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Getting over a breakup isn’t easy — and neither is ending a long term relationship. Here are some tips on how to break up and make things easier on you and ex.

What's the best way to break up with someone?

Relationships end for a lot of reasons. Maybe you’re not happy with your partner, or maybe you just don’t want to be in a relationship right now. Whatever the reason, breaking up can be tough. These tips may help:

  • Prepare. Think about what you're going to say in advance. You may even want to practice on a friend or in front of a mirror, or write out your thoughts.

  • Pick the right spot. Talk to your partner somewhere that’s comfortable for both of you. If you’re worried about safety, somewhere public might be the best choice.

  • Say it in person. If you feel safe, talk to your partner face to face. E-mailing, texting, or talking on the phone may sound easier, but it’s usually not the best option. And don’t ask a friend to deliver the news for you.

  • Be respectful. If your partner asks you why you’re breaking up with them, be honest — it could help them have better relationships in the future. But don’t insult them or try to hurt them.

  • Make a clean break. If you really want to be friends, that’s fine. But if you’re just saying “let’s be friends” to let your partner down easier … don’t. It can lead to more hurt feelings. Even if you plan to stay friends, give your partner some space. It may help to take a break from seeing or talking to each other for awhile.  

  • Stick with your decision. If you feel like you’re doing the right thing, don’t let your partner try to convince you to stay together. It’s normal for someone to cry or get upset during a breakup, and that can be really hard to deal with. But feeling bad or guilty isn’t a reason to stay in a relationship.

How can I get over a breakup?

No matter how old you are or how many relationships you’ve been in, getting over a breakup can be really hard. Let yourself be sad, angry, and hurt. Cry, listen to sad music, go for a run, write in your journal — whatever helps you get your feelings out.

Friends or family can be a great support system, and talking it out may make you feel a lot better. If nothing seems to help and you’re feeling depressed, you may want to see a counselor — you can get a referral to one from your local Planned Parenthood health center.  

A few more tips:

Don’t feel like you have to stay friends. It may seem like a way to keep your ex in your life, but it can be really hard to scale a relationship back to a friendship — especially at first. Same goes for being “friends with benefits.”

Making a clean break may be hard to do, but it can help you focus on moving forward. Resist the urge to post bad things about your ex on Facebook or other social media — it can lead to a lot of embarrassment and regret. Finally, try not to feel bad about yourself. Your relationship didn’t work out, but that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you — or that you’ll never find love again.

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