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9 Tips On How to Break Up Healthily

Not many of us engage in a relationship with the intention of breaking up at some point in time. However, several factors spring up in the relationship that forces us, against our will, to end the relationship.

Breaking up, as easy as it seems on the surface, is one of the most difficult decisions partners undertake explaining why some are reluctant in calling the shot. It's not easy trying to severe the emotional ties that you've build up throughout the months only to walk away from your lover without feeling psychologically hurt.

Furthermore, dramatic responses from your partner is a clue to how they feel about your decision to leave the relationship. It will hurt them, just as it hurts you, irrespective of the reason for your decision to walk away from the relationship.

Considering how difficult it is to break up, there are several tips that can aid you in breaking up with your partner in a healthy manner. By breaking up respectfully, you'll gain respect from your partner several days later after the effects of the breakup have worn out, you'll feel good about yourself for having exercised self-control, and the healing process will commence immediately after you part with your now-ex ensuring speedy recovery.

Woman behind a curtain

Woman behind a curtain

Break ups that are accompanied by drama tend to affect one or both partners negatively; either in the short- or long-term. The two major effects of dramatic breakups are:

  1. It will take both of you a considerable time to heal and recover. Since the break up didn't end peacefully, your heart will tend to take a lengthy time grieving the loss of the relationship. Combined with bitterness that usually accompanies dramatic breakups, both or one of you might take months to years to heal and recover from the breakup.
  2. One or both of you might get physically or psychologically hurt. During the break up, demeaning and abusive words might be uttered leading to one of you becoming emotionally hurt. This might lead you and/or your partner becoming depressed, to the point of being diagnosed as clinically depressed, thereby prolonging the healing process, and eventual recovery. If a partner is physically abusive, there is the possibility he/she might harm his/her other now-ex, to the extent of killing them.

Tips on How to Break Up Respectfully

1. Think Through Your Decision

Is your reason for breaking up with your partner legitimate? Have you talked with your partner on the issue(s) which are propelling you to walk out of the relationship?

Some reasons justified by dumpers for breaking up with their partners can't be construed as valid e.g. their partner isn't charming or humorous.

Ask yourself whether the reason for breaking up with your partner is a valid one, if there is the possibility of solving the issue(s) that are driving you to end the relationship, and if you've talked about it several times but there has been no headway, and how you'll broach it to your partner.

2. Ruminate How You'll Broach the Subject of the Breakup

It's important to take some time to think out how you'll break the news to your partner about parting way, and how you'll present your argument or justification for ending the relationship.

Some people think they're not accountable for giving a reason for breaking up with their partners. What they forget is that the person they fell in love with isn't an inanimate object; void of feelings. They have a right to know why you want to break up with thrm.

Remember, your partner will counter-attack your reason(s) for ending the relationship. How will you coherently justify your reason(s) for breaking up with them?

Also, you need to be prepared on how you'll respond if your partner acts coolly to your decision. It's not every partner who acts dramatically or negatively when to such an occurrence. Will you freak-out or lose your composure? Will you become angry at their positive reaction to your decision to break up with them?



3. Choose an Appropriate Means of Breaking Up

You should choose an appropriate means of breaking up with your partner depending on your location. It doesn't make sense to break the news to your partner through text when it's possible to meet each other.

How will your partner feel when you break up with them through text when the walking distance between your location and theirs is less than a hour? Don't you think this will affect your partner negatively that you haven't bothered to break the news on their face?

As much difficult as it is to break the news, choose an appropriate means that won't have large negative impact on your partner. Be considerate of them. They are humans with feelings, and reservations.

4. Choose a Safe Avenue

A quiet place is a safe avenue to break the news. Even if drama ensues, it won't attract attention of the public which would end up as an embarrassment, and tons of hurt and bitterness after you part ways. Public places such as a restaurant or cafe aren't ideal places.

You can go to your partner's place, and let them know of your decision to walk out of the relationship. It's much better than calling them over to your place. You can leave their house at your own will, after stating your reason for breaking up with them. When the situation turns dramatic, you can leave which would otherwise prove difficult when you call your partner over to your place. Will you shout at them, "Get out of my house now!"

If your partner is physically abusive, choose a public place though not a crowded one. Come along with a male friend, and have them watch from a 'saving' distance. Don't go to your partner's place or let them come to your house if they've a history of being physically abusive.

5. Don't Act Haughtily

Some individuals enjoy the power that comes with deciding where their relationship will head to. While it's debatable who between men and women enjoy dumping the other one, don't let it get into your veins to act arrogantly in front of your partner; be it physically, through a call or text.

So you have the upper-hand in deciding where the relationship heads to, so what? You act as if you've the ignition key to turn a car's engine on or off; how will that help you in the long-term? It doesn't cost a dime to be respectful or considerate of your partner.

Don't behave as if you're dealing with a 'thing' that you were never emotionally bonded to.

6. Be Direct

Don't start far off in your conversation before arriving at the main reason of calling your partner to meet each other, or why you've visited them at their place. Be direct, and concise. Don't waffle with your reason(s) for breaking up.

Your partner needs to understand as clearly as possible why you're breaking up with them. Don't leave a room of doubt in their minds pertaining to the reason(s) you've offered for ending the relationship.

7. Don't Blame Your Partner

Blame has never played any major positive role in any aspect of an individual's life. Even if your partner is the cause of your decision to break up with them, blaming them won't help in anything. Stating words such as, "You're the cause of my breaking up with you because you never pay attention," won't help justify your reason for walking out of the relationship. In its stead, it will magnify the sadness, the hurt, the loneliness that had started building in your heart several months or weeks before the announcement of the breakup.

Again, your partner might defend themselves or absolve themselves from the blame. They might point a finger in your direction, condemning you for causing them to be the reason for the breakup as per your allegation. Your partner might say, "If you had stopped acting like you-know-it all, I would have been paying attention to what you're saying." And they might be justified in blaming you as the cause of the break up.

In reference to the blame-game that's common in everyday life, Uncommon Knowledge notes, "If everything is someone else's fault, then what part do I play in my own life? Are my actions entirely without consequence? Am I that powerless? Or do all my actions only lead to good outcomes? Am I an entirely new type of human being? Knowing we can accept responsibility when things go wrong means we can also accept credit when things go well. We do, as individuals, have an effect on life; and that's a good thing. But we need to develop the capacity to be objective enough about ourselves to avoid assuming we could never possibly have created problems ourselves. We also need to distinguish between accepting responsibility and punishing ourselves unduly."

8. Be In Control of Yourself

It might be difficult to take control of the situation when your partner becomes dramatic - yelling, insulting, throwing things at you etc. However, you can remain calm by not responding in the same dramatic measure.

In the heat of argument, and the resultant anger, you might physically or psychologically harm your partner (or get hurt yourself).

Don't engage in a war of words. Don't insult or shout at him/her Don't argue with your partner. Walk out if things get out of hand.

9. Don't Comfort your Ex

You'll tend to feel sorry for your partner. In fact, the sadness had started several weeks before you broke the news to them. Questions will run through your mind: Will they be able to cope with the breakup? Will they ever recover from the breakup? Will they ever find happiness after the breakup?

Naturally, you would want to comfort them. Reassure them they can get out of the break up in one piece. Nevertheless, you shouldn't undertake that step of comforting them so as to minimize the pain they're feeling resulting from breaking up with them.

Sympathise with them. Consider their feelings when you're breaking the news to them, but don't offer them reassuring words. Why shouldn't you do so? Firstly, you might reconsider your decision to break up with them because you feel sorry for them. Secondly, they might feel as if you're enjoying hurting them. How can you tell them they'll get over the breakup when you're the one who has broken up with them?

If you would like to help them in dealing with the break up positively, do it several weeks after the break up when you've noted they're struggling to recover from the breakup.

And please,

Don't ghost them because you feel it's an easy means of ending the relationship. Psychological Today states, "Ghosting is the ultimate use of the silent treatment, a tactic that has often been viewed by mental health professionals as a form of emotional cruelty. It essentially renders you powerless and leaves you with no opportunity to ask questions or be provided with information that would help you emotionally process the experience. It silences you and prevents you from expressing your emotions and being heard, which is important for maintaining your self-esteem. Regardless of the ghoster’s intent, ghosting is a passive-aggressive interpersonal tactic that can leave psychological bruises and scars" to the one being ghosted.

© 2021 Alianess Benny Njuguna


dashingscorpio from Chicago on January 28, 2021:

Sound advice.

"If your partner is physically abusive, choose a public place though not a crowded one." (I disagree with this one)

If your partner has a history of being physically violent you're not just "breaking up" but (escaping) them and the toxic relationship!

A breakup is always done at the comfort level of the person ending the relationship. If you feel you might be physically harmed then you should avoid meeting your future ex in person.

Also if you're in a long-distance relationship you should not feel obligated to buy a plane ticket to go breakup with someone. Use your phone.

Don't offer friendship as a consolation prize!

Too often people offer to remain friends because they don't want to feel like the "bad guy". However this gives your (ex) false hope. They believe by remaining friends there is a possibility you might get back together.

You are the last person who can help your ex get over you!

It's also unrealistic to expect to go from being "red hot lovers" to "instant platonic friends" resembling siblings. You're better off enacting the "no contact" rule. Block phone numbers, email addresses, unfriend them in your social media, and avoid going places you know they frequent.

In order to "move on" you have to want to "let go".

The best friendships between exes usually occur after a large gap in time whereby both people have found love with new people.

One note about "ghosting" rarely does anyone ghost a person they have been in a serious long-term relationship with. Most "ghosting" takes place between people who may have had a few in person dates or possibly never met in person at all. The jest of their communication has been text messages and emojis. Odds are high they met using an online dating app or through social media. There was no actual "relationship".

The reason why "ghosting" hurts is because it usually happens during the "infatuation phase" of a (potential) relationship. People are very optimistic about things and suddenly this person vanishes!

First of all no one should allow them self to become "emotionally invested" in someone they barely know. You are better off engaging with and dating multiple people until there is a mutual decision to be an exclusive couple.

Secondly anyone who maintains an active online dating profile is keeping their options open and so should you!

If you were looking for job you wouldn't stop sending out your resume just because you had a couple of great interviews with one company!

Until an offer has been made and accepted both the company and the candidate are within their rights to interview with others.

If you are engaging with and dating multiple people it will hurt far less if one of them "ghosts" or rejects you because you were never "all in".

Although I don't advocate ghosting as a practice if for some reason you don't feel obligated to explain you are more interested in someone else that's completely up to you especially if you were never a "couple".

Sad but true (texting only situations) dehumanizes human connection.

You're nothing more than letters, images, and emojis on a phone screen.

This explains whey "ghosting" is easy for so many people.

There's a major difference between reading LOL! and hearing someone laugh out loud. The stronger the human connection is the harder it is to ghost.