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Sex + Relationships

Breaking Up: How to Tell Them It’s Over

At some point in most relationships, there is a plateau. This is when you feel like your relationship is no longer progressing, you can’t really see yourself moving forward with your significant other, or you just are not happy/satisfied in the relationship. Here are some tips on how to effectively make the breakup as pain-free as possible.


Nobody wants to be blindsided when their partner suggests breaking up. It is important to talk to your partner about how you have been feeling and even hint at the possibility of splitting. This can be done by bringing up how certain things they do make you upset and even suggesting that your relationship is having problems, and you want to try and fix them. This step is the real test to determine whether you want to continue to move forward with your relationship, or if it really is not working.

Distance is KEY

It can be hard to separate yourself from the person who you probably spend most of your time with, but this will make it a million times easier when it comes to ending things. By creating distance, this allows you to find new hobbies, spend more time with friends, and gives you a leap into what your daily life will be like when your partner is no longer around. 

Preparing What to Say

You most likely really care about your partner and don’t want to see them hurt. This is why it is important to do a little self-reflection, and come up with reasons for why you think the relationship isn’t working. Some good starters are to think about what your plans are for the future, why you are having doubts about the relationship, and even how their actions are making you unhappy.

An important thing to note while thinking of things to say in your “breakup speech” is to remember not to place all of the blame on your partner and their actions. Instead, try to use “I” language and state your own feelings about the situation. This is effective in diminishing tension and anger that may arise from the topic of breaking up. This is also useful because some people may try to turn the situation around and make you feel bad for suggesting a breakup. They may even try to guilt you into not leaving by saying they will change. By sticking to your own reasons and not placing all the blame on your partner, you can diminish some of these problems. 

Post-Breakup Do’s and Don’ts

Now that you have officially told them it’s over, there are some important things to keep in mind. 

Do give yourself some time to be sad, but make sure that time has a limit. 

Try new things and meet new people.

Create a change in surroundings. Go to that new coffee shop to study, or purge and re-decorate your room.

Try to better yourself— do some soul-searching! 

Don’t sulk in your decision— if you had doubts, they would  mostly likely still be there if you stayed together. 

Don’t try to find a rebound right away. Give yourself some time to process the breakup. Don’t try to make your ex jealous or intentionally run into them. For your own sake, just don’t. 

Don’t rush into something new— give yourself some time to be content with yourself. 

Moving On

The breakup stress is over— it’s time to move on! Enjoy being single and find out more about yourself and the things that you like. Have fun with friends, spend more time with your family, pick up a new hobby, or go out on some dates. It is time for you to find out what makes you truly happy— and don’t stop trying until you find it. 

Breakups are hard for everyone, so it is very important to do what you personally think is best. Just make sure to follow your own values and morals and everything will follow. 

Hannah is a junior at Michigan State University, double majoring in Business-Marketing Preference and Chinese.
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