Breaking it off

Breaking up can be devastating.

It always hurts, whether you’re the dumper or the dumpee.
Still, while breakups hurt, the pain lessens with time - you will get over it.

Breakup etiquette

Believe it or not, breaking up requires manners on both sides. Try your best to be respectful. You would want the same if the shoe was on the other foot.

Breaking up with someone can be really difficult. You might feel guilty, or hate the idea of hurting the other person’s feelings. But if you know you don’t want to be with your boyfriend or girlfriend, you’re doing the right thing by ending it.

Here are some tips:

Be honest
Don’t invent reasons why you can’t be together anymore. Just say that the relationship isn’t working for you, and that you think it’s best to split up.

Be quick
Don’t drag it out. If you’re sure that you want to break up, don’t ask your boyfriend or girlfriend out on a date first.


Be respectful
Don’t yell or call the other person names, or tell them in detail about all of their personal flaws.

Be clear
Don’t be swayed by the reaction you get. You’ll only have to do it a second time if you aren’t firm.


Be wise
Breaking up in person is the most respectful way to end a relationship. However, breakups can make people very angry or upset. Remember that you need to feel safe too. You may want to choose a place that is safe and public, like a food court or a coffee shop, and if things get too intense or uncomfortable, remember that it’s OK to leave. You can talk more about the breakup when your boyfriend or girlfriend’s feelings cool down. Also, if you feel unsafe in the moment, remember that you can always call Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868. You can also reach us quickly through the Phone Us section of our mobile app, Always There.

Making the break online

This might be obvious, but breaking up over Facebook, or any other social networking site, is definitely not okay. Don’t change your status to “single” or “it’s complicated” without telling the person you’re dating how you feel first. Try to think of how you would feel if someone wanted to end it with you, and be as respectful as possible. That includes
not posting the details online!

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Last reviewed September 2013 by the Kids Help Phone Counselling Team

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