It doesn’t matter if you’re ending a month-long relationship or a marriage; breaking up with someone is never fun or easy. However, there are gentle ways to end things, and then they’re downright awful ways to break it off. Not only is a considerate breakup kinder than a cruel one, but it also has less risk of leaving lasting damage on the other person.
You definitely don’t want to be the ex whose memory traumatizes someone forever. Or the person who causes them to question relationships for all time. Lousy breakups stink; there’s no doubt about it. But you have the power to make it less traumatizing and hurtful by ditching these bad breakup techniques and switching to a more thoughtful, considerate method.
The Worst Breakup Trends You Should Avoid
A comprehensive study interviewed couples who had been dating for at least two months, and found that 60% of those straight couples were no longer together at the study’s one year follow-up. The odds of getting back together isn’t great either, with one study finding that only 15% got back together with their ex. But before you can move on, most people require closure; something that the breakup techniques below definitely doesn’t provide.
Out of all the ways to break up with someone, ghosting might be the worst. A sense of closure is necessary when a relationship comes to an end. It’s necessary if you and your ex are going to move on. Ghosting removes this vital step from the healing process.
Ghosting essentially means to disappear. If you ghost your partner, you stop replying to texts, won’t answer phone calls, and avoid seeing them in person. Like a ghost, you vanish from their life. This can be a lot more hurtful and harmful than an upfront rejection.
The ghosted person is left with many questions and virtually zero closure. For a while, they’ll be in limbo, wondering as to the status of your relationship. Ghosting definitely needs to vanish from our breakup technique repertoire.
The Public Break Up
Ghosting may be cruel, but that doesn’t mean you should opt for the opposite extreme. Public breakups can be truly rough on everyone involved, even the innocent bystanders. If you need to break up in public in order to feel safe when leaving your toxic relationship – that’s totally understandable and acceptable. However, if this situation doesn’t apply to you, it’s best to air your grievances behind closed doors.
Usually, at least one of you will end up feeling embarrassed, ashamed, and tearful in a public place full of people. You may want to break up in public in an attempt to avoid making a scene; however, this could backfire and result in a traumatic disaster.
The Slow Separation
The slow fade is a really common breakup technique, but it doesn’t make it any less cruel. When your partner slowly pulls away and gradually fades out of your life over time, it can be worse than simply being upfront and honest about severing ties.
Think of all the time and energy wasted when all along, the other person knew they were no longer emotionally invested or interested in the relationship. The partner being broken up with often is left second-guessing their relationship and wondering what signs they missed. Bite the bullet and initiate the breakup, don’t prolong the process.
Excuses, Lies, and Deception
It should be obvious, but using any of these tactics to end a relationship is pretty inconsiderate. Excuses and lies, such as “I’m moving” or the cliche “It’s not you, it’s me,” make a difficult situation that much harder. Honesty is the way to go, even if initially it may hurt your ex’s feelings. Lying and excuses add insult to injury.
Equally as deceitful and hurtful is not being truthful about your waning feelings and blindsiding them with a breakup. Don’t act as if everything is perfect and then suddenly announce you’re moving on. This method can leave lasting damage, causing the other person to be untrusting of future partners because they thought everything was going swimmingly, then were left completely shattered.
Cheating is never okay during a relationship, and most certainly not in an effort to try to force a breakup. If you want out, be upfront and honest before moving on to someone else. Being unfaithful may seem like an easy out, but consider your soon-to-be-ex partner’s feelings.
Having experienced unfaithfulness can cause a prolonged healing period. It also sets them up for suspicion in future relationships, which can often be challenging to overcome. Infidelity can have lasting effects on your relationship trajectory too. Studies have shown that poorer future relationships are often experienced by those who suffered or inflicted infidelity. Cheating fantasies might signal that you’re losing interest in your relationship – just be sure to end things before you act on your desires.
The Breakup Text
Cell phones have become a part of everyday life. However, there are still some areas in which face-to-face conversation is better than technology, such as the breakup text. Texts (and emails) lack sincerity and sympathy. They’re formal, which in a relationship equates to cold and impersonal.
Additionally, it can be tricky to determine a person’s feelings when the words have no inflection. More likely than not, a pages-long text conversation won’t ensue. This means that the partner being broken up with is left confused and wondering what went wrong. There’s no opportunity to have their questions answered and typically no option for reconciliation.
It might be easier and less painful for the texter, but texting your farewell is inconsiderate. For you both to have complete closure and the ability to have happy and healthy future relationships, tell, don’t text, your significant other that it’s time to move on.
Respect and Consideration Are Key
There is no perfect way to break up with someone. Regardless of how you do it, there will always be a little pain and discomfort. However, some methods are certainly less cruel than others. To figure out which is which, think about how you can show your soon-to-be-ex respect and consideration. Usually, this means offering them more than a simple text or holding your breakup conversation in private rather than in public.
Better partner communication skills can help, such as treating the other person how they want to be treated (ie not cheating on them), or listening to their feelings and thoughts instead of doing all the talking. Using these skills can lead to a more amicable separation.
When you’re married, breaking up with your partner is termed divorce. Yet, avoiding these separation techniques is just as important. Along with being upfront and honest with your partner, a prenup can help make your separation much cleaner and peaceful for all involved.
It doesn’t matter how long your relationship lasted; at one point, your partner meant a lot to you; show them the kindness they deserve with an honest and dignified breakup.
All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. HelloPrenup, LLC (“HelloPrenup”) makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. HelloPrenup will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. These terms and conditions of use are subject to change at any time and without notice. HelloPrenup provides a platform for contract related self-help. The information provided by HelloPrenup along with the content on our website related to legal matters (“Information”) is provided for your private use and does not constitute legal advice. We do not review any information you provide us for legal accuracy or sufficiency, draw legal conclusions, provide opinions about your selection of forms, or apply the law to the facts of your situation. If you need legal advice for a specific problem, you should consult with a licensed attorney. Neither HelloPrenup nor any information provided by Hello Prenup is a substitute for legal advice from a qualified attorney licensed to practice in an appropriate jurisdiction.