How to break up with someone while keeping your dignity intact


Either we’ve done the job before, or have been on the receiving end of a breakup so we can all relate. Breaking up is hard, and there is no rule book on how to handle it… But maybe this will help if it’s your first run of it. If you’re on the fence about breaking up with someone, then the answer is yes (there’s a reason you searched for this article, afterall).

The Speech

Okay, so you’ve decided you’re going to bite the bullet, and breakup with your second half. Maybe your heart isn’t there anymore, maybe you’re bored, whatever the reason you NEED to let your significant other know. There is no point dragging it out, all the while the other person in this relationship is falling harder and investing more.
– Meet up with them in person, in a semi-intimate area.
– Explain where you are at, honestly, and answer any questions they have, honestly. You’ll thank yourself for it later.
– Be prepared for the worst; tears, anger, back-hands. Rejection sucks and they will react accordingly.
– Spend the time with them. They invested the time in you, so you can do the same.
– Tell them you enjoyed the time you had together (you must have, right?), and apologise for putting them through this.
– Leave with dignity. One of my ex’s left with a heartfelt kiss on my forehead, and I will always remember it fondly.
– Do it over the phone or via text. Another tip, if you’re drunk, save it until the morning.
– Tell them ‘they deserve better’, this is a pussy excuse and if you thought this you would have stepped up yourself. This line will just make them mad, and understandably.
– Get it over and done with. They will have questions, they will need time. Give them a couple of hours and once it keeps going round in circles you can leave. Don’t slam the door!

Future Communication:

You can’t say this isn’t going to happen. Even a little ‘I miss you’ text will slip through the cracks, and you can’t blame them for hurting.
– Reply. Tell them how you feel, and apologise again. You’ll need to make it clear that you’re not going back on your word though.
– Meet up with them if they ask, but only once more. You really owe them this, and it will help you both with closure. This can be in a more public place this time. They may still get upset or angry, but show them you’re genuinely sorry.
– Ignore them completely. It should really go without saying.
– Call them when you’re drunk. There are way too many quotes out there about ‘who you text when drunk is the one who has your heart’, we all know this is bullshit, and I can vouch that girls read quotes during breakups so they’ll get the wrong idea.
– Put your dirty laundry on Facebook. It’s no one else’s business but yours and the other person involved.

Cutting the ties:

There will come a time when you’ll need to take it off Facebook, and exchange possessions from each other’s place. So do it the right way…
– Leave it up to them to take off Facebook. If they take too long to change it (I’m talking a month here), do it yourself but be sure to message them before you do with a head’s up, and ensure you take it off without a big ‘SINGLE’ notification coming up for both of you (even I can feel that sting). If they take it off without telling you, you really can’t be mad at them.
– Let them collect their stuff, or offer to drop it off. Making it easy for them, and on their terms is the least you can do. Be sure to only organise this at least 2-weeks post breakup.
– Take it off Facebook as soon as possible, and without any warning. This action can hurt them more than the actual break up these days.
– Give them back everything they ever gave you. Any of their belongings are the go, but keep that 2-year anniversary sparkly pictureframe you got (lucky you!)
– Drop it off at work or get a friend involved. Just no!

Either way, no two breakups are the same so even the most organised person cannot prepare for the wrath of a broken heart. As long as you stay true to yourself, be honest and upfront, and respectful to the person on the receiving end, you should get through it in the end. But how long should a breakup last? Well, how long is a piece of string? Good luck!

I’d love to hear your advice and stories. Vent to me below, Heartbreakers! 

Christine Stucki