Breakup Etiquette: The 7 Dos and 7 Don’ts Of Ending A Relationship

April 15, 2013  |  
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In your mind the relationship is over. Something irreparable has gone wrong, and you’re ready to go your own way. However, before you can officially make yourself a single lady, you’ll have to first breakup with your soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend. When it comes to breaking up, there are some dos and don’ts that you’ll want to keep in mind, otherwise you’ll end up complicating things and making a bad situation even worse. Here are 14 breakup etiquette tips.

Be sure that it’s what you want

Before you break up with your boyfriend, know that you are 100% sure that it’s what you want. Once you make the decision to break up with your man, there is no turning back. You can’t break up and then decide a week later that it was a mistake. Think about your decision before you make it and make sure that you’re entirely comfortable in the choice you make. Break ups leave no room for regret.

Don’t go on the rebound

Once you’re single, you may be inclined to fill the void that’s created by not having a boyfriend. One thing you want to avoid after breaking up with someone is immediately going on the rebound. Rebounds are temporary and in the end they may do more harm than good. Instead, give yourself time to mend and heal.

Worry about the details later

So you have a dog together and a lot of his clothes are at your house. You two split a lot of bills. While these details do matter, when a break up is fresh and new, there is no need to worry about these issues right then and there. After a break up, you’re both bound to be full of emotions, and rightfully so. To keep things civil, deal with the details at a later time, when things have cooled down a bit.

Don’t insist on being friends right away

After breaking up with someone, the last thing you want to do is insist on being friends. In fact, during and after the break up you want to completely avoid using the “let’s be friends” phrase at all. This will only make things worse and truly, the last thing he or you need to be worrying about is how you’re going to remain friends after ending a relationship. Maybe you can be friends later on down the line, but right now, don’t bother!

Do it in person

In the age of phones and the Internet, it is a lot more convenient and easy to break up with someone through Facebook, a text message, or an email. One of the worst things you can do when breaking up with someone is to do it through virtual means. Virtual break ups make you look like a coward, so take the step to break up with your soon-to-be-ex in person. It’ll make things go a lot smoother.

Don’t mention another man

Even if you’ve started talking to or confiding in someone else, the break up conversation is not the time to mention him. During a break up there is no need to compare your guy to someone else or bring another man into the equation. This will only make him jealous and in the end you’ll end up being the hurtful ex-girlfriend who wasn’t exactly faithful.

Explain the reason why

No matter if you’ve been together for a few weeks, six months, or two years, your partner deserves to know why you’re leaving. Be honest about your decision to leave but do so in a respectful way. Get to the point and leave it at that. Don’t give way to begs and pleads to stay.

Don’t prolong things

After you’ve thought things over and you know the decision to break up is the right choice, don’t prolong it. There’s no need to wait weeks in order to break the news. Once you know for sure that breaking up is best, do it immediately. Of course, don’t decide to break up with him the second he gets home for work, or the minute you two decide to go to sleep.

Make sure you’ve learned something

No matter how bad or good a relationship was, you should always have a takeaway. When you decide to end your relationship, make sure that you’ve actually learned something from it. Whatever you learn, it’s bound to help you in the future when you do decide to date again. Even in the worst relationships there is always a lesson to keep in the back of your mind.

Don’t become insulting or verbally abusive

Even if you’re as angry as angry gets, break ups aren’t for hurting feelings and putting people down. Break ups will drag on when you decide to take the insulting and emotionally abusive path. This will only lead to a prolonged break up that leaves the both of you hurt and angry. Keep the harsh words to yourself.

Be respectful of his feelings

Though he may not show it until you’re gone, all men are hurt when their girlfriend breaks up with them. During the break up and afterwards, try to be as respectful of his emotions as possible. Even if you don’t respect him and vice versa, break ups leave both of you vulnerable. There’s no need to mock or ridicule him, even if you really want to.

Don’t bring others into the mix

Just like relationships, break ups need to be kept between the two of you. There’s no point or benefit in bringing your friends, his friends, your family, or his family into the situation. Make the move without bringing other people into the mix as this will only worsen the situation and bring unnecessary outside attention and emotions into things.

Allow yourself to be emotional

When you’re the person breaking up with the other, you’re bound to be emotional too. No matter if you’re angry, sad, confused, or drained, there’s no need to keep things inside. Cry, scream, and do whatever you need to do to let your emotions out. Though you may not feel all of these emotions at once, prepare yourself for the emotional rollercoaster most people go through after a break up.


Don’t give in to break up sex

While it may be appealing — and he may be one of the best you’ve had in bed — don’t fall for the break up sex phenomenon. You chose to break up with him for a reason and that means a complete break from emotional and physical ties. Break up sex doesn’t make things better as it only masks the hurt and pain temporarily. No matter who tries to initiate the act, avoid it altogether.

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