How To Break Up With Someone The Right Way

Advice 18/10/2021

Breaking up with someone is NEVER easy, and it’s often debated if there’s even a ‘right’ way to do it. Not to cause you to panic, but every relationship you’re in? It’s either ending in marriage or a breakup.

Every relationship is different and how you end those relationships should take these differences into account - whether that be by keeping in mind your partner's communication style, or choosing a suitable time to break the news to them.

Wanting to break up with someone is absolutely okay, even despite the desire often harbouring huge amounts of guilt. Some things aren’t supposed to last forever, and moving on is okay – as long as you’re clear and honest with your partner when you do it.

On The Art Of Ghosting

Aaaaah ghosting. If you aren’t familiar, it’s the term used when someone cuts off all communication with another person without any explanation - and this is becoming a common tactic when it comes to breaking up with someone. Let’s be clear - it SUCKS. To avoid the awkwardness and hurt feelings that a typical breakup produces people will disappear entirely to call it quits with their partner and it’s potentially one of the worst things you can do.

Ghosting is essentially a method used to avoid conflict - which in reality only reinforces and worsens the anxiety associated with heart-break. Whoever you ghost might experience a great deal of distress such as self-blame and confusion, and frankly, if you ghost someone; you’re an asshole.

Moral of the story: Don’t go ghost on your partner.

Over The Phone Breakups

It’s pretty much common knowledge that breaking up with someone via text-message just isn’t cool, but for some reason it still seems to happen more than it should. Breaking up with someone over text is a pretty cowardly move, and often leaves your ex-partner with a lack of closure, which can make it super hard to move on.

In a 2018 survey of over 500 millennials, 57% admitted to breaking up with someone over text message and 69% said they had been on the receiving end of a breakup text.

We get that a text or even a phone call can be A LOT lot less confrontational than telling someone face-to-face, but if you’ve been in a relationship with someone we think you should give them the respect they deserve by letting them know how you feel in person.

Communication Is The Key

Communication is the number one thing you need to prioritise during a breakup. It’s important to have a plan-of-attack, and before starting the conversation you should ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Why am I breaking up with this person?

  2. How would I want someone to break up with me?

  3. How and when am I going to break the news?

It’s important to plan out what you’re going to say so that you can maintain a straight-forward and clear approach to avoid causing confusion or leaving anything up to interpretation.

It’s also equally important to go in prepared for resistance, it’s totally possible that your partner might act emotionally whether that be by begging you to stay or attempting to work things out. Stick to your decision, regardless of these responses – but be careful to remain kind and considerate during the process.

After The Breakup

Breakups are super hard even when you’re the one to initiate it, so it’s important to take care of your emotional health in the days, weeks, and even months following. Let your friends and family know what’s happened when you’re ready, so that they can provide you with any support you might need.

If you’re having second thoughts

Following a breakup, it’s normal to question if you made the right decision – but these sorts of feelings should always be carefully considered before you think about acting on them. Just because you miss your ex, it doesn’t mean that rekindling the relationship is the best course of action. A safe plan of action is to wait at least three months post-breakup, and if you still find yourself regretting the breakup – see if your ex is willing to have a conversation about it.

For some further useful (and some not-so useful) advice, we spoke to The Edge office about their hot tips when it comes to breaking up with someone responsibly, here were the key takeaways:

  1. Do it in person, not over the phone.

  2. Be honest.

  3. Plan it before their birthday – to avoid having to purchase a gift for them.

  4. Don’t do it just after, before, or during sexual intercourse.

Also, naturally there will be specific circumstances where these rules don’t apply. For example, we don’t encourage anyone in a physically abusive relationship to break up with someone in person. You’re the best judge of your personal situation.