21 Dos And Don’ts Of Breaking Up With Your Girlfriend

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How to break up with your girlfriend? There is no easy answer to this question. No matter how long you’ve been together or what your reasons for parting ways are, pulling the plug on a relationship is bound to sting. And not just the one who is going to get dumped.

Even as the one initiating the breakup, you may feel distraught, sad, and riddled with a sense of inexplicable heaviness. After all, you are going to break up with a girlfriend who loves you or at least hasn’t expressed any desire to end the relationship.

While you deal with these emotions and muster the courage to spill the beans, you must also be sensitive toward your girlfriend’s state of mind upon learning of your decision to part ways. Being mindful of certain breaking up rules can make the situation somewhat easier for both you and your soon-to-be-ex.

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21 Dos And Don’ts Of Breaking Up With Your Girlfriend

Just like relationships, every breakup too is unique. The right way, moment, and time to convey that you’re no longer interested in pursuing the relationship depends on your personal circumstances. The kind of connection you share with your girlfriend, your reasons for breaking up all play a role in determining how and when you should pull the plug.

For instance, ghosting is one of the most awful ways of ending a relationship, no matter how casual or serious, and certainly not the way to go if you want to break up with your girlfriend without hurting her. However, say you’ve just discovered that your girlfriend had been cheating on you all along. You may be hurting too much to have that final conversation with her. In that case, just upping and vanishing from her life may well be what you need to do to protect yourself. And the decision to ghost is near justified.

While the breaking up rules are largely contextual, there are certain basics breaking up rules that can make the process of moving on easier for both you and your ex. So, if you’re wondering how to break up with your girlfriend the right way, here are 21 such dos and don’ts to bear in mind:

infographic on do's and don'ts of breaking up with girlfriend

1. Do: Tell her in person

If you want to break up with your girlfriend without hurting her, make sure you do it in person. Yes, telling someone you’re no longer interested in being with them or that you’ve fallen out of love sucks. Big time.

But such is life. You have to learn to deal with the unpleasant realities. This is one such situation. There is no doubt that breaking the news to her is going to lead to some awkward, potentially volatile moments. You have to prepare yourself to handle it to the best of your ability.

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After all, if you’re mature enough to be in a relationship, you’re mature enough to end it the right way. That entails giving her the courtesy of a face-to-face conversation. This becomes even more crucial when you break up with a long-term girlfriend, with whom you’ve shared an intimate bond and whose life you’ve been an integral part of.

Break up without hurting her
Be mature and talk to her in person

2. Don’t: Break up over text

Unless you have a very good reason for it – say, a girlfriend whose temper issues pose a threat to your safety – it’s not cool to break up over text. Even if you have been dating casually or have been together only a few weeks, you still owe her a proper conversation. This becomes even more imperative when you’re going to break up with a girlfriend who loves you.

If you have been in a long-term relationship with her, denying her that last conversation can strip her of a sense of closure. This, in turn, would make it harder for her to move on.

You may think conveying your feelings over text may be a good idea if you’re grappling with the ‘break up with my girlfriend but I love her’ conundrum. But it’s not. She shouldn’t have to bear the brunt of your confused emotional state.

3. Do: Pick a place with some privacy

Where should I break up with my girlfriend? Is that question weighing on your mind? First of all, pat yourself on the back. You’re gearing up to break up the right way. Now, to answer your question – it’s ideal to have the break-up talk somewhere you can both have the chance to talk in peace.

So, steer clear of public places like cafes and restaurants. At the same time, avoid places that hold a special meaning for you as a couple. For instance, taking your girlfriend to the same spot where you kissed her the first time to tell her that you want out isn’t the best move.

Choose a neutral place where you can have the privacy that such an emotionally charged moment demands. Perhaps, you can meet at a friend’s place, take her out for a walk or go for a walk in a secluded park, so that you can both express yourselves freely, as you break up with a girl you love or who loves you.

Related Reading: 8 things to do if your girlfriend is ignoring you

4. Don’t: Ghost her

If you want to break up with your girlfriend like a man, don’t ghost her. Unless, of course, you have a valid reason to do so. Quietly vanishing from her life can be considered acceptable only and only if she has done something or is capable of doing something that threatens your physical or mental well-being.

But if your soon-to-be-ex isn’t a serial cheater or a potential stalker, ghosting is a no-no. By disappearing from her life without an explanation, you are leaving her riddled with questions forever. She may move on eventually but a part of her will always wonder what happened.

Even if you have decided to break up with your girlfriend for no reason, denying her the courtesy of one last conversation is still not a good idea.

5. Do: Give her an explanation

Whether you’ve decided to break up with a girl you love or someone you have just been seeing casually, there are bound to be reasons behind your decision. Even if it may feel like you’re going to break up with your girlfriend for no reason, there are always underling triggers for such a decision.

Perhaps you’re not compatible. Or there are certain relationship issues that you haven’t been able to resolve. Maybe you want different things in life. Whatever your reasons, share them with her.

When you break up with a girlfriend who loves you, these explanations will go a long way in helping her understand where you’re coming from and can perhaps cushion the hurt. For anyone seeking to break up with your girlfriend without hurting her, this is non-negotiable.

Break up with the girl you love
Whatever your reasons, share them with her.

6. Don’t: Make it personal

If you’re wondering how to break up with your girlfriend the right way, be mindful of this. Know the difference between explanations and accusations, and steer clear of the latter. Avoid statements like ‘I’m breaking up because you suffocate me’ or ‘It’s impossible to be happy with a whiner like you’.

Even if those things are true, it helps to not say them out loud. Be sensitive to the fact that you may be breaking her heart with your decision. There is just no need to add insult to injury.

7. Do: Give her a chance to talk

Once you’ve said your piece and announced your decision, give her a chance to talk. If she feels blindsided, there is a good chance that her reaction may be of shock mixed with anger and confusion. If you both had significant problems and the breakup was an inevitability, she may be more pragmatic in her reaction.

Either way, allow her the space to let her feelings out uninterrupted. You may or may not agree with what she has to say but this is not the place to contend it. Let it go. This may be the last time you have a heart-to-heart with her.

If she tries to bargain or change your mind, don’t let her emotionally charged appeals influence your decision. This is not the time to second-guess ‘should I break up with my girlfriend or not’.

Related Reading: 10 Signs He Is Still In Love With His Ex

8. Don’t: Be ambiguous

I’ve decided to break up with my girlfriend but I love her – this can be a harrowing realization to come to terms with. But if, for some reason, you have made this tough decision to break up with a girl you love, you already know that it’s going to be one of the hardest things you’ve ever had to do.

Particularly when you want to break up with your girlfriend without hurting her. Even so, make sure you’re clear and concise in your message. Don’t create ambiguity with statements like ‘I need some time off’ or ‘It’ll be better if we didn’t see each other for a while’.

For she may perceive it as a need for some space in the relationship or your desire to hit the pause button for a while. In that case, she may hang on to the hope that you will get back together once this phase is over.

9. Do: Rehearse your lines

How to break up with your girlfriend? To make sure that you get the intended message across, you must rehearse what you’re going to say. And if you are going to break up with a long-term girlfriend, understand that the conversation will be stressful.

That’s because announcing the decision to break up can be an emotionally vulnerable and overwhelming moment. You may not be able to wing it in that state of mind. As a result, you could end up saying things that can make the situation worse or more complicated.

So, before you have the talk with her, take some time to practice your lines. Talking in front of a mirror is a great way to assess whether you’re saying the right things in the right way and if your words are having the desired effect.

Besides, it can give you the confidence to rip the band-aid when the time comes.

10. Don’t: Waver from your decision

When going to break up with a girlfriend who loves you or whom you love, emotions can get the better of you. She may implore you to rethink your decision. While talking about your relationship, you both can get down to reminiscing about the good times. In that moment, you may feel that perhaps you can make it work.

The fact of the matter is that it’s your emotions clouding your judgment. Even if you do end up giving it another try, you will be back to where you’re in a matter of weeks, if not days. This can leave you trapped in the dangerous on-again-off-again relationship pattern.

One of the breaking up rules to swear by is to not make the decision to end a relationship lightly, but once you do, don’t backtrack. Keep reminding yourself why you chose to end the relationship when you resolve seems to waver.

11. Do: Discuss the No Contact Rule

After you go through with the breakup, you must sever all contact with your ex. This allows you both the time and space to heal and move on. When having the break-up talk with your girlfriend, do discuss the No Contact Rule.

Tell her that you’d like to go off the radar for a while and define what that means – no phone calls, no texts, unfriending or unfollowing each other on social media platforms. The whole nine yards. Make it a point to tell her that you’d appreciate it if she were on board with the idea but you’re going to do it anyway.

This should be non-negotiable when you break up with a long-term girlfriend, as you both need the space to recondition yourselves and get used to a life without each other.

12. Don’t: Promise to be friends

Being friends with one’s ex is always tricky territory. Maintaining a platonic friendship after you’ve been romantically involved with someone rarely works, if at all. It may start off well as it opens the doorway to have that familiar, comforting part of your life back, minus any obligations or baggage.

But soon, jealousy, resentment and arguments over whose fault it was that the relationship didn’t work begin to rear their ugly head. When that happens, not only your friendship but also your memories of the relationship are tarnished forever.

Knowing how to breakup with your girlfriend extends far beyond just conveying to her your decision to end the relationship the right way. You must also handle the aftermath of a heartbreak well to not let a breakup turn into a complicated mess.

13. Do: End things on a good note

You may be exiting each other’s life forever but that doesn’t mean you cannot remember your time together fondly. For that to happen, you must end things on a good note and break up with your girlfriend without hurting her.

Tell her that she’s a great person with many admirable qualities. And that anyone would be lucky to have her as their life partner. If you genuinely feel so, don’t miss out on telling her that you’re sorry that things didn’t work out between you two.

Besides, being gentle in your approach when you break up with a girlfriend who loves you can make dealing with the pain and heartbreak a lot easier for her.

Related Reading: 11 Tips To Get Over Someone You Never Dated

14. Don’t: Get trapped in an on-off relationship

After the breakup, there are going to be moments when you find yourself in the throes of loneliness and longing for your ex. Once you have called it quits, you might have rushes of remorse that will make you think “I decided to break up with my girlfriend but I love her”.  

When that happens, it becomes more important than ever that you consciously remind yourself of the reasons why it didn’t work out between you two. This will help you steer clear of the trap of an on-off relationship, which is nothing more than a toxic mess that will take a toll on both of you eventually.

If you find yourself questioning whether or not it was the right decision, try to distract yourself by doing something you love and enjoy that feeling of self-doubt recedes. Even if you feel that you decided to break up with your girlfriend for no reason, going back may not be the best idea because even if you can’t pin them down, there are always reasons behind pulling the plug on a relationship.

15. Do: Avoid breadcrumbing

Well, being trapped in a vicious cycle of breaking up and getting back together with an ex isn’t the only aftermath of a breakup that you need to be wary of. Breadcrumbing – sending flirtatious messages every once in a while to keep the possibility to start things over with an ex – is an equally dangerous tendency.

It can lead to confusion and make it near impossible for either party to get over each other. You need to find a more constructive way to channelize your emotions than latching on to the past. Once you’ve announced your decision to break up with a girl you love or have fallen out of love with, close the door on that part of your life.

Take the time to heal, and then, focus on moving on.

16. Don’t: Send or respond to emotional messages

You may have decided to cut all ties after the breakup and your ex may have agreed to it too. But following it through is easier said than done. In your weak moments, don’t send out a barrage of emotionally charged messages or voicemails to your ex. Don’t drunk dial them either.

If your ex does any of these things, don’t respond. It may be hurtful in the moment but it will help get across the message that you’re truly done with the relationship. Swallowing this bitter pill might help you both move on.

To break up with your girlfriend like a man also means standing by your decision no matter how tough the going gets

Follow breaking up rules
Steer clear of emotionally charged conversations

17. Do: Discuss logistics

How to break up with your girlfriend you’ve been in a long-term relationship with? Well, apart from the emotional aspect of it, you will also have to factor in the logistical implications of breaking up. If you share a house, bank account, assets, passwords, pets, or children, the breakup can become a whole lot messier. But that doesn’t mean you have to continue staying in an unsatisfying or unhappy relationship.

Once the emotions and tempers have settled down on both sides, do sit down with your girlfriend to discuss how to divide up your shared assets and liabilities. Who gets to keep the house? How soon will the other person move out?

Would you like to close the bank account? How would the money be divided? And so on. If the split wasn’t amicable, it can be a good idea to get a neutral third-party like a counselor, mediator or financial advisor involved in the process.

18. Don’t: Act rashly

Wondering how should I break up with my girlfriend? Well, one crucial rule of thumb is not to act rashly. If you’re in a long-term relationship, think long and hard about the consequences it can have on both your lives.

If you’re breaking up with someone you’ve just started dating, consider whether it is possible for you to work through your issues, and build a solid relationship. If you’re stuck at the ‘I need to break up with my girlfriend but I love her’ crossroads, think long and hard about whether or not you’re sure about ending the relationship.

Take a decision only when you have calmly evaluated the pros and cons of breaking up. Acting rashly puts you at risk of making decisions that you may regret later.

19. Don’t: Play fast and loose with her feelings

One moment you tell her that you want to break up and then kiss her the next. Or you continue to behave as if you’re still together long after you’ve broken up. Such erratic behavior patterns do more harm than good. Nothing can justify this act as it was your decision to break up with your girlfriend for no reason or reason best known to you.

Once you’ve made up your mind to end the relationship, don’t play fast and loose with her feelings. For that, it’s essential that you stay in control of your own. Just because you miss her one day doesn’t make it all right for you to show up at her door, expecting her to humor you.

Related Reading: 21 Signs You Should Break Up For Good

20. Do: Let go

If you’ve thought your decision through rather than acting from an emotional place, you will be at peace with your decision. That means no going back and forth over whether or not you did the right thing. Or trying to justify your actions to your ex or your friends. Or spending sleepless nights beating yourself up over the decision to break up with a girl you love.

What’s done cannot be undone. Even if you try to get back together, you cannot eliminate the cracks that have taken hold in the relationship owing to your decision to call it quits.

21. Don’t: Sleep with her

Whatever you do, do not sleep with your girlfriend after dumping her. This is one of the breaking up rules that remains non-negotiable, no matter the circumstances or reasons behind the decision.

Sleeping with an ex is like stepping into a minefield of trouble, completely exposed, and with nowhere to hide. You do it once, you will be tempted to do it again. Then, one of you will want more but the other may not be ready. The hurt and angst you both lived through when you first decided to break up will be magnified manifold, with feelings of confusion and betrayal thrown into the mix.

The simple answer to how to break up with your girlfriend you love is that you have to be clear, concise, and almost clinical in your approach. While you must be considerate of her feelings, you cannot let emotions weaken your resolve or cloud your judgment.


1. When should you break up with your girlfriend?

You should break up with your girlfriend in case you’re not compatible with each other, your relationship is riddled with issues that cannot be resolved, or you both want different things in life.

2. How to break up with your girlfriend without hurting her?

Be sensitive and considerate of her feelings but at the same time be clear and concise, so that there is no room for ambiguity to break up with your girlfriend without hurting her.

3. How to break up with your girlfriend over text? 

Ideally, you shouldn’t break up with your girlfriend over text. This is a conversation that must be had in person. But if you must, make sure you convey your decision clearly and offer an explanation for it. Convey your willingness to meet her at a later time to talk more about it.

4. How to make your girlfriend break up with you?

Rather than playing mind games to get your girlfriend to break up with you, the mature thing to do is to let her know that you want out.

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