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12 Dos and Don’ts of Breaking Up

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Breaking up is hard to do, but these 12 tips will help it go a little more smoothly!

Ending a relationship is never easy and can be just as emotionally exhausting as getting dumped. Before calling things off, you should weigh the reasons for walking out. Once you are sure, though, it’s important to remember that your soon-to-be ex was once your love. You should be honest without being cruel and compassionate without giving the person hope. With a little tact and thoughtfulness, you can end the relationship and lessen the potential emotional damage.

Whether you’re the one initiating the split or on the receiving end, navigating the turbulent waters of ending a relationship can be emotionally challenging and mentally exhausting. It’s a process fraught with uncertainty, filled with questions about the right way to handle the situation and concerns about hurting the other person or yourself in the process. In this process, the right thing to do isn’t always the easiest. 

In times like these, having some guidance can make all the difference. That’s why we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of do’s and don’ts to help you navigate the delicate art of breaking up with grace, empathy, and integrity. From setting boundaries to practicing self-care, these strategies will empower you to approach the end of a relationship with respect, compassion, and understanding.

Whether you’re contemplating a breakup or in the midst of one, these 12 do’s and don’ts will serve as a roadmap to navigate this challenging chapter of your life with dignity and resilience. Let’s explore how to navigate the complexities of parting ways while prioritizing kindness, honesty, and self-preservation.

12 Do's and Don'ts of Breaking Up - Splendry

The Do’s and Don’ts of Breaking Up

1. Don’t put it off

Breaking up with someone is often compared to other uncomfortable situations like firing an employee or removing a band-aid from a hairy body part. There’s rarely a perfect time for it, and delaying the inevitable can prolong both parties’ pain and uncertainty. Once you’ve made the decision to end the relationship, it’s a good idea crucial not to procrastinate. Acting as soon as possible allows both you and your partner to begin the healing process and move forward with your lives.

While it might feel easier to postpone the conversation in hopes of finding a “good” time, delaying the inevitable only prolongs the inevitable discomfort and prevents both parties from moving on. Thinking about the end of your relationship the next day will still hurt but with enough time you’ll find things get easier, a little bit at a time. 

2. Do it in person

When it comes to ending a relationship, honesty and respect are paramount. While it might be tempting to take the easy way out and break up over the phone, by text message, or through email, doing so denies both parties the opportunity for honest dialogue and closure. Meeting face-to-face allows for a more genuine and compassionate exchange, where both parties can express their feelings, ask questions, and gain closure.

Ending things in person also shows respect for the relationship and the person you’re breaking up with, demonstrating that you value them enough to have a difficult conversation face-to-face. While a breakup conversation might be uncomfortable in the moment, doing it in person is ultimately the most respectful and considerate approach to ending a relationship.

3. Don’t break up and make up

Breaking up and getting back together can feel like a whirlwind of emotions, but it’s essential to approach this cycle with caution. While reconciliation is possible in some cases, it’s crucial to address the underlying issues that led to the breakup in the first place. Jumping back into a relationship without addressing these issues often leads to a repeated cycle of breaking up for the same reasons.

Before considering reconciliation, take the time to reflect on whether the relationship is truly healthy and fulfilling for both parties. Be honest with yourself about the reasons for the breakup and whether they can be resolved or if it’s time to move on. Resist the temptation to fall back into old patterns and habits, and focus on making decisions that are in your best interest in the long run.

4. Do be classy

Breaking up is never easy, but it’s essential to handle it with grace and dignity. Regardless of the circumstances, strive to be polite, kind, and respectful during the breakup and in the aftermath. Avoid resorting to spiteful accusations or petty recriminations, as they only serve to escalate tensions and prolong the healing process for both parties.

Instead, communicate openly and honestly, expressing your feelings in a respectful manner while also listening to the other person’s perspective. Treat them with the same courtesy and consideration that you would expect to receive in return, and strive to part ways amicably, even if it’s difficult.

5. Don’t try to be friends

While staying friends with an ex may seem like a comforting option, it can actually hinder the healing process and prevent both parties from moving on. Going from being in a romantic relationship to being friends overnight is rarely feasible and can lead to confusion and emotional turmoil.

Instead, give yourself the time and space to heal properly by taking a break from contact with your ex. This doesn’t mean you have to be enemies, but it’s essential to establish clear boundaries and prioritize your own emotional well-being. Focus on nurturing other friendships and activities that bring you joy, and allow yourself the time to heal before considering a friendship with your ex, if ever. Your mutual friends will understand if you need this long time break to heal. 

6. Do treat yourself well

During a breakup, it’s easy to neglect self-care and prioritize the needs of others over your own. However, it’s crucial to prioritize your own well-being and practice self-compassion during this challenging time.

Take the time to indulge in activities that bring you joy and relaxation, whether it’s getting a massage, going for a walk in nature, or treating yourself to your favorite meal. Engage in activities that nourish your body, mind, and soul, and don’t hesitate to seek support from friends, family, or a therapist if needed.

Remember that you deserve love, care, and kindness, especially during difficult times like a breakup. Treat yourself with the same compassion and understanding that you would offer to a friend in need, and prioritize your own healing and happiness above all else.

7. Don’t avoid saying why you want to break up

When ending a relationship, it can be tempting to sugarcoat the reasons or avoid discussing them altogether to spare the other person’s feelings. However, honesty is always the best policy when it comes to breakups. The person you’re breaking up with has the right to know what went wrong in the relationship and deserves closure. Leaving them guessing or assuming the worst only prolongs their pain and confusion.

While it may be uncomfortable to be honest about your reasons for ending the relationship, it’s ultimately more compassionate than lying or avoiding the truth. Though it may sting initially, being upfront and transparent about your feelings allows both parties to begin the healing process and move forward with clarity and understanding.

8. Do make a clean break

After a breakup, it’s essential to make a clean break rather than leaving the door open for a potential reconciliation in the future. Suggestions of a trial separation or taking time apart often only prolong the pain and uncertainty for both parties involved. Additionally, maintaining contact or holding onto hope for a reunion can prevent both individuals from fully moving on and healing.

It’s important to keep those rose-colored glasses at bay in the weeks following the breakup and focus on accepting the end of the relationship. By making a clean break and cutting off contact, both parties can begin the process of healing and moving forward with their lives.

9. Don’t Facebook stalk your ex

It’s natural to feel curious about your ex after a breakup, especially if they were once a significant part of your life. However, constantly monitoring their social media accounts or seeking updates on their daily life will only prolong the healing process and prevent you from fully moving on.

While it may feel unnatural to cut off contact with someone who was once one of your close friends, obsessively following their online activities won’t bring you the comfort or closure you seek. Instead, focus on disconnecting from your ex and nurturing other aspects of your life. Allow yourself the space to heal and grow without the distraction of their online presence. Your mental health will thank you!

10. Do something creative

When faced with a breakup or any other challenging situation in life, channeling your energy into creative outlets can be incredibly healing. Engaging in creative activities allows you to express your emotions, process your thoughts, and restore a sense of balance and purpose in your life. Find a new hobby or try new experiences.

Whether it’s painting, writing, cooking, or crafting, immersing yourself in a creative project can provide a welcome distraction and a sense of accomplishment. Through creativity, you can not only find solace and comfort but also rediscover your passion and sense of self-worth. So, embrace your creative side and let it guide you through the healing process, one brushstroke or stanza at a time.

11. Do vent everything in a journal

When going through a breakup, emotions can run high, and it’s essential to find healthy outlets for processing those feelings. Journaling provides a great coping mechanism, and a safe space for you to express your thoughts, positive or negative emotions, and reflections without fear of judgment or repercussions. Pouring your heart out onto the pages of a journal can be incredibly cathartic, allowing you to release pent-up emotions and gain clarity about your situation.

By writing down your thoughts and feelings, you can gain a deeper understanding of your emotions and the events leading up to the breakup. It allows you to explore your innermost thoughts and work through any lingering issues or unresolved feelings at your own pace. Plus, journaling provides a tangible record of your journey through the breakup process, and is one of the best ways  to track your progress and see how far you’ve come.

Remember, your journal is for your eyes only, so feel free to express yourself openly and honestly without worrying about how others might perceive your words. Whether you’re scribbling furiously or taking a more introspective approach, let your journal be your confidant and companion as you navigate the ups and downs of healing from a breakup.

12. Don’t overshare all your emotions over social media

In today’s digital age, it can be tempting to turn to social media as a platform for airing your grievances and seeking validation during difficult times like a breakup. However, oversharing your emotions on social media can have unintended consequences and may ultimately do more harm than good.

While it’s natural to seek support from friends and loved ones, broadcasting every detail of your breakup woes to the entire Internet can be emotionally draining and potentially damaging to your mental well-being. Constantly reliving the pain of the breakup in a public forum can prevent you from moving forward and may even invite unwanted attention or criticism from others.

If you find yourself tempted to share your breakup woes on social media, take a step back and consider whether it’s truly in your best interest. Remember that social media is not a substitute for genuine human connection and that seeking validation from strangers online is unlikely to provide the comfort and support you need during this time.

Instead of oversharing on social media, consider reaching out to trusted friends or family members for support, or seek professional help if you’re struggling to cope with your emotions. And if the urge to share on social media becomes overwhelming, don’t be afraid to take a break and temporarily deactivate your accounts until you’re in a better place emotionally.

Ultimately, prioritizing your mental and emotional well-being should be your top priority during a breakup, and that may mean keeping certain aspects of your healing journey private and offline. Trust your instincts, take care of yourself, and remember that healing takes time.

So, as we wrap up this rollercoaster ride of breakup do’s and don’ts, remember: breaking up might feel like diving headfirst into a bucket of ice cream sometimes—painful, messy, but oddly satisfying. It can be the best thing you don’t want to do.

Take it easy on yourself, champ. Healing doesn’t happen overnight, just like getting over that embarrassing childhood haircut. It takes time, a lot of Netflix binging, and maybe a few pints of ice cream, but soon you’ll see you’ve come a long way and it was truly a good thing.

And hey, don’t forget to lean on your best friends when you need to. They’re like the human equivalents of comfort food—always there to lift your spirits and make you laugh, even when life feels like a bad rom-com.

As you venture forth into the wild world of singlehood, keep in mind that every “see ya later” opens the door to a new adventure. So, here’s to getting through a difficult breakup, embracing the unknown, learning from the past, and keeping your heart open to whatever—or whoever—comes next.

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