Breaking up and living the single life

Published on
Updated on
Use a read speaker Print a document

A breakup can be emotionally upsetting. It hurts whether you’re the person who ends things or the person who is being dumped. The pain often fades, but it may take time.

Breaking up with someone can be really difficult. You may 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 partner, you’re doing the right thing by ending the relationship.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Be honest: don’t make up 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 you want to break up, don’t lead the person on.
  • Be respectful: don’t yell, call the person names or describe their flaws.
  • Be decisive: don’t be swayed by the person’s reaction.
  • Be safe: breaking up in person is the most respectful way to end a relationship. However, breakups can make people angry or upset. You may want to choose a public place such as a food court or a coffee shop. If things get too intense or uncomfortable, it’s OK to leave. You can talk more about the breakup when you’ve both had a chance to calm down. If you feel unsafe in the moment, you can call Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868.

Breaking up online

Breaking up publicly on social media is never OK. Don’t change your social media status without telling the person whom you’re dating first. Try to be as respectful as possible — this includes not posting the details online.

The post-breakup blues

Having your heart broken can be difficult. You may feel sad, angry, confused and humiliated.

Here’s how to take care of yourself after a breakup:

  • Take it easy: be kind to yourself. Watch movies, listen to music, write in a journal or do something active. The idea is to feel better, so do something you enjoy.
  • Let it out: it’s OK to cry if you need to. You can also yell into a pillow or rant about it in your journal. As long as you keep yourself safe and don’t take it out on anyone else, expressing your feelings may help you heal.
  • Talk about it: talking to a friend or family member can help you sort out your feelings. You can also call a Kids Help Phone counsellor at 1-800-668-6868.
  • Keep busy: take a walk, join a club, call your friends and stay active as much as you can.
  • Be patient: getting over someone takes time. Try not to rush yourself.
  • Stay single for a while: think twice before getting involved with someone else right away. It’s a good idea to give yourself time to heal. Having a rebound relationship may take your mind off of things now, but there’s a good chance that it will end in more pain.

Getting over a breakup

It’s common to feel sad or down when a relationship ends, even if you’re the one who ended it. If you’re fixating on how great your relationship was, or how bad you feel that it’s over, try keeping some of these things in mind:

  • You’re growing: the end of a relationship gives you a chance to grow. What did you learn from your experience? Would you do anything differently next time? What are you looking for in a partner? Making a list of the good and the bad can help you decide what you’re looking for in your next relationship.
  • It’s about you now: now that you’re single, you can focus on the things that make you happy. It also means that you can spend more time with your friends and family.
  • You may be better off: many relationships end for good reason. Once the relationship has ended, you can say goodbye to any negativity that the relationship brought to your life and try to fill your time with more positive things.

The single life

Lots of people feel pressure to date. Movies, TV shows and music are full of people falling in and out of love, and it may be the same at school. But many young people are happy doing their own thing, too.

Here are some of the upsides of being single:

  • Having it your way: making compromises is a big part of being in a relationship. When you’re single, you can make your own decisions. You can also think about what you want and don’t want in a relationship before you start one.
  • Focusing on yourself: when you’re single, you can focus on other things such as friendships, school, extracurricular activities, planning for the future and more.
  • Waiting until you’re ready: many people don’t want to date until they’re older or are ready for a serious relationship.
  • Being by yourself: some people aren’t interested in dating, and that’s OK. You don’t need someone else to be complete.
  • Avoiding drama: being in a relationship can mean a lot of emotional turbulence. The single life may be calmer and easier to handle.