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Where you should actually be breaking up with someone, according to experts

INSIDER logoINSIDER 12/9/2018 feedback@thisisinsider.com (Lauren Schumacker)

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  • When you're getting ready to break up with someone, there are a lot of details you need to consider.
  • An often underestimated consideration is where to do the actual breaking up.
  • Though wherever you choose might be just fine, some spots could be better than others.
  • Plus, there are some implications when you choose certain break-up spots that you might not have ever thought much about, from ruining the memory of a place to the ability to discuss sensitive information.

Most of the time, breaking up with someone isn't exactly fun or exciting. And, perhaps particularly if you feel that pit in your stomach whenever you even have to think about ending a relationship (and therefore potentially really hurting someone), it's important to be prepared for what's ahead by thinking through the logistics of the break-up.

Where you're going to going to break up with your partner might be a more significant decision than you may think.

You want to strike the right tone and pick a place that allows the break-up to proceed as easily and seamlessly as possible.

When determining where to break up with someone, there are a few things about which you should think more. "The key factors are the length of the conversation (double whatever you're guessing) and the depth of the emotions (anger, sadness, indifference)," Len Rubel, the founder of Strategy For Dating, told INSIDER.

You want to choose a location that facilitates the conversation and meets your objectives — if it's going to be a lengthy conversation, for instance, you want somewhere that you'll be able to sit for a long time without being disturbed and where you won't frustrate or irritate others.

Because there's only so much that you can predict regarding how the conversation will go, you might want to break up in a place that allows for some privacy. "Breaking up in a private location is always best as this can lead to tears and be very emotional," Dr. Lori Whatley, LMFT, PsyD, a licensed marriage and family therapist, told INSIDER. "The more private the better. Choosing a place your partner will not feel vulnerable is a good idea."

Though you might think that your place is a good choice because it can be private, you can be comfortable, and no one will bother you, their place might actually be a better choice.

"It offers the opportunity to have as long a conversation as necessary and they'll feel comfortable expressing their true emotions," Rubel said. "It allows them to feel safe and comfortable while giving you the ability to leave as soon as is appropriate." If you break up with them at your place, there's no option for you to leave when necessary, you're more at the mercy of when they're willing and able to leave.

And although public places aren't out of the question, parties, family events, work, and bars and restaurants typically aren't a good idea.

a group of people sitting at a table eating pizza: kid eating restaurant © Provided by Business Insider Inc kid eating restaurant Sean Gallup/GettyImages

"It is always important to consider the level of emotions expected and the impact this may have on the partner, and how they may react," Whatley said. "The more emotional, the more privacy should be considered."

Not only that, but loud, boisterous locations mean neither of you will be able to hear the other clearly, which is important during a break-up. "Places like a loud bar or a quiet theater are not ideal," Rubel said. "You also want to allow your partner to express themselves and be able to leave as soon as the conversation comes to a close. So while a restaurant makes for great drama in movies, it's actually a very inconsiderate location in real life."

It's also important to consider your own history and that of your partner's.

If the two of you went somewhere specific for weekend coffee runs, to celebrate special occasions, or when you needed cheering up, breaking up with them there will only serve to tarnish the memories and associations you both have with these places.

"Don't end the relationship at the coffee shop you and your partner went to every morning for the last five years," Justin Lavelle, the chief communications director for PeopleLooker, told INSIDER.

"Consider that you and your partner likely shared the same interests, people, and places for years. The relationship may have ended, but that doesn't mean that those other aspects should be tainted for the other person. Choose a place that you think doesn't hold any emotional attachment for them."

Public places might even be a better choice, in certain situations. Lavelle said that if you're concerned about your partner reacting angrily or violently, breaking up in a public place can be preferable to private. "That way, if your partner exhibits questionable behavior, others will be there to witness and assist you if necessary," Lavelle added. "Alternatively, you can bring a close friend with you and have them on “standby” in case your partner compromises your safety."

If you're worried that your partner will take the break-up particularly hard, Whatley said that you could also enlist someone close to them to be nearby if necessary.

a man reading a book: new girl © Provided by Business Insider Inc new girl 20th Television"It is important to consider the level of pain this partner may express based on past displays of emotion," Whatley explained. "If the partner is unstable or particularly emotional it is best to have a family member or friend close by to support the ex-partner once you complete the breakup. Another helpful place to break up is in your therapist office during a session with the therapist there to support and help process this painful experience."

Ultimately, you'll likely have to realize that breaking up with someone isn't entirely easy no matter where you choose to have the conversation. Although some locales might be a better or worse fit for the two of you, all you can do is spend time weighing your options and pick the one that you think will make the conversation just a little bit easier for you and for them.

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