Break Up Respectfully

Break Up Respectfully

When it's over, it's over. You know it, but your partner...well, they may not know it. Break-ups are hard. You're dissolving something that once made the two of you very happy and content and you're admitting that it's definitely not that anymore. As crappy as the last few weeks, months, or even years have been with this person, keep in mind that they are a person who has feelings, and if the shoe were on the other foot and they were the one dropping the hammer on you, you'd at least want them to drop it as gentle as humanly possible.

1. Wo/man up, and avoid the text

Have more respect for someone you've been with a while or worse, lived together, than to text them or leave a note that you're breaking up. That's really low. Even if all you ever say to them to their face at minimum is that, "it's over," say it in person.

2. There is actually a right time

That time is not when they're in the middle of finals, not on their birthday or your anniversary, not the same day they got fired, or their dog died, or they are sick in bed with the flu. You may be desperate to break up, but a few more days won't kill you. You're trying to break up with this person, not BREAK THEM!

3. Don't make a scene, this isn't Real Housewives of wherever

Bashing his car up, setting her clothes on fire, throwing water at him in the restaurant, yelling at her extra loud in front of others is childish and shows a real complete lack of maturity on your part. Yeah it may suck, whatever they did, but so will police charges, hospital bills, jail time, and your public or professional image. If you think about breaking up and your blood begins to boil, you aren't ready to say what needs to be said yet. Don't let someone else turn you into a bad person or land you in jail.

4. Your soon to be ex should be the first to know

Yes, do explain why all your friends, your co-workers, his/her family members, your hairdresser, the janitor, etc. all know you're breaking up with him/her before they do. That means not only have you been spreading your personal business to anyone within earshot, you didn't have the respect to at least break up with the person first before you told the world. Tell him/her FIRST.

5. Give a reason

We do learn a lot about ourselves in break-ups. We learn about the things we've done wrong and how we ended up in that position or we learn that we deserve better. Giving a reason both helps you and them, even if either of you only ever see the big picture long after the relationship is over.

6. Be firm, but not cruel

Saying to someone, "you're an absolute worthless loser" is harsh and is probably going to lead to lots of tears or lots of yelling. Frankly, at this point, you should be trying to lay down what you say and get out of there, not extend the break-up into some long dramatic soap opera. Be firm in that the break-up is happening, and this is it, but keep the name calling and fighting words out of it. You've already been there, done that. None of that should even matter now or is important anymore because you're leaving, remember.

7. Don't try to control their feelings

You're breaking up with them. Don't then try to tell them not to be mad or upset about it. In your mind, you may have walked away a long time ago, but this may be a shock for them or they may not have known how bad things were, so trying to then smother their reaction so you don't have to feel guilty or to try to control things, is really unfair. If they are losing it when you tell them and they can no longer be spoken to, then just walk away. It is what it is at that point, and that's over.

8. You're not their friend...for now

Hello!!! You just broke up with someone and threw stones at their heart, and now you want to go back to hanging out like old times...the very next day?!? Give the friendship thing a rest...for now. Let your ex take five minutes where he or she doesn't have to see you, talk to you, remember the good times you shared. Give them space. If or when they are ready to pick up a friendship again, let them lead the charge. You don't get that right anymore to decide if or when you can be friends again since you're doing the breaking up and for God sakes, don't start your friendship back up if you really are of the impression that you actually want to be more than that again.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • "1. Wo/man up, and avoid the text"
    -There is no objective reason I should unless we end it on good terms. But if she cheated, I'm sure as hell not gonna waste a cent on texting her.

    "2. There is actually a right time"
    -Rarely. I can not pretend that everything is fine. I can't put up an act for them just so they can get through their finals without suspecting a thing. Especially if they cheated. You can't expect me to discover she cheated on me (without her knowing I know) and then for me to smile every time I see her just so she doesn't get an F or something. Nope.

    3-7
    -Self evident.

    "8. You're not their friend... for now"
    -Personally I don't ever intend to be friends with an ex, especially if we broke up on bad terms.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • Point#2. I just went through a breakup myself and I was so brokenhearted, angry, etc. (all types of mixed feelings) when it happened that I almost told him that he should've just done contrary to what you wrote in #2 - that he should've just broken up a week earlier, which happened to be my birthday and I was also sick, so that he looked like a huge jerk and so that my love for him would turn to hate. But that was when I was really angry and frustrated and all that.

    He did all that you wrote tho... and he gave me closure, which I'd always thought was a myth. I've never had closure before. We still talk. He's been really nice and understanding towards me, especially when I have those days where I just get super down and frustrated and confused and would hurl a bunch of questions at him :'(

    Breakups hurt, regardless of how it's done, BUT breaking up with someone respectfully (like what you wrote) says a lot about you (your qualities as a person) and the type of person that you are. And for me, it has made me unable to hate him, even if I really wanted to.

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What Guys Said 3

  • uggg you women. Why do you insist on thinking men and women can be friends? first off that is not possible. We might be friendly with you because we want to keep you on our radar. This way if both of us are single at some point, sex might be possible. no, it doesn't matter if you have any desire for sex at all.
    second, why would you want an ex as a friend? if I am dating you, I am going to have a big issue with any woman that has an ex as a friend. Never a good idea. when I break up with a woman, I delete her picutures, unfriend her from any social media... any future girlfriend would not be happy to see the nudes she sent me, or know I have her as a friend. As much as you women think "I would be ok with it"... nope, you sure won't be..

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    • Men and women can be just friends. Just because you have no female friends does not mean it's not possible for other people. Also don't see how it's relevant to this take.

    • Finally, a guy explaining exactly what I've been trying to for years.

  • i still dont get what is wrong with breaking up with text. by text or by person, you know what is going on, it is not like breaking up in person, that chemistry is going to come back. moreover, breaking up over text is easier because nobody can see anyone crying

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    • Now if you're talking about a very short term relationship, I mean these days anything goes, but if you dated someone for say 3 years and they broke up in a text, you'd be cool? If you lived with this person and they broke up via text and just moved out while you were at work, you'd be cool with all that. That's where having more respect for someone comes into major play.

    • why not? it is getting the main point across is important. how it was expressed doesn't matter. i m not sure about living together but dated for few years, yes.

  • Good advice that everyone should follow. I would add one more thing, and that is actually break up with the person. I had my first relationship last year and throughout the time that it lasted I was the happiest I had ever been. However while I was enjoying every moment, apparently she didn't feel the same way because she ended up just not talking to me out of no where. We never had a fight and always had fun right to the last time I saw her. Since it was my first relationship I may have made a mistake that I didn't realize or something like that, but that's only a guess on my part because I don't know. I tried to get her to talk for a while after but she wouldn't. So now months later I'm here still upset and have no idea why she did this. It was not a good experience to start my dating life, and no one deserves to be broken up with in that way.

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    • She ghosted you. Ugh, that is terribly unfair considering that it sounds as if you'd dated her for a while. I'm a believer in karma, and what goes around, comes around, so it's like she shouldn't be surprised if her ways eventually catch up to her one day, and maybe she'll finally know what it feels like to be on the other end of that stick. Definitely not a good way to start, but know that there are other people out there in this world, who would never do something like that to someone or are just better people to begin with.

    • Well our romantic relationship wasn't super long, but it wasn't like we had just met either. We had gotten to know each other over the months leading up to us dating so I felt like we knew each other well enough that she would never do something like that. She was always so nice and I would've never thought she'd do it but she did. Yes maybe karma will catch up to her, but that doesn't help how I feel about it. I'm just hoping I meet one of those better people soon, because this heartbreak stuff sucks.

What Girls Said 8

  • Agreed on all points except the friendship thing... which I think shouldn't occur at all. A failed relationship is a failed relationship, whether you were friends before is irrelevant. It doesn't do any good to have exs in your life whether 5 weeks after, or 5 years after.

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    • Definitely depends on the people. It only works if both of you have moved on from the relationship and aren't bitter or wanting to get back together in that way, ever. I'm friends with three of my exs, and it was a matter of realizing that we made much better friends than we ever did boyfriend and girlfriends and we've all definitely moved on to other relationships.

    • Show All
    • I didn't say you weren't happy, I pointed out your persistent to paint the perfect picture of happiness to a complete stranger just demonstrates how desperate you are to convince me and others of it, which indicates you're not actually content with the situation or you wouldn't feel any need to keep responding to me (a complete stranger) and insisting your life is just so happy. ... and you think I'm laughable? At least I'm not transparent, I actually live in reality.

    • Too easy.

  • This is all very true. I couldn't imagine breaking up with someone via a note or text. That just seems... cruel. I've only had to break-up with someone once and it wasn't fun (it was a long-term relationship, 6 years) but it had to be done. Ultimately, I was just honest about the reasons. There's no point in lying but as you said, there's a right and a wrong way to word it. In my case, the feelings were just no longer there so that's what I said. It sucked but it was also a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders, as I had wanted to leave for months and just never knew how.

    As for your last point though, I had no desire to ever be friends. I just don't think friendships with an ex works (generally speaking). He tried to reach out to me a few months later but I didn't want that so I cut contact completely. It also wouldn't have been fair to my new partner for me to continue talking/being friends with my ex.

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  • I don't become friends with exes. That's pointless.

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  • what do it mean when a guy says
    I only need my 3 main chicks?

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  • I totally agree with all of points. I have never broken up with anyone via text message I always break up in person. I don't think you can go back to being friends after you two have broken up. I think you need to give it time and let your wounds heal. Once the chemistry is gone then it's gone. I had broken up with my first love of 5 years. Decided to end it because we did not have feelings for each other anymore. Instead of being cruel I was just firm with my words and broke up with him in person. No need to rekindle a broken relationship if they feelings aren't there they aren't there.

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  • I no be ok. S

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  • I don't mind being broken up by text. I don't like wasting my time and dressing up to meet up with someone only to get dumped. I don't like phone conversations much anyway unless its with a friend. However, I have had a "good" breakup in person before because he gave me a huge hug in the end, that was sweet. It still hurt like hell though and I don't like being around the person when they do. Rejection just feels cold and empty.

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  • you are right

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