How To Break Up In 9 Simple Steps

How To Break Up In 9 Simple Steps ©iStock/Martin Dimitrov

Breakups are the supernovas of the dating universe – they happen countless times a day and they leave magnificent paths of destruction in their wake. Time seems to slow down while you’re breaking up, because it’s painful and awkward and life probably hates you. Even though you’re saying that things aren’t working out and that it’s best to go your separate ways, your mind tends to wander off onto tangents during the process.

  1. Just get it over with. Screaming, “IT’S OVER!” and running away would be far less time-consuming, but it’s also overly dramatic and not really a final ending. You have to make an effort to meet up somewhere and have some semblance of a conversation that leads to the end of your relationship. The hours leading up to that conversation can be more anxiety-inducing than the actual breakup because you have time to drive yourself nuts thinking of everything you want to say.
  2. Is this the right thing to do? If you’ve seriously contemplated breaking up and then actually made plans to have the dreaded conversation, breaking up is usually the right thing to do. A breakup isn’t a spur of the moment type of thing – it’s something that has been thought through. Don’t undermine your own instincts. Saddle up and go through with it.
  3. This is awkward, but it has to be done. It definitely has to be done. You’re not going to back out and change your mind, are you? You’re already at the coffee shop sitting across from each other and nervously fidgeting in your seats.
  4. I bet I look terrible right now. You’re trying to seem sincere and levelheaded, but those emotions are being overtaken by everything from sadness to unadulterated joy. You become hyper-aware of everything your face does and you’re hoping that you don’t look like a freak. Remain calm, it’s almost over.
  5. This is horrible. Why didn’t I just do this via text? You didn’t do the breaking up through a text message because you’re not an a-hole. You have lady balls of steel and this crap is going down in person. Three cheers for being an adult!
  6. Dating sucks. You’ll likely have to go through this process again. Dating often results in more breakups than it does successful partnerships. That’s a good thing, though – can you imagine if breaking up didn’t exist and you were still with the first guy you ever dated? Breaking up definitely sucks, but it’s often for the best.
  7. This is going to feel weird tomorrow. No more texting him all day, making random plans or getting wasted on Friday nights together. Your couple status will be null and void as soon as this conversation is over. Tomorrow, it’s back to glorious single life and that freedom will probably feel really unusual at first.
  8. I did it! It’s over. Time to go home and be sad/happy now. You don’t have to worry about your weird facial expressions when you’re at home by yourself! No one is going to judge you there. Your cat might look at you funny after you finish an entire tub of ice cream in one sitting, but who cares what the cat thinks, right? He craps in a box of sand.
  9. Wait… did I leave anything at his place? Meh, you didn’t really need your grizzly bear paw slippers, anyway. Besides, it’s probably time for a new pair. The old ones were ratty and had a permanent sour foot smell. You can always treat yourself to a post-breakup shopping spree to hide and/or dull the pain.
Lauren Clark is a writer and news curator based in Denver, Colorado with bylines here on Bolde and at While she’s vehemently anti-social media, you can find her on LinkedIn.