Following Through with a Breakup

Following Through with a Breakup One of the most difficult challenges in dating is 1) knowing when to cut off a relationship and break it off, and then more importantly, 2) actually following through with the breakup and not going back. Why is this so difficult? Why is it so hard to break up and stay broken up with an unhealthy relationship? From my experience and understanding, it is usually because of some kind of fear: fear of the unknown, fear of being alone, and/or fear of not being able to find another relationship. Such fears often keep a person stuck or returning to an unhealthy relationship and/or can lead to getting back together after breaking up. Either way, the result is still being stuck in a bad situation. The aim of this article is to help you break up and stay broken up from an unhealthy relationship.

Ideas for Breaking Up:

When you give a relationship a decent chance and still conclude it is unhealthy and bad for you, it is time to break up. Although there are numerous ideas on this subject, here are a few from my experience:

*Breaking up by text is ok. If talking face to face, over the phone, or by video chat will turn overly emotional, volatile, or into an argument, a text may be the way to go. You don’t “owe” the other person a face-to-face breakup. Because…why? Breaking up by text is still communication. Texting is better than being ghosted, and will allow you to avoid the ugly moment. However, feel free to talk over the phone or face-to-face if you prefer. In any event, during the breakup, by nice, civil, respectful, and perhaps use a safe cliché to allow them to save face. Keep it short, and then move on. The truth is, the more you explain, the longer the discussion or argument will probably follow, and the uglier the discussion will become. The main point is, you have decided to move on, and all dating relationships are voluntary and optional at all times. You do not need to explain yourself to their satisfaction because often, that will not be possible.

Some respectful clichés to effectively break up without crushing the other person could any of the following:

*I just don’t think we are a match...
*I think this relationship has run its course…
*I am just not feeling the chemistry (or spark)…
*I think it’s time to go our ways…
*I think I need a break…

Ideas for Staying Broken Up:

After breaking up, it is important to stay broken up. If you feel the relationship was unhealthy, the relationship will still be unhealthy after getting back together. Therefore, staying broken up and moving on is usually the best option overall. Here are a few suggestions to help you stay broken up:

*Block and/or unfriend or unfollow the other’s text, email, and social media. Otherwise, the other will likely be tempted to reach back out and convince you to change your mind, leading to numerous “back and forths”. Because you have told them you are breaking up with them and you didn’t ghost them, you don’t need to keep explaining and going on and on with each other. This usually drags out the breakup and puts you at risk for getting back involved with what you already know was not a good relationship for you.

*Discuss boundaries with mutual friends or acquaintances. Mutual friends, coworkers, and acquaintances often find themselves in the middle of a breakup. This is unfair to them. Therefore, a good move to make early on it to let certain key people know that you have broken up, and that you would appreciate it if they would please not bring up what the other person is doing or what they have recently said to them. Do not allow your mutual connections to act as “go-betweens”.

*Be careful where you go, what you do. There are certain places and events where you know you will be likely to bump into the ex. When that is the case, it is usually a good idea to either avoid or limit going to those places anymore, at least for a good while. And when avoiding such places is not realistic or practical, just keep interactions as limited as possible and maintain your space.

*Remind yourself why you broke up. It can be tempting to get back together with someone when you begin focusing nostalgically on the better times and ignoring the problems that led to the breakup in the first place. Therefore, regularly remind yourself why you broke up in the first place and then keep that focus to keep you from returning to trouble. You might even want to type up and review a list of these reasons to keep on hand. Because all of the same issues that led to the breakup would eventually still there if you got back together.

Final Thoughts:

If you choose to remain in or return to an unhealthy relationship, that is up to you. To each their own. Everyone can date and have a relationship with whomever they want. However, I don’t recommend bad relationships because over time, such relationships only become more unhappy and troublesome. So, if you are willing to break up with the unhealthy relationship, I recommend reviewing and applying the ideas in this article. Then, please move on to a happier, healthier relationship in the future, remembering that “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:11.

Dr. G
P.S. If you have any questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at

2022-02-19 Randy Gilchrist Dating, Conflict resolution

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About the author

Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (, practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at; email me questions to