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, new emotions are very intense. No one goes into a relationship thinking about when the tide will turn and you have to start thinking about breaking up.  But at some point your feelings may fade and be replaced with a feeling that you should break up. So how can you break up without causing a scene, making yourself or someone else miserable, or worse?

Treat Your Partner With Respect

How you deliver the message about wanting to break up to your dating partner is very important. Texting a breakup message can bring additional stress to the situation.  You might think it will help avoid an argument or tears, but this type of break up message can seem cold and disrespectful to the other person. The same goes for changing relationship status on social media, or telling all your friends and family you’re broken up before you have this conversation with your partner. Talk to them first to avoid public embarrassment and surprises.

If you don’t feel safe, breaking up over the phone or by email may be a good option. If you still want to break up in person, consider doing it in a public place, or have friends or family waiting nearby.

Stand Firm

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.

Partners exhibiting abusive relationship behaviors could manipulate you to stay during a breakup. 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. 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!