How to Breakup With a Guy

Breaking up with someone can be tough.Breaking up with someone can be tough.

Ending a relationship is never easy, even if you're the one breaking up with him. However, holding on to a relationship that's not working or that you aren't invested in ultimately hurts you and your boyfriend, even if it seems easier than ending it. Although your boyfriend will probably be upset no matter how you end the relationship, ending a relationship respectfully and honestly is kinder to him and increases the chances that you'll remain friends.

Think about what you're going to say. If necessary, rehearse with a close friend or write it down. Knowing what you want to say helps you stay calm and reduces the chance that you'll be talked out of your decision.

Meet in a private or semiprivate place. You want to be able to talk without interruption in a place you won't be overheard. However, if your partner is emotionally or physically abusive, ending the relationship in a public place is safest.

Explain gently but honestly that you want the relationship to end. Try to avoid cliches, such as "You're better off without me." Instead, directly state your thoughts, such as "This relationship isn't working for me and I think we should move on."

Discuss whether you will remain in contact or stay friends. If you want some distance, tell him. Even if you want to remain friends, consider spending a few weeks apart before you start to hang out again.

Allow yourself time to recover from the relationship. Breakups can be tough, so make sure you're eating, sleeping and getting enough exercise, as well as taking time to do things you enjoy, such as pursuing a hobby, listening to music or watching a funny movie.

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  • Try not to break up with your boyfriend on a special day, such as a birthday or anniversary.


  • If you're in an abusive relationship, you may need to plan your breakup more carefully to ensure your safety. Talk to a counselor or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE.
  • Don't break up with your boyfriend over the phone or by email, unless it's a long-distance relationship. Talking in person is more respectful.

About the Author

Rebekah Richards is a professional writer with work published in the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution," "Brandeis University Law Journal" and online at She graduated magna cum laude from Brandeis University with bachelor's degrees in creative writing, English/American literature and international studies. Richards earned a master's degree at Carnegie Mellon University.

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