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Wellness > Sex + Relationships

How to Break it to Your Friends & Family About the Breakup

Breakups suck for the obvious reasons, but sometimes the more subtle reasons can still be bothersome. Imagine your friends and family loving your significant other more than you did. And now you’ve ended it. If it sounds pretty uncomfortable, it’s because it is. Not only are you probably a little shaken up, perhaps even upset, but now you have to relive the ending of your relationship as you tell all your friends how and why the special person in your life is gone. Not only are your dreams about the future of you two gone, but their projected dreams are gone too. Here’s how you can make that process a little bit easier.

1. Come to terms with why you should break up

Depending on the intensity of their relationship with your ex, there could be a variety of reactions. For example, your mom that was expecting a proposal in the near future would probably be flabbergasted and perhaps a little disappointed. If you haven’t actually broken up with this person yet only because you’re afraid of the reaction from others, that’s a pretty good indicator that you should go ahead with the breakup. If the only thing holding you two lovebirds together is the opinion of your mom, dad, sister, best friend, whoever, then this relationship is not strong enough to begin with. Truly dig deep on why you may or may not be happy, without the influx of everyone else’s thoughts on the subject. You’re dating this person, not them.

Related: 5 Signs Your Love is Being Taken for Granted

2. Ask your loved ones for support

After the actual breakup, it’s a good idea to approach your friends and family and tell them about why you’ve been unhappy and unsatisfied in your relationship. This could be for a number of reasons and circumstances, but it’s up to you to explain why you believe this decision was the best for you. Of course, you don’t owe anyone an explanation, but because your loved ones may be invested in your relationship, they might expect to hear your side of the story. This is your opportunity to open up.

3. If they’re unhappy, state reasons why you’re better off

Maybe your now-ex was manipulative, or overpossessive. Perhaps they did not support your career choice, or you simply couldn’t see spending the rest of your life with someone you didn’t truly love. Whatever the reasons, it might be a good idea to start detailing them to give more context to your choice of ending it. Chances are, their unhappiness about the breakup will be redirected and they’ll realize you are essentially happier without that SO.

4. Reassure them that this is for the best

You might want to say that you know there will be other loves in your life, or that you know you don’t need anyone to take care of you. Remind them that you are currently better off alone than you are with that person, and if they truly cared about you, they would support you and your choice.

Theresa Sansone, a sophomore from the College of New Jersey, says, “Your friends and family may love your significant other, but at the end of the day you, and only you, are the person that’s dating him or her. If you stay in a relationship just because you want to make everyone else happy, you will ultimately be the unhappy one and that’s not fair to you or your significant other. I feel like if you are true and honest with yourself and your relationship, your friends and family will support your decision and will understand that it has nothing to do with them personally.” Theresa hit the point right on the head.

In fact, if your loved ones truly cared about you and your wellbeing, they should be worried about your unhappiness. If they truly had your best interests in mind, they should want the best for you, even if that means letting go of someone they may have liked. Trust yourself and how you’re feeling before you begin getting advice from all sorts of people. Those people may have seen a glimpse of your SO, while you actually have spent a genuine good chunk of time with this person to decide if this is the person for you.

Honestly, at the end of the day, it was your relationship. Not theirs. They are allowed to feel remorse, as they may have been close to that person as well, but they ultimately should know their boundaries because this is your life. And you’re allowed to date or break up with whomever, because once again, in case this didn’t click, it’s your life.


*Originally written 6/4/2017

Stephanie is a senior at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where she is currently studying international relations with a minor in psychology and Asian Studies. When she's not researching and writing assigned articles for Her Campus, she is working on-campus jobs and saving up for her next traveling adventure!