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However hard it is to deal with a breakup, you will get through this difficult period. And there are things you can do to help you cope.
Breaking up with someone is rarely easy. Even if it’s your decision, you’ll probably feel some sadness and miss things about your ex.
If you’ve been dumped, it can be especially tough. You may feel shocked if it’s come out of the blue, as well as angry, sad, rejected or all sorts of other emotions.
Below you’ll find advice to help you through the different stages from deciding it’s time to end the relationship to coping with heartbreak and being on your own again.
Sometimes deciding to split up is straightforward – you just know it’s the right thing to do and the time has come to do it. But often it’s not that clearcut.
If things are perhaps not as good as they used to be but does that mean you should end it? Maybe one you is about to move away to study and you don’t know if you want a long-distance relationship. Or maybe you’ve felt attracted to someone else and you’re not sure what this means for your relationship.
Weighing up the pros and cons
If you too are feeling confused, you could try writing down how you feel.
This may help you weigh up the pros and cons of staying together or splitting up.
Before deciding, you could also consider:
Talking to your partner about your doubts: Bringing up difficulties in your relationship can be awkward. But if you’re having doubts, maybe they are too? By talking and listening to each other, you may be able to work things out together. See more advice about communication.
Talking to a friend or someone in your family: you can trust and whose opinion you value. Sometimes, just voicing what you’re feeling can help you see things more clearly.
Do you feel something’s not quite right about your relationship?If you’re ever frightened of your partner or can think of any way in which they try to control you, make you feel bad about yourself, or harm you physically or sexually, then it’s really important to get help. These types of behaviour count as abuse and abuse usually gets worse over time. See more about abuse and how to get help.
You’ve made the decision and it’s time to end it, but how do you do it?
There’s no set way to break up and it’s impossible to completely avoid upsetting the other person.
But unless you really don’t care how they’ll feel, it’s worth planning what you’ll say to break the news as kindly as possible.
Consider how you would like to be treatedIf they were breaking up with you, would you want them to tell you in person, call you or do it by text? Would you be upset if other people found out about it first?
Choose your wordsTry to explain your reasons gently and honestly and avoid saying anything hurtful that you don’t need to say.
Pick your time and placeChoose a time when they’re more likely to be able to lean on friends or family for support. Avoid humiliating them by telling them in front of friends or in a public place. If you’re going to change your profile on social media, think about when you do it.
Stay safe If you’re in a situation where you’re worried that they might get angry or violent if you end with them, then you need to put your safety first. This might mean not meeting with them in person or having someone else with you.
If you’ve just broken up with someone, it’s normal to feel a whole range of emotions including sadness, anger, regret, anxiety, relief.
You may not believe it right now but however awful you feel at this moment, you won’t continue to feel this bad forever. Here are some tips to help you cope with the aftermath of a breakup.
Content reproduced with kind permission from University College London’s Sexunzipped website.
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