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Breaking Up is Hard to Do

There’s no doubt about it, breaking up is no fun. Luckily there are some things you can do to make it easier on yourself and your partner.

Relationships can end for a lot of different reasons. Here are some of the reasons you might have for breaking up:

  • You want to date other people.
  • You’re looking for a more positive relationship.
  • You’re looking for a different type of relationship.
  • You want to be treated differently.
  • You are moving on to different things or places.
  • You don’t feel the same way they once did about your partner.
  • You want to focus on other parts of your life like school, friends or family.
  • You  just want to be single again.

How do I break up with someone?

We won’t sugar coat the truth. Breaking up can hurt and will probably be painful for both of you. There is no perfect way to break up but there are ways to do it safely and with respect. Here are a few tips.

  • If you feel safe, do it in person and in a private place where you both feel comfortable.
  • If you can’t talk in person or you don’t feel safe, the next best way is over the phone.
  • Try to avoid breaking up by email or text message.

I don’t want to hurt their feelings! What can I do?

  • It is normal to worry that you will hurt someone you care about.
  • Remember that there are two sides to every relationship. If your side is not happy then you have the right to end the relationship, no matter how the other person feels

Why is it so hard to break up with someone?

People stay in a relationship they don’t really want to be in for a lot of reasons, including:

  • Not wanting to be alone.
  • Thinking they won’t find someone else.
  • Not wanting to hurt the other person.
  • Being afraid of change.
  • Feeling or being dependent on the other person for emotional or financial support.

How can I make the break up easier on my partner?

  • Think about their point of view and what you would want them to say or do if they were breaking up with you.
  • Be as respectful and kind as possible, but don’t leave any uncertainty about what it means for the relationship to be over.
  • Don’t make promises you can’t keep. If you don’t really want to stay friends, don’t offer it.

How can I make the break up easier on myself?

  • If you don’t look after your needs, who will?
  • If you are in an relationship that feels unhealthy, remind yourself that you deserve a healthy relationship with someone who treats you with respect and dignity
  • Even if you are in a healthy relationship remind yourself that it’s okay to break up if your feelings have changed

I’m afraid that I might not find someone else. What should I do?

  • It’s perfectly okay to be on your own for a while, but if you are concerned, remember that the world is a big place and even though it may not seem like it, there are lots of people out there who could be a good match for you. You just need to find them and get to know them.
  • Try brain storming with yourself or with a friend about other people you might like or places where you might meet someone.

Learn from your mistakes

  • Take some time to think about what you learned from your relationship.
  • What were the positives and what were the negatives?
  • Think about what a healthy relationship looks like for you and what you want in a future relationship. You could even create your own dating bill of rights for future reference.
  • Take time to consider whether or not you are ready for a new relationship right away. You might be ready or you may want to focus on other aspects of your life for a time.

How soon should I date again?

  • That is totally your choice. Remember, that being on your own for a while can be a positive thing!

Help!  I need support!

  • It’s okay to ask for support from people you trust like friends, family, or even a counselor. They can help you deal with the emotions you may be feeling after breaking up with someone.

For more information check out Moving on After the Break Up.

If you have questions about this topic, feel free to contact one of our peer educators. [Link]

Last Edited: May 2020