Instructables
Picture of How to Break Up
Breaking up isn't easy, right? They wrote a whole song about it.

Nonetheless, break-ups are an inevitable part of growing into the people we want to become, living the lives we want to lead.

Break-ups can happen for limitless reasons. But you can handle this event with dignity and sensitivity for the other person's experience.

The following are my suggestions for staging a respectful, honest break-up, while leaving room for a potential friendship in the future. Even if future contact isn't your goal, you'll be a happier person for handling a break-up responsibly, with grace and dignity.

I am not a professional counselor, but I have sought the advice of one in the writing of this Instructable.

special thanks to all of those who put creative commons licensing on their photos which allowed me to illustrate this instructable.
 
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Step 1: Know why you want to break up


Your partner's going to want to know what the heck is going on. It's best for both of you if you are prepared to face this question.

If you're mad, that's one thing. Don't act on it just yet. It's really important that you take some time and consider exactly what it is that's made you mad.

If you're sad, or feeling some kind of hard-to-explain or unclear (even to you) emotion, you need to identify that too. It might not seem easy (perhaps you've been avoiding it?), but now's the time.

Is there someone else? Has another prospect drawn your eye? Have you already acted on these feelings? Whether or not you have, you need to get to the bottom of why this is happening - why you're attracted to someone else right now. Working this out now will help prevent a long series of making the same mistakes in the future.

Get some paper. Write down everything you're feeling.


It doesn't have to make sense. It doesn't need punctuation or good spelling or even legible handwriting. This is for your eyes only!

While you're writing, ask yourself some questions:

  • Does the relationship make you feel good?
  • Does the relationship allow you to evolve and grow in your own directions?
  • Does your partner accept you exactly the way you are?
  • Do you communicate well?
  • Can you resolve conflicts together?
  • Do you feel safe?
  • What do you feel you're missing?

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halb516 months ago
Good advice
ajodie929 months ago
If a relationship is beyond repair then the best thing to do is end it and move on. I had to do this a while back and I am now in a wonderful relationship and I have heard that my ex is doing very well as well. Sometimes two people can hold each other back.
Women don't like getting dumped. It is much better to do little things to get them to dump you. Leaving your wallet at home all the time is a good start. Forgetting birthdays, etc. OR you can talk too much and pick subjects like combat experiences, guns, trivial history. She'll drop you like a bad habit but you have to act hurt. Minor faux pax like that will not tarnish your reputation too much. Remember the old saying "hell hath no fury like that of a woman scorned".
Breaking up has never been easy for me. I usually just mis-behave until the other person has had enough and finally does all the hard work and breaks up with me instead.
sockeye1015 years ago
geat well made instructable, i just wish it had come out a couple of months earlier.
*sigh* me too...
yeahh
khadja1112 years ago
haahaha itx easyyy
rwoods33 years ago
Hey... if you need an easy way to break up, theres always BreakUpEasy.com. At least they do it for you and for free...
My friend... as rude as this may seem... I think that's a cop-out. If a man breaks up with a gal, he should be "Man" enough to do it in person.
kishmona3 years ago
rwoods3, i dont think its a good idea to break up with a web site...
PuzzleJenn3 years ago
This is beautiful...heart-breakingly beautiful. Thank you for this one. But I do have to say....does anyone else find it wrong that "Basic Obedience Training for Dogs" is a "related i'ble"???
TinyE4 years ago
This is good advice for the dumper, but what about the dumpee? Also, what if your long-term partner skipped steps intro-3, never voiced any concerns, then out of nowhere came over and told you he loved you but had a crush he thought was worth throwing it all away over even when offered a break, then asked if he should leave or if he could stay the night, and then refused to talk to you in person when you asked for actual answers? Then sent a short email two weeks later saying "I have no answers, and can't say what my reasons are" "I know you love me, and I love you" "I only know that for now I cannot be with you as I once was". Gah. If only an instructable really could get you through this...
zorra578 TinyE3 years ago
people can suck, even the one's you've known for most of your life
scoochmaroo (author)  TinyE4 years ago
Oh, I'm sorry to hear all of that.
One day at a time is all I can offer.
I got dumped over a text message just a few days before our one year anniversary. December 27th 2008 9:37 PM - December 15th 2009 11:28 AM. Im still hurt
uberbuddha3 years ago
ugh Wish my Ex followed this guide. She broke up with me via text. Next thing I know is that I am alone, and she goes with some other guy the next day. Still hurting, and wished that we could have at least talked about it
shaunak4 years ago
Love the pictures you have used to illustrate the instructable.
The whole avoiding your ex thing becomes a little tricky when you have class together. But I am pretty much in your debt for uploading this, all the same. Thank you.
I know about that. I broke up with my ex over a year ago because I was in love with my best friend. However, the three of us take almost all our classes together. Talk about awkward. After about a month it worked out and now we're friends. :) Oh, and I'm still with my best friend, and exceedingly happy. :)
ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh "being dumped" not one of life's most wonderful experiences, but then again, would you really want to be with someone who doesn't love you?
As long as I think they love me, yes.
Mella20135 years ago
This instructable makes me sad :(
Me too. Now Im depressed again
Choscura5 years ago
I'd much rather see an instructable about how to fix problems in a relationship. All relationships have problems, and breaking up isn't a real solution.
Tigger465 years ago
Any advise for the dumpee?
tjoktjok5 years ago
it is in general a good advice, but not helpfull when having kids you share for the rest of your life
scoochmaroo (author)  tjoktjok5 years ago
Not having kids myself, I was very careful not to offer my opinions in this case. Other than make sure you always put your kids first!
thanks, it gave me a different perspective...my fiancee recently broke up with me and it gave me a perspective i didn't have....I don't seem like such a bad guy in my eyes anymore.
scoochmaroo (author)  tech535 years ago
I'm glad you found it of some help.
It might be good to think about what is working in the relationship too. That way you can weigh the pros with the cons. In the actual breakup, it adds a positive note and lets the other person know what is going right so the breakup speech doesn't come off as a complete attack.
rhawn5 years ago
Brilliant Instructable. I've taken a similar approach myself in the past (fallen down on a few of the points but tried to be fairly analytical over reasons/timing etc) and it's a whole lot easier than the haphazard way I've been dumped myself. I agree on pretty much all your steps and unless someone's clear minded enough to work them out on a personal level for themselves I'd recommend that they follow them to the letter. Bookmarking for future reference :)
hausi5 years ago
I love the pictures! Especially the last one "Wow, there really are a lot of fish in that sea." Nice instructable too, I might need it sooner than I want.
Very well done! I personally have to disagree with the part about not answering emails at all(in step 8), if you plan on keeping a friendship. I think it would be better to say not to respond to emails that are going to turn into a fight. Sometimes, a well written response(after a face to face break up, mind you) can help to reinforce everything that has already been said, while simply ignoring the person can have very negative consequences, either by ruining the chances for a friendship, or bringing out the "crazy" in the other person, etc. I say that it's best to have a confidant who knows the details of the situation proofread any response you send, and to make sure to wait at least 2 days to send any kind of response, as it enables you to use your intellect(and not your emotions) to respond. Just my 2 cents, based on past experiences(being on both sides of a break up) But honestly, evertyhing else was near spot on!
trevor36935 years ago
i really think kids like me can use this advise thx. im hoping i wont hav 2 use it 4 a while though.
yeah no offense. this could help but still, i don't understand why we would do all this. it's pointless. just suck it up and get over it
Sorry to digress, but I really love the monkey. Naawwww... okay; focused now.
Shame that my husband didn't read this before he dumped me over the phone after running away for 3 days. My advice - never ever date or marry a Clinical Psycologist - they are all obsessed with their own psyche and emotions, and too wrapped up in themselves to believe that anyone else could possibly understand them.... So, basically trumped up emo kids. Happy days.
Wow, I like the analytical approach to something so emotional. It helps.
scoochmaroo (author)  marjorieallea5 years ago
Thank you! I think it does help. Major decisions in life are often too clouded by emotion to handle responsibly.
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