It’s Over – How to Shut Down an On-Again, Off-Again Relationship

Are you one of those annoying couples who changes their Facebook status from “single” to “it’s complicated” to “in a relationship” on a biweekly basis? First of all, no one cares. Second, stop it. If you broke up once, the chances you’ll break up again are extremely high. There’s someone else out there who’s better for you, but you’ll never find him if you’re hung up on your on-again, off-again excuse for a relationship. You have to be strong and rip that band-aid off once and for all so you can heal. Also, your friends are sick of hearing about it, trust me.

  1. Give yourself permission to be single. Sometimes outside pressure is what keeps you from choosing to go back to being single. Remember, no one else has to be in the relationship, and no one else can decide for you whether it’s worth fighting for or not. Put aside everyone else’s opinion and know that being single is your choice to make.
  2. Practice what you’re going to say. It might seem strange to rehearse a break up, but if you know what you want to say, it will be a lot harder for him to talk you out of it then if you were flying by the seat of your pants. Make notes if it helps your thought process to write it out. If you’re ready for any possible response from him, you’ll be a lot more likely to stick to your guns.
  3. Talk it out with him. If you keep having those blow out fight break ups where he storms out, only to come back begging for forgiveness a couple days later, you’re stuck in a vicious cycle. If you want a break up to stick, you have to talk it through in a rational way so you both feel like you have the closure you need to move on.
  4. Be clear and concise. Since you’ve gone back on breakups in the past, there’s a good chance he won’t take you seriously at first. This is exactly why you need to stay calm, and give it to him straight. Say what you need to say and make it clear there’s no way he can change your mind. If he sees you’re 100% sure, it will be less likely he’ll try to test your resolve after a couple days of radio silence.
  5. Be nice. You want to keep the breakup civil. There’s no reason to verbally attack him, or put all the blame on him. Try to be as honest as possible, but keep the low blows to yourself.
  6. Delete his number. Clearly, if you can’t manage to be around him without wanting to get back together, then you need to give yourself some distance from the relationship. You don’t want to slip and send him a drunken “I miss you” text, so deleting his number is absolutely essential. If you have it memorized, maybe consider downloading an app like DrunkDial, which requires you to pass a few sobriety tests in order to text or call your ex.
  7. Block him on social media. Sometimes deleting him just isn’t enough. Especially if you have mutual friends. You don’t want him to be able to see what you’re up to or where you’re going to be because that will just give him an opening to show up somewhere and try to win you back. Out of sight, out of mind is key here.
  8. Don’t try to keep in contact with his friends or family, at least at first. You might have really bonded with his sister, but the bottom line is she’s his family, so he gets dibs. If you want to let her know about the breakup from your perspective, go for it. But don’t expect her to be on your side.
  9. Get rid of his stuff. You don’t want to be digging through your drawers for a t-shirt and come across his old high school gym shirt. Try to gather up all his stuff as soon as possible and either keep it in a box to return to him after a little time has passed, donate it, or just throw it away. Getting rid of his stuff will drive home that you are really done with him, and he won’t be coming back.
  10. Take care of yourself. It’s perfectly natural, and necessary to be upset after a break up, even if you were the one who did the dumping. Let yourself wallow for a little bit. Mourn the relationship, but remember why you two ultimately couldn’t work out, and stick to your guns.
By day, Courtney is a digital marketing copywriter living in Toronto, Canada. By night, she's a freelance lifestyle writer who, in addition to, contributes regularly to, IN Magazine, and SheBlogs Canada. Want to chat about relationships, Stephen King or your favorite true crime podcast/documentary/book? She's on Twitter @courtooo.