How do YOU break up with someone?


A question we get A LOT is about how to break up with someone without feeling like (or being) a terrible person. So we put the question to The Line on Facebook and Insta.

Black image with white text that says #YourQuestions How do you break up with someone? The line logo.


The overall gist was to muster up the guts to say it to their face (unless you're feeling scared or unsafe), then do what you need to do with respect and empathy. Here’s some of what people said…

  • Michael "By text definitely hurts a lot more than face to face".
  • Zac "Always say it to their face".
  • Willow "If someone cheats or is a dangerous person then I think that voids giving that level of respect and a text or phone-call break-up is acceptable".
  • Lindsey "I'm not gunna lie, I've done it over text after dating someone for like 3 weeks and I feel bad about it still".
  • Mike "As gently as I can, e.g. 'Look I've been having some thoughts...'" 
  • Sorbello "Do it with honesty, even if the reason is really petty. The other person at least deserves to know why".
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And then Claudia gave some tips on how NOT to dump someone and pretty much nailed it...

  1. Don’t get your friend to leave a voicemail on your behalf.
  2. Don’t do it over the phone, via text, post it note, via email. Unless you’re doing distance and then I guess Skype or FaceTime is ok.
  3. Don’t sing it. Whether it’s a real song or one you’ve made up.
  4. Don’t have anyone else break up with someone on your behalf.
  5. Don’t lie or blame it on something unrelated.
  6. Don’t say it then not respond to their questions.
  7. Don’t just stop talking to them.

It’s rarely going to be good news to the person you’re breaking up with, but the wisdom seems to say: If you’re going to do it, do it with honesty and respect, and make sure you know what you want and what you’re going to say. And be prepared for some self-doubt - there’s always a risk that your not-quite ex will tell you you’re making a mistake and you end up caving, even though you know you don’t want to be in the relationship and to continue won’t be good for either of you in the long run. Stay strong!

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