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Fact Sheet

Getting through a break up


Breaking up

Over time, you and your partner’s interests might change. You can grow apart or have less in common with the person you’re dating, and it might be time for you to think about ending the relationship.

If you decide to end a relationship, it can be difficult for both people, and respecting one another will make things easier. Once you decide to end the relationship, it’s a good idea to be honest, kind and definite.

You might want to tell the other person what you’ve been feeling and thinking, and what you want for yourself. It’s not helpful to blame the other person or try to pick out faults. Sometimes relationships end simply because people are different, and getting to know someone during a relationship can reveal differences that you didn’t see before. Differences are natural, but they might prevent you from keeping your relationship happy, healthy and strong.

Not sure whether to break up?

It can be hard to tell when exactly a relationship should ‘end’, often, there’s no exact point. However, healthy relationships involve trust, support and respect. If those are absent, you might consider whether that relationship is good for you. Check out the assessing your relationship and maintaining a happy relationship fact sheets, or take the Healthy Relationships Quiz on Love is Respect for more help.

How do I break up with someone?

Breaking up with someone can feel daunting, especially because you don’t want to hurt them. Try to pick a good time to break the news to someone, where they’ll be able to react naturally, express how they’re feeling and not get rushed. Often it takes some time for the news to sink in, especially if it’s a surprise. People might react to a break up differently. It’s not uncommon to feel sadness, anger, disbelief, guilt or even indifference. If you’ve been experiencing difficulties in your relationship for some time, your partner might even seem relieved.

Managing these feelings can be hard. Try to be calm, kind and gentle when you’re ending a relationship but also be firm and clear. Think about how you’d want someone to talk to you about ending your relationship. Get more tips no effective communication here.

Getting over an ex and moving on after a break up

Breaking up is hard, but try to remember the reasons why you or your partner made that decision and that it’s the best thing for two people when they can’t grow anymore in that relationship. It is not unusual to go through the different stages of grief after a big relationship in your life has ended.

It might take some time to accept that your relationship has ended and to move on from the relationship. The end of a relationship can give you time to learn more about yourself, spend time with your friends and do things that you enjoy doing. Having someone you can talk to about your feelings might be helpful. This can be a friend, family member or counselor or other mental health professional.

You may also find it helpful to:

Stay busy: Staying active and doing things you enjoy might help keep your mind off the break up. You might want to hang out with friends, read a book, go for a run or walk or listen to music.

Try something new: Sometimes it’s helpful to make a fresh start by trying something different. There might be a class you’ve always wanted to take—like drama, art or yoga—or you might want to start playing sport.

Look after yourself: This might be a difficult time, and it’s important that you look after yourself. Eating a healthy diet and staying physically active can be helpful. It might also help to treat yourself to something special. Do something that you enjoy.

Try to stay positive: Think about your achievements, your friends, things you enjoy and the good people in your life, and the positive things they have said about you. This can help you stay upbeat.

Talk with someone you trust: Getting some support when a relationship is ending might help you work through how you’re feeling. You might find it helpful to talk to your friends, your parents, a teacher, school counselor, doctor or another person that you can trust. Check out the Get Help section for more info about how these people can help.

It’s OK to be single: We promise- it can even be fun. Just give yourself time. We’ve got a fact sheet on being single here.

Need more info?

Visit Love is Respect for more info and quizzes like the Healthy Relationships Quiz.
assessing your relationship fact sheet
Managing anger fact sheet.
Maintaining a happy relationship fact sheet

Where to Next?



  • avatar2

    Reply - Quote


    I’m dating someone and he wants to be friends but still be together. Im confused about it, help?

    • avatar1

      Reply - Quote


      Relationships can be hard to figure out sometimes.  It sounds like you’re confused about what he really means by what he’s saying.  Does he want to end the relationship, but keep being your friend?  Does he want to be single, while still having a physical relationship with you?  Maybe the best idea is to just talk to a trusted friend or family member, or even a professional counselor, to help you gain some perspective.

      Take care,
      The ReachOut Crew

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