Calling It Quits: The Dos and Don'ts of Breaking Up

Remember the days of having a boyfriend during recess, and then, sadly, breaking up before the end of snack time? Between games of hopscotch and flying high on the swings, ending a relationship was as easy as 1, 2, 3. But now that we’re older, breaking up is hard to do. Just like countless celebrity relationships, some things are just bound to end. But when a relationship hits its expiration date, just how do you go about breaking the news? We’ve talked to relationship expert and author of Break Up, Don’t Break Down Dr. Ivan Young, to help you with the dos and don’ts of ending your relationship.

DO be honest

Although honesty may seem like an obvious route to take, once you’re headed down the slippery slope of calling it quits, things can get a little tricky. So, before you meet up with him, remind yourself of the reasons why you’re breaking things off. Get your points in check: maybe he snores too loudly, he doesn’t like any of your friends, or he’s hooking-up with his ex behind your back. Going into the conversation with conviction and honesty will lead to the positive result you wanted.

As Dr. Young points out, “sooner or later you will reap what you sow.” If you lie about why you’re ending things, eventually it’ll come back to bite you. So, walk into the conversation with confidence and absolute honesty. Lay your feelings all out on the table.

“When it’s time to let go, let go,” Young says. “Just remember to be open, to stay honest and be compassionate.”

Your soon-to-be-ex deserves to know just why you’re breaking things off. If the clichéd, ‘it’s me, not you’ really applies to the situation, than go ahead and say it, but otherwise, tell him the truth!

DON’T be overly dramatic

You’re not being scored on just how well you do in breaking up (but that does sound like a great Olympic event for Tokyo 2020). So there’s no need to put on a gold medal winning performance—if you want, aim for bronze. Understandably, in a break-up it may be difficult not to reign in the theatrics. But surprisingly enough, the drama can be quickly avoided.

“Never say things like, ‘we need to talk,’” Young says. “Doing such will only create more apprehension than harmony. Waiting ‘til it’s the right time to talk is far more productive.”

Instead, when you realize the time is right to end things, sit your soon-to-be ex down and ask him what he thinks about your relationship and where it’s headed. Chances are, you both may feel the same way. You’re just the bigger person and ready to confront him about it (girls rule and boys do drool, duh).Without causing a scene, “this creates an opportunity for a meaningful conversation. It will allow [him] to air out [his] emotions and see the logic of your decision,” Young says.

And if he doesn’t think they’re problems? No reason to sweat. Address your concerns with the relationship, and see where the conversation goes. You never know, bringing them up could save the relationship.

But no matter what, the less drama, the better. Not only will you actually have the opportunity to get all your feelings out in the open, but your ex also won’t remember you as that psycho girl who flipped out on him. Losing you should be his loss, not the other way around.