How to Break Up With Someone

Break ups can be tough. Whether it was you that did the breaking up or not, you might feel pretty crappy for a while. Break ups can be an emotional roller-coaster you might feel sad, angry or maybe even relieved. You might feel a little bit of all these things. The important thing is to look after yourself and find some strategies to help you cope.

If you want to break up with someone.

So you’ve decided you wanna break up, but actually doing it is another thing. Thinking about it can be pretty nerve wracking and making the decision to do it can be really difficult, but you’ll probably feel a whole lot better once it’s over.

How to do it

One of the first things to do is try and understand why it is you want to break up with the person in the first place. You may have a really clear reason or bunch of reasons but sometimes you may just have a gut feeling that things are not working. Taking the time to figure out why you want to end things can really help you and your soon to be ex understand why things have to end. It can also help you to avoid the old “it’s not you it’s me” line, which doesn’t really help anyone understand what led to you wanting to breakup. Have a look at Reachout’s page coping with a break up for more info.

Another tip is to try and remember to stay truthful and to the point, saying that you still love the person is nice but may lead to a bit of confusion, alternatively you could say something along the lines of “I want you to be happy but I don’t feel I can fulfill that need for you.” This way you’re letting them know you care about their feelings but are still being clear in telling them you want to break up.

So what is the best way to break up?

One of the first things to think about is respect, respect for yourself, the other person and the relationship you have together. The ideal way to break up is face-to-face, this way you can really tell the person how you feel and it also gives the other person the opportunity to talk, if they want. If possible don’t use a text or email to breakup with a person, it can be a pretty tough read and doesn’t show the person much respect. If the person has been violent with you or you are concerned that the person may respond violently a text or phone call can be ok.  If you’re worried about how your partner might react do it in a public place like a café, where there are people around who can help you if things get out of hand. Check out Love: the good, the bad and the ugly for more tips on how to break up.

And finally, don’t change your Facebook status before telling the person your relationship is over. Everyone can see Facebook updates, which invites everyone to comment on your relationship and your breakup, possibly before your soon to be ex even knows about it! Remember the old adage “treat others how you would like to be treated.”

If you can, try and keep it friendly

This can be tricky! A lot of the time we date people we go to school or uni with, or who are friends with our friends, so seeing the person after you break up is pretty likely. So try and keep the break up as tidy as possible. This means limiting bitching about the other person, it’s bound to come back and bite you, and also if possible trying to stay friendly or at least civil with your ex. This will also help prevent your mutual friends from picking ‘sides’ which can cause more hurt and pain for both of you.

Look after yourself

Breaking up is tough whether you have been dumped or you did the dumping. Your self-confidence might take a bit of a hit and you’ll likely have some pretty intense and wide-ranging feelings so it’s really important to take care of yourself.  Here are a few suggestion of things you can do to help yourself get through it,  or check out Reachout’s strategies on coping with a break up.

Do things that make you feel happy (or at least distracted)

Maybe see a movie with some good friends, go for a swim in the ocean or listen to some fun 80’s music. If you like to make art, buy some new supplies and get creative, it can be a really good way to release some of those angry, hurt or sad emotions.

Keep exercising

During a break up your mind will probably be racing and getting to sleep at night may be tough. Make sure you exercise, it will tire you and your brain out and also release those feel good endorphin’s which will help you feel better.

Eat well

While curling up on the couch and eating ice cream feels like to best thing to do, it really isn’t. Give your body some love and pack it full of healthy nourishing food, because when our body is healthy our mind soon follows. Also try and avoid eating and drinking too much caffeine, sugary or salty foods as these can really play with your emotions. But, we’re not monsters so we’ll let you have one day of couching and ice cream.

Be kind to yourself, and don’t judge yourself harshly

Try some gratitude meditations like these and keep telling yourself that you are an awesome person who is just going through a crappy time.


So you’re newly single and ready to mingle, yea? Or not? Either way always remember that each break up is totally unique, what feels right for some may not be the best thing for others. Always listen to yourself and if you don’t feel comfortable with what’s going on, don’t do it.

And remember, while it might not feel like it now, we know from first-hand experience that you will get through this!