apart—even if you're still madly in love with each other. Ultimately, people break up for different reasons; some simply outgrow their partners or are unable to balance a career and a relationship, while there are those more unfortunate who have to deal with issues of abuse and neglect.

While moving on from a breakup is tough, taking that first step by actually breaking up first could be harder especially if you're still in love with your partner. That being said, before you make a decision, you really have to weigh the pros of cons thoroughly and think twice about whether it would benefit you and your partner in the long run.

Once you're sure it's time to call it quits, remember that it’ll take a lot of courage and strength to leave someone you care for—especially if you're still in good terms. Here’s how you can find the will to let go:

Prepare yourself.

Whether that’s mentally or emotionally, make sure you’re ready for the consequences that’ll follow after breaking up with him. The sleepless nights, drunk texts, and wanting to get back together—all of these are normal, but psyching yourself up for what's to come could also help you formulate your response if he begs you to change your mind. Also, the more prepared you are, the better you'll be able to explain your reasons.

Break it to him gently but firmly.

Obviously, there’s no one right way to say you want to break up, but it’ll be best if you did it somewhere private and in person (for as long as your safety isn't at risk). Also, don’t forget certain splitiquettes, such as picking the right time to break up. Take note that choosing the right moment can also improve your chances of getting a more "favorable" reaction from him.

Set proper boundaries.

Once you’ve split, it’s now essential to lessen, or possibly stop communication for a while. According to psychotherapist and Harvard lecturer Holly Parker, Ph.D., wanting to stay away from your ex is totally acceptable—especially if you think that it’s not healthy to still have ties with a former flame. Remember, setting boundaries is not impolite.

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Of course, it helps to make this clear to him so it won’t seem like you’re just pushing him away after all you've been through. If the breakup is amicable, let him now that you both need the time to focus on yourselves for now.

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