Community: 4 Breakup Mistakes You Must Avoid


woman talking to man with head down while leaning on wall

Our quest to find that perfect match usually leads us through several relationships before we find "the one."  Hopefully, with each passing relationship we learn something new about love and something new about ourselves, which we can bring forward into our next relationship.  Of course our quest for that perfect match does not just involve learning and self discovery, unfortunately it also involves having to handle the dreaded issue of how to break up. 

The way you break up with someone reflects something about the relationship that you are ending, as well as reflecting something about your personality.  For most of us, our goal is to make a clean break without a lot of drama, but this is not always the result.  Here are 4 of the most common mistakes to avoid when it comes to breaking up.


Venting—Breaking up by listing all the rotten things that the other person has done during your relationship is a sure fire way to end your relationship with an explosive argument.  It doesn’t matter whether you expressed your dissatisfaction with your partner during the relationship or whether you left these things "unsaid." Either way, a break up is not the time to air these issues.  If you didn’t express these problems during the relationship, then put “communicate better” at the top of your list for things to do differently in the future, instead of mentioning them while you are calling it quits.

Trip Down Memory Lane—Despite your desire to make the break up as pleasant as possible for him, there is no need to go through a list of all the wonderful times you had together.  Your focus is to move on, not to wallow in the past.  The trip down memory lane just invites him to start begging, since he's likely to point out that there can be many more good times ahead if you will just give him one more chance.

Cliches—We all know the typical break up cliches like "It’s not you, it’s me" or "I don’t deserve someone like you."  His feelings will not be spared merely because you used a tired old cliche.  In fact, he may feel insulted when you sound like a character from a bad romance movie rather than speaking from your heart.

Tap Dancing—Some women try to break up by implying their desire to split rather than just coming out and saying it.  You want to say it as delicately as possible, but your goal is still to communicate that this relationship is over.  When you aren’t direct, you may find that he has no idea what you are trying to tell him.  If you leave the break up meeting and he asks if this means that you can't make it to dinner with him next week, then you can be sure that you were not direct enough.

So, now that you know what things to avoid, the key is to take the necessary steps to be sure that you will not make these mistakes.  Planning out what you are going to say ahead of time is a much better approach than just going in and winging it.  You should also give some thought to how you will respond to a variety of possible reactions from him, including anger, begging or maybe even crying.