How to Break Up Gracefully

Broken heart

 Philip Galanes, New York Times Social Q’s columnist gives advice on how to deal with breakups! He’ll answer listener questions about the best and worst way to break up with someone, and how friends and family can be affected the repercussions. Galanes is the author of author of Social Q's: How to Survive the Quirks, Quandaries and Quagmires of Today.

One of the biggest mistakes people make is that they think the breakup is the final thing. But the breakup is just the beginning of a new stage with this person. Even if you never hear from them again, you’ll hear about them and you’ll think of them every time you hear a certain song you used to listen to together.

Don’t lie to the person you're dating and tell them you’re moving to Paris or to Dubai, because you’ll inevitably keep running into them at Starbucks and it’ll be obvious that you lied. It's always better to be honest.

The best way to move on is to find something else that you can be excited about. It doesn’t need to be another person. It can be anything—yoga, running, cooking, home improvement, volunteering.

If you have a friend who just got dumped, be a shoulder to cry on. But if they ask you to corroborate how bad their ex is, how many terrible things he or she did, don’t do it! Because sometimes they’ll get back together, and then you’ll look like a jerk and feel like a fool.

Breaking up by text is mean. “Somebody who breaks up like that wasn’t really thinking of you, he was thinking, How do I stop this awkward situation fast?” It doesn’t give the other person the chance to respond and there’s no conversation. It doesn’t take the other person’s feelings into consideration at all.

Match.com, Nerve.com, Manhunt, Tindr, and other apps and dating sites make it seem like there are a limitless number of potential dates out there, which makes it harder for a relationship to take hold. The way we prevent them from slipping away is to follow your impulse and to say honestly what you think is going on, to openly talk about it.

Before you change your Facebook relationship status, or un-friend the person you’re dating, make sure you’ve had a conversation with them about your relationship. It’s not nice to find out someone is breaking up with you on Facebook.

Sometimes people take the passive aggressive route so that you’ll break up with them and they don’t have to do the breaking up. In those cases, it’s best to communicate with that person and find out what’s going on to see if you can work it out. And if you can't it's better to end it sooner rather than to let the relationship suffer.