How to Know When to Break Up With Someone

Published June 18, 2024 by Zencare Team

When to break up with someone isn’t as black-and-white as it may initially seem. People’s thresholds for what constitutes the need to end a relationship vary based on their attachment styles, past experiences, personalities, life situations, and more. This means that the best time to break up with your partner is a very subjective call.

So, what are some good reasons or signs that it’s time to break up with someone and how can you break up in a healthy way that minimizes the amount of harm done to both you and your partner?

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Reasons to break up with your partner

Everyone has different reasons for getting into a relationship, and similarly everyone also has different reasons for breaking up with their partners.

Here are some common reasons why people decide to break up with their partner:

Download Your Reasons to Break Up With Your Partner Guide

Strategies for evaluating your relationship

When you aren’t sure whether you should break up with your partner, there are a few strategies to evaluate your relationship and determine what your next step might be. That said, it can be helpful to talk openly with your partner about these feelings or ideas, even if you’re still trying to sort them out, that way you can work together to find a way forward – even if that means breaking up.

Going through with the break-up

If you decide that you want to go through with the break-up, one of your top priorities might be to do so in a way that’s kind and that avoids as much harm as possible. There are a few ways to do so, including:

Supporting yourself or a loved one post break-up

Often, complicated feelings arise in the aftermath of a break-up. You might feel sad about the loss of a relationship but excited for your newfound independence. You might feel angry about what was said during the break-up but also like you miss your partner or the emotional support they gave you.

It’s important to take care of yourself during this period, and self-care can take many different forms. There’s nothing wrong with taking a mental health day away from school or work if having quiet, calm time to yourself will be helpful. It could take a while to get over your ex, so planning ahead can give you the love you need to move on.

If you find that you’re still struggling with the aftermath of the break-up months after it happens, it could be a good idea to speak with a therapist. Therapists can be helpful when it comes to processing complex emotions and reflecting on what happened that led you to the break-up. They can also help you think about what’s next for you and come up with a plan to overcome any lingering negative emotions that arise. You can filter the Zencare therapist directory by Specialty, including relationship issues, then watch each therapist’s introductory video to see if they would be a great fit for you.

Even when you’re the person instigating the break-up, break-ups are hard. Having tough conversations requires true vulnerability, so it’s important to remember that with vulnerability comes resilience and that by ending a relationship that isn’t doing it for you any longer, you’re choosing to take care of yourself over the needs of other people – a huge mark of self-care.

Abuse resources

National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or text “START” to 88788

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

National Dating Abuse Helpline 1-866-331-9474