If you’ve been losing sleep over how to end things with your partner, look no further. Here’s the lowdown on the right way to end a relationship:

1. Choose the right place
Choose a quiet space to get your point across uninterrupted. Steer clear of public places like a restaurant – it’s embarrassing for the person being dumped to have it done in public and potentially for you, too, if he causes a scene.

2. Choose the right time
Remember that you once cared for this person (and possibly still do), so don’t be insensitive. Breaking up with someone a day before their birthday or after their grandfather’s funeral is just plain cruel. Time it correctly.

3. Do it face to face
You owe them that at least. And this way, nothing can be misinterpreted the way it could be in an SMS or email.

4. Be prepared
Know exactly why you want to break up with this person. Make notes if this will make it easier, but go into it with an idea of what you want to say. Preparation will make the conversation easier and clearer to understand for both of you.

5. Keep it together
Don’t succumb to pressure from your ex to change your mind – you came with a decision, so stick with it. Don’t give your ex an opportunity to talk his way out of singledom.

6. Keep your distance
Don’t stay in touch and give your ex any false hope. Give both of you a clean slate and time to heal by avoiding contact and communication.