The Unspoken Commandments Of Breaking Up Like A Grown Adult

The Unspoken Commandments Of Breaking Up Like A Grown Adult ©iStock/PeopleImages

Breaking things off with someone you once cared about (and maybe still do) isn’t easy, but you could be making it harder on yourself than it really has to be by creating unnecessary drama — or putting up with his. If you’re ready to stop breaking up like immature losers and start ending relationships like the grown adult you are, here are 11 commandments to follow:

  1. Thou shall make up your mind. Don’t talk to him until you’re ready to end things completely without being affected by how he reacts. No amount of guilt tripping, explanations or excuses should be able to sway you if you know this is what’s right. Be 100% decided, then pull the trigger and kill the relationship.
  2. Thou shall not stall. Don’t drag it out if you know that you don’t love him anymore. Don’t wait for the perfect time either because there’s no such thing. There will always be birthdays, holidays or other special occasions coming up. Like the swoosh, just do it.
  3. Thou shall make sure he’s the first person to know. Changing your relationship status on Facebook to Single without telling him first is just heartless. So is discussing your plans of leaving him to your besties or any member of his family. Sure, your BFFs may have given you feedback and offered their support, but he’s the one in the relationship with you and he deserves to know first.
  4. Thou shall tell him face to face. Forget about texting, calling or sending a PM via social media when saying, “It’s over.” Instead, tell him face to face and actually use those words (or others that are just as clear) so he’ll realize that you’re serious about breaking up with him. More importantly, do it somewhere private so you can save your asses from public shame in case he doesn’t take your decision well.
  5. Thou shall be direct and concise. Just rip off the Band-Aid. Dragging it out won’t help either of you and in fact will probably make the situation a whole lot worse.
  6. Thou shall not be scared about him hating you. Don’t wrap up your convo in vagaries in an attempt to soften the blow. No matter how you say it, you’re still leaving him, and that’s enough reason for him to hate you (at least for that moment) and there’s really nothing that you can do about it.
  7. Thou shall tell him you appreciate what he did for you. Even if your relationship was the worst, there are still things you can thank him for, so do your best to identify these little things and let him know about it before you officially exit his life.
  8. Thou shall not promise him anything. Don’t say, “Let’s stay friends” when you know you can’t even offer him your friendship anymore. Don’t give him any false hope about a future reconciliation when you know it sure as hell won’t happen.
  9. Thou shall not detail the breakup on social media. Both of your social circles will surely know about you dumping him. Let him keep his dignity (and you keep yours) by not spilling everything on your Facebook wall.
  10. Thou shall not double dip. If you parted ways without drama and the breakup was kind of calm and cordial, chances are you’ll receive a text from him saying he wants to “hang out” sometime in the future. Even if he sounds cool with being FWB, don’t sleep with him again. You’ll go back to step one if you do and that’s not something you want, right?
  11. Thou shall move the on. It’s over, so know that there’s no sense on looking back on what might have been. Instead, it’s time to look forward to everything that lies ahead — and that includes a way better relationship.
Maine Belonio is a twenty-something mom and writer who has a penchant for coffee, long distance running, Tolkien, Switchfoot, and Jesus. Find her broken, honest, and brave musings at