How To Break Up With Someone Without Being a Jerk


Before you blast the Taylor tunes, check out these tips on how to make a breakup as painless as possible — for both of you.

1. Don’t Act Too Fast

Ask yourself, “Do I want this to end or do I just want change?” says Sara Davison, relationship therapist and founder of the 7 Steps to a Better Break-Up app. “If you’ve been together more than a few months, you owe it to yourself to give ending things some serious thought. Write down what bothers you and talk it through with the other person. Only then can you decide whether it’s the right decision.”

2. Make Sure They Hear it From You First

Resist the urge to speak to anyone about the split before talking to your future ex-bae. They don’t need to hear it from your lab partner’s BF. “If you do tell someone else, be clear this is strictly private information,” says Davison. Tell only one person you trust… tops!

3. Pick Your Time Carefully

You’ve made up your mind, but a breakup could come as a shock to the other person, so leave plenty of time to discuss it. “Even if it ends up being a quick conversation, they might be left reeling,” says Davison. Translation: Don’t do it the day before they have a huge test. “Generally, a good rule is to ask yourself, “How would I like this to end?” she says. If your relationship hasn’t been serious, a heartfelt text is okay. (Just remember it could get forwarded.) “But if you’d be bummed if he dumped you that way, don’t do it to him!” Best not to hit send then — and instead suggest you meet up IRL.

4. Be Honest

Avoid the temptation to use clichés. “By telling them you don’t want a relationship right now — when actually, you’re just not that into them — you’re confusing the situation,” Davison says. If they’re going to move on, you need to help them see why you’re not right for each other, and that requires total honesty. “But there is a line,” she says. “Being too brutal will only lead to more heartbreak, but don’t give false hope if you know there really isn’t any.”

5. Set Boundaries

If you’re going to start telling people about the split (by changing a status on Facebook or deleting photos on Instagram), warn your ex first. In addition, avoid mixed messages. It will only make it worse if you text them an inside joke or use your cute nickname for them.You need to tell them what happens next (will you still hang out as friends?), and be clear and firm about where you stand. Running into each other over the next few weeks and months could be hard, so sorting it out now will work in your favor.

6. Manage The Fallout

Respect your ex’s decision if they want to unfollow you on social. Then decide who in your joint social circle you want to remain friends with; if it’s unlikely you’ll stay close with your ex’s pals, consider deleting them. Also try to avoid the special places that were “yours,” and use this is as a chance to find some new spots. Finally, don’t underestimate what a huge part of your life your ex was. Although this was your choice, it won’t always be easy. “Fill that void by setting new goals as soon as you can — whatever requires concentration and attention,” advises Davison. Explore something you’ve wanted to try, dive into school activities, and chill with friends. You’re moving on!