This Is Scientifically The Best Way To Break Up With Someone

We might think that we know how to dump someone but according to a recent study by researchers at Brigham Young University, we really have no idea. Luckily, researchers discovered the greatest way to break up with our boyfriend or girlfriend: be super honest and direct. Here’s why this is a good strategy.

  1. We should use one cliche. According to study author Alan Manning, it’s totally fine to start off with the standard “we need to talk.” He added that this phrase pretty much lets the other person know that bad news is coming. It makes sense, right? It would suck if we were having a fun evening with our BF and then he randomly said, “Okay, so I’m dumping you right now.” We do need a minute to realize that things have changed and that we’re about to have a raw, real conversation.
  2. We tend to be selfish AF. One major point from the study is that when we break up with someone, we make it a super lengthy thing. We hem and haw and say nice things and take forever to get to the point. We might think that we’re doing this for our partner’s sake because we don’t want to hurt them, but we’re actually doing this to make sure that we don’t feel too crappy for doing this to them. In other words, it’s pretty selfish. If we can just be honest right from the beginning of the conversation, it will be much better for our partner.
  3. We’ve been breaking up totally wrong. Based on this study, it seems like we’ve really been pretty lost when it comes to letting our partners know that we don’t think that the relationship is working out. We’re definitely not honest or direct. We say lame things and don’t explain ourselves and generally make the whole thing much more painful and awkward than it needs to be. Maybe now that we know, we’ll do better. That’s what we can hope for, at least.
  4. There’s no easy way out. We try to break up with someone in a way that doesn’t hurt us or them. Of course it’s going to suck for both parties—it’s a breakup, after all. It’s not exactly a super fun time. This is a pretty good lesson for anything in life. When something is tough, we just have to do it and get through it instead of trying to make it something that it’s not.
  5. Being obvious is important. We hide behind so many excuses for why we’re breaking up with someone and we usually blame work in some way. We say that we’re heading into a crazy busy period or that we need to focus on our careers. That leaves the other person thinking that we’re just stressed and that when work slows down, our relationship will return to normal. Obviously, that’s not what we mean at all.
  6. We should explain ourselves. If we’re going to be honest when we break up with our partner, we should definitely tell them exactly why we’re ending things. This is all part of the right way to break up with someone. According to the study, we should be “fairly brutal,” which definitely means giving some reasons. Why don’t we tell our boyfriends or girlfriends that we think we’ve grown apart or that we’re living separate lives or that we know they’re cheating on us? What are we so afraid of? We’ve made the choice that it’s over and so we should be as honest as possible.
  7. Being considerate is key too. When the study participants were thinking about which way they wanted to be told something awful, they said that consideration was a big thing. We might think that letting someone down easy means that we’re being considerate, but actually, being honest is the nicest thing that we could do. We don’t want the other person to spend weeks or even months wondering what went wrong. They should know exactly what’s going on so they can move on in peace.
  8. We need to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes. We’ve all been dumped at least once (probably) and it was worse when our BF or GF was inarticulate, right? We wished that they would just tell the truth and make it quick and painless. That’s how we have to think about breakups. When it’s our turn to end things, we should think about what they would want to hear and how they would want it to go. Chances are, they want something fairly fast.
  9. We need to let ourselves off the hook. Even if we know that ending a relationship is for the best, we still feel guilty. After all, we stay in relationships that aren’t good for us, sometimes even years longer than we should. The thing is, we’re not doing anything wrong. We have every right to be happy and to leave someone who is making us totally miserable. Let’s agree to let ourselves off the hook and stop feeling like the worst person ever just because we’re breaking up with our partner. After all, science is telling us to be honest, so we might as well listen.
Aya Tsintziras is a freelance lifestyle writer and editor from Toronto, Canada. In addition to writing about dating and relationships for Bolde, she also writes about movies, TV, and video games for ScreenRant and GameRant. She has a Political Science degree from the University of Toronto and a Masters of Journalism from Ryerson University. You can find her on Twitter @ayatsintziras and on Instagram @aya.tsintziras.