Break Up Gracefully: 10 Rules To Help You Keep Your Cool

How to end your relationship with class and style.


Breakups are never easy. Whether you dated someone for 90 days or were in a marriage for nine years, the decision to end a relationship is painful. Aside from the inherent pain, breakups can become quite cruel.  It can be tempting to hurt your ex as a way of validating your anger and sadness. The immediate urge to protect your wounded ego can cause you to lose perspective. Are All Guys A**holes?

Regardless of how much anguish you feel, try to keep your dissolution dignified. The more ethically you act, the more elevated you will feel. Moreover, remaining in a constant state of distress and negativity is emotionally (and physically) detrimental. Here are ten ways to end your relationship gracefully:

  1. Be civil. Strive to be kind and respectful in person and through your written correspondence. Avoid being spiteful or passive aggressive.
  2. Don't spread lies. The truth always finds a way of rising to the surface. You would not want your ex spreading lies about you, so don't distort the truth about him. Understanding Stress & How To Manage It
  3. Never say anything disparaging in public, even if it's true. People will perceive you as petty and weak if you are consistently saying negative remarks about your ex. Also, persistent negativity will keep you in a negative state.
  4. Plan ahead. When you know you need to engage in verbal or written correspondence with your ex, practice what you are going to say or write. This will help prevent you from saying something you may regret.
  5. Show poise and maturity when encountering your ex's family and friends. Always represent yourself to the best of your ability.
  6. Be generous. Agree to split your accumulated assets equally. Know when to let your ex have something he desperately wants or legally deserves. Avoid the temptation of greed. Are You a Good Listener?
  7. Show empathy. If your ex compassionately reaches out to you (via phone, email, text, etc.) for an appropriate reason, always send them some type of reasonable response. Perpetual silence can be lethal during a breakup.
  8. Use a prepared script. Rehearse what you are going to say. When dealing with friends and family, stick to a standard statement as to why your relationship ended. This will reduce your anxiety and keep you sharp in social settings.
  9. Know when to ask for help. If the two of you can not end your relationship amicably, ask for the assistance of a mediator.
  10. If you have children, put their needs before your own. Your children are your primary responsibility; focus on their health and happiness. Additionally, never disrespect your Ex in front of your children. Dating After Divorce: How Soon Is Too Soon?