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It’s Not Me, It’s You: How to Break Up

By , 17, Staff Writer Originally Published: January 25, 2008 Revised: September 21, 2015

Before sealing the deal with Mr. Big, Carrie Bradshaw, the sex columnist and shoe-a-holic on HBO’s Sex and the City, was dumped by her old flame, Jack Berger. With a Post-it note.

There is almost nothing worse than breaking up with someone through a Post-it note. My ex-boyfriend wouldn’t agree, of course; I broke up with him through an IM two days after our four-month anniversary. I don’t know what was worse—the fact that I told all my friends about the breakup before I confronted him, or the fact that I kept his $30 Spiderman 2 Special Edition DVD.

Whether you’re the dumped or the dumper, breaking up is never an easy thing to do. However, there are ways to let the dumped down easily.

There is almost nothing worse than breaking up with someone through a Post-it note.

  • Offer your partner legitimate reasons for the break up. Note that “we hardly talk or have anything in common” is much better than “you bore me.” He may be the biggest jerk ever. She may be the most boring snob you’ve ever met. But that doesn’t mean it’s OK to mock his or her shortcomings. If you’re going for the “It’s not you, it’s me” approach, it is important to provide specific examples as to why it is indeed you. If you don’t, your boyfriend or girlfriend will be playing sappy emo lyrics on his or her MySpace profile for weeks
  • Tell your boyfriend or girlfriend first. Don’t let him or her hear that you’re going to break up from your friend’s cousin’s ex-girlfriend’s picture comment on Facebook. If anyone has the right to know about your desire to end the relationship, it is the boy or girl you’re currently in the relationship with.
  • Don’t put it off. Dragging it out is painful for both of you.
  • Break up with your boyfriend or girlfriend in person, if possible. Being dumped is hard enough without someone blowing you off with a typical “im braking up wit u” text message and treating you like you don’t even deserve the time it takes to call or get together in person.
  • Be gentle, yet firm and straightforward, when your leg is drawn back for that inevitable “kick to the curb.”

The Aftermath

“After I broke up with my boyfriend, I felt relieved, like a burden had been lifted. But at the same time, I did miss him a lot,” says Jeana Colbalt, 16, of Dallas, TX.

Like Jeana, it is normal for you to miss your boyfriend or girlfriend or have feelings of regret after the breakup. The longer you’ve been dating, the more likely you are to miss your ex, which is understandable.

Now that you’ve removed the date you two started dating from your AIM profile and changed your MySpace status to single, do not move on to your cute lab partner—even if said lab partner gives you the answers to the biology homework. Not only does it hurt the feelings of your former beau or belle, but rushing into the next best thing before you’ve had time to properly collect yourself is the making of a disastrous rebound.

The most important thing you should remember about breakups—whether you’re the dumped or the dumper—is that the world continues to turn. You move on. Life goes on.

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