Follow These Dos And Don'ts Of Breaking Up With Someone For A Healthy Separation

The unfortunate reality is that some relationships simply run their course. Not every couple out there is built to last forever. Some are strong enough and solid enough to lead to long-lasting marriages. Others serve as lessons in life to show us what we don't want in a partner.


When it's time to end your relationship with someone, but you still have some love and respect for them, there are healthy ways you can go about it without causing too much pain. According to Brides, it's always going to be tough to separate from a partner you care about, but you shouldn't put off having the conversation. The longer you prolong the talk about splitting, the harder it will be for both of you. Before ending your relationship it is important to get yourself totally ready, so you can stay firm in your decision (via Insider).

When you're in a romance, you get super comfortable with the person you're with. You might naturally fall in line with their habits, interests, hobbies, and tastes. When the relationship is over, you have to learn how to get back into the groove of things on your own terms without the influence of anyone else. If you've really given it your all, and you know that it's not worth fighting for, these are a few things you should know about handling your inevitable breakup in order to create the healthiest separation possible.


Decide that it's really over

In order to be sure that a relationship is really over, you need to know with every ounce of your being that it's not going to work. When two people invest time, energy, and effort into each other, it shouldn't just be thrown out the door when things get hard. By the same token, when you know you're absolutely over it you should be comfortable trusting your own instincts. 


According to Life Supports, one of the biggest signs that your relationship is coming to a close is when you're not talking anymore. If it feels like it's getting harder to discuss things with your partner, you are probably at the end of your romance. When it's hard to agree on anything and things are confrontational, that's an indication that it could be time to respectfully walk away. 

Another major sign your relationship has failed is if you no longer connect on an emotional level with your partner, per Brides. When you first got together, you probably felt emotionally connected and excited to spend time together. When feelings dwindle away, so does your connection. A lack of physical intimacy is another surefire sign that things are over. In healthy relationships, getting on the same page is easy to do when mutual love is the shared motivation — without that, it becomes increasingly tough to hold on.


Don't end things via text

The biggest mistake people can do when they're ready to end a relationship is to send the news to their partner over a text message. Sending a breakup announcement to someone on email is just as detrimental. There's nothing intimate or personal about ending things with someone you've invested emotional energy in that way — it's incredibly cold and callous.


Although you might consider texting as a way of circumventing a face-to-face conflict, it's not a justifiable thing to do, per MomJunction. It might feel convenient in the moment, but it causes unnecessary hurt for the person on the receiving end. According to Bonobology, breaking up via text should not be a method of choice, no matter how difficult the relationship has been for you. Ending things with someone in such an impersonal way is taking the easy way out, by escaping all in-person accountability. The one who is being broken up with deserves to be told why the relationship is ending to their face.

Even though breaking up is never a joyful, happy, or fun experience for anyone, calling it quits over text is unacceptable no matter what. One of the easiest ways to avoid that kind of split with someone is to put yourself in their shoes. Imagine how you would feel if they were to end things with you by texting. It would likely be devastating and unfair to you, which means it's something you shouldn't do to others.


Aim for a public location with privacy if they're prone to emotional outbursts

If the person you've been dating is prone to emotional outbursts, your best bet might be ending things with them in a public space that has a little bit of privacy. Of course, you don't want to break up with them in front of an audience, but it might be safer for you to have such a tough conversation with other people around. Ending a relationship in public can help avoid a major confrontation.


If your partner is prone to emotional outbursts, you have every right to avoid starting your breakup conversation in private. Then you can avoid being on the receiving end of their whirlwind of feelings. It's important to be thoughtful about the place you do decide on though. You can make sure other people are around without being directly in earshot of your conversation.

According to Insider, it is best to avoid busy and noisy locations like a bar or a nightclub. Likewise, restaurants might not be the best place to pick since you have to navigate servers, per Bloomberg. Going to a local park or a coffee shop with an outdoor patio would likely work better. 

Don't end things right after being intimate with each other

When it is time to call it quits on your romance, you should go out of your way to avoid being intimate with your partner leading up to the conversation. Breaking up with someone that way is one of the most horrible things anyone could do to a person. 


According to The Telegraph, a woman revealed how regretful she felt after having intercourse with a man who quickly ended things with her afterward. People who get dumped right after sex with a partner often feel as if they were used, per DivorcedMoms.

It's incredibly cruel to break up with someone after you've been intimate with them. The person who's been dumped might start unfairly critiquing themselves and believing there's something wrong with them in the bedroom department. Even if your sexual connection with them was never the issue, it will be hard for them to separate those thoughts. This is another case of putting yourself in your partner's shoes. If you know you would feel used or heartbroken if you were dumped after sleeping with someone, then you shouldn't do that to anyone else.


Set firm boundaries

Setting firm boundaries is a must when going through a breakup. If you're aiming for a healthy separation, it is important to structure it firmly. According to Choosing Therapy, it is crucial to set limits that are respected by both parties to have a positive parting of ways. Not having boundaries can lead to mental health issues and problems can arise during a split.


In order to ensure you have the space you need following the end of your relationship, it is necessary to establish limits (via PsychCentral). Although creating boundaries might sound difficult and daunting at first, you will find it helpful in the long run.

When going through a split, you could think about limiting your ex on social media platforms and no longer accepting their phone calls. If your former partner wants to maintain communication with you anyway, you have to stick to your guns and follow through with the boundaries you set. If your ex feels angry or uncomfortable with your limitations, that's not really your problem. You need to worry about yourself and your own healing journey as you work through the breakup. Caving to the needs of your ex will only hurt you in the end. You can't be feeble about the boundaries you've lined up.


Don't dump them in the midst of an unrelated crisis

One thing you'll definitely want to avoid doing is breaking up with your partner in the midst of an unrelated crisis. If they're going through something serious, like the loss of a loved one for example, it is best to temporarily put your breakup plans on hold. If the problems between you and your partner are too serious to postpone the split, you still have every right to walk away at any point in time.


According to Cake, you can still end a relationship with someone who is in the middle of grieving, but you should know the right steps to take beforehand. One suggestion would be to encourage your partner to seek out grief counseling before ending things, so that they have a support system to lean on without you being there. If they are going through something else that's serious, such as a mental health crisis, you have a few other things to consider.

Mental illness can complicate breakups. If you dump a partner who's struggling with their mental health, you can sometimes be riddled with guilt (via Talkspace). But, regardless of what they have going on in their minds, you still don't need to stay in any situation that makes you feel unsafe or affects your own mental health in a negative way.


Use 'I' statements

There's no reason to come at your partner with "you" statements while having a breakup conversation. The most thoughtful thing you can do is to approach them with "I" statements to ensure that they know the reason you want to break up is based on the things that you're feeling, rather than all the things they've done wrong. 


According to Tony Robbins, the psychology behind "you" statements places the blame for your relationship's demise solely onto your partner. When you constantly use the word "you" with them, it can result in them getting their back up and deflecting. Pointing out all of their issues and problems probably won't lead to a healthy separation. 

Using "I" statements is one of the best ways to have a healthy dialogue that enables you to own how you're feeling (via Relationships Australia New South Wales). There's something far less confrontational about using "I" statements during a breakup talk, which means you'll have a greater chance at ending things on friendly terms.

Don't dump them in front of people you know

When you are gearing up to end your relationship, make sure that you don't have the conversation in front of people you both know. Breaking up with a partner while mutual friends, co-workers, or family members are present is totally unnecessary. 


According to Beliefnet, it is important to respect your partner's privacy to avoid humiliating them. Why would you want to be the person who is harming someone else by causing them discomfort at a social event? The answer is that you definitely don't want to be that person, especially if you can be empathetic to their feelings during your split.

Feeling shame is incredibly challenging to navigate for any person, per MentalHelp. Dumping your partner in front of people you both know will undoubtedly leave them feeling mortified, which is a terrible way to end things with your ex.

Be completely honest

It might feel incredibly tempting to sugarcoat things while having a break up conversation, but you don't want to do that if you're looking for a healthy separation. Being completely honest will take you a lot further than trying to be nice to your partner as you end things.


Being authentic is the only way to communicate in a healthy way in a romantic relationship, per Psychology Today. Not telling the truth about how you feel can leave your partner feeling lost and confused. Integrity goes a long way in relationships, because without it things can turn bitter (via Pivot).

If you're breaking up with your partner because they lack ambition and you're scared to build a future with someone who won't be able to pull their own weight down the line, you need to voice that. If you want to call it quits because you feel nervous about the prospect of welcoming kids into the world with your partner who has proven themselves to be unreliable, you should tell them that. No matter what the problem is, your partner deserves to know.


Don't disguise your breakup by calling it a temporary break

It might be tempting to approach your breakup by telling your partner you're only interested in going on a short-term break. You might believe that it will lighten the blow and make it easier for you both to walk away. The problem here is that if you're done with your partner on a permanent level, it is unfair to mislead them into hoping for reconciliation down the line. 


According to Psychology Today, when you're talking about a break versus a breakup, there's a huge distinction. If you lead your partner to believe that a separation is temporary, you're not giving them the chance they deserve to move forward with their own life. 

Brief breaks in a romance do not often lead to a healthy long-term relationship (via Repeller). If you're already convinced that a temporary split won't save things, don't make your partner believe that it will.

Give them some sort of warning of what's to come

Nobody wants to feel blindsided. It is the thoughtful thing to do to give your partner some sort of warning of what's to come, before sparking up a breakup conversation. 

According to Insider, you can start hinting to your partner that the relationship is ending by hesitating to discuss plans for the future with them. If they are ready to start talking about vacation ideas six months away, you'll probably want to refrain from that subject as a whole. If they're bringing up proposals, wedding stuff, and marriage, you will want to avoid engaging in those topics. 


The language you use around your partner should change a little bit as you approach your breakup conversation as well, per The Guardian. Instead of talking about life events using "we," you should start talking about everything using "I." If you're going to hit your partner with a "we have to talk" message, make sure that you will be ready and available to discuss the end of your relationship as soon as possible. For example, don't send a text like that on a Monday if you're not planning to see them and talk about splitting until the weekend.

Don't stay with them out of guilt or a sense of obligation

If you're feeling obligated to stay with your partner out of guilt, you should know that you have every right to walk away. No one should feel guilted into staying in a relationship when they're unhappy. 


According to She Blossoms, you can't force your partner to change, but you are in control of what you do with your own life. You don't have to be with someone out of convenience, guilt, or obligation.

It is okay to move on from your relationship to live your best life and to leave aside feelings of guilt, per Hey Sigmund. It's easier said than done, but if you're in a relationship where you aren't feeling fulfilled, forcing love and loyalty into the mix isn't going to benefit you. Sometimes, it's hard to leave people who aren't right for you because you believe deep down that they'll eventually be able to change. If those changes never occur, you deserve to find your bliss with someone who's on the same page as you. It's easy to feel stuck in a relationship if you share a lease or mortgage, have a joint bank account, share children together, or have other major ties. None of these obligations should keep you feeling trapped, though.


Prioritize yourself

Prioritizing yourself is one of the best things you can do while going through a breakup. When you're ending a relationship, you have to remember that focusing on you should be your top priority, rather than focusing on your ex. 


It is not selfish to put yourself first, per Psychology Today. Taking care of your mental and physical well-being is a must. It takes time to self reflect and to meditate on the positive changes that you want to see in your life going forward.

According to GenTwenty, if you're constantly putting your partner's needs before your own, it is okay to embrace self-care. When you are emotionally and physically drained, it is difficult to prioritize yourself and your personal well-being. Going through a breakup is the perfect time to put yourself first by enjoying your favorite music, foods, hobbies, destinations, friendships, and more.