Please note: Entries within this blog may contain references to instances of domestic abuse, dating abuse, sexual assault, abuse or harassment. At all times, Break the Cycle encourages readers to take whatever precautions necessary to protect themselves emotionally and psychologically.  If you would like to speak with an advocate, please contact a 24/7 peer advocate at 866-331-9474  or text "loveis" to 22522.

How to Break Up Peacefully

When people start dating, there can be all kinds of fireworks and “butterflies in the stomach.” Some time later, those feelings may have faded, replaced by the feeling that the two shouldn’t be together anymore. So how can people break up without making them miserable, causing a scene, or worse?

Treat Partners With Respect

Treating others as you would treat yourself applies to breakups as well. There’s no reason to text message a breakup. You make think it will help avoid an argument or tears, but it’s cold and disrespectful. The same goes for changing relationship status on social media, or telling all your friends and family you’re broken up before speaking with them first. Think of how you want someone to break up with you, and try doing the same.

The exception to this is if you don’t feel safe -- in that case, breaking up over the phone or by email may be safer. If you don’t feel as though your safety is in jeopardy, it’s best to be honest and break up face-to-face. However, it might help to break up in a public place, or have friends or family waiting nearby once it’s over.

Stick to Your Guns

Breakups are very tough, but that’s no reason to back down and reverse your position. If you don’t feel the relationship is right, then it’s time to end it. This isn’t a negotiation, it’s a break up. You can listen to what they have to say, but don’t feel as though you need to keep explaining yourself for wanting to end the relationship.

Unhealthy or abusive partners may manipulate you during a breakup to stay. They’ve become a huge part of your life, and you might be afraid of feeling lonely. You might even think you’ll miss them a lot, or feel helpless without them. Again, stick to why you want to leave. Even if they try to make you stay through guilt trips, insults, or threats, remember that you are okay with this decision because you are choosing to make it.

Feel Good About Your Choice

Your partner’s feelings will undoubtedly be hurt, and that’s something you need to accept. In the long run, there is probably a very real reason why you are breaking up with them. And if the relationship was unhealthy or abusive, it’s even more important to remind yourself that you did this because you don’t want to be in a relationship like that.

Tell family and friends once it’s over. Let your support system know so they can help you as you deal with the breakup yourself. Need help with how to break up? Chat with a peer advocate -- and remember, everyone deserves a healthy relationship, including you!