There’s no easy way to end a relationship. Facing the facts that a fling/long-distance romance/long-term bond has ended hurts—no matter how you slice it. But when it comes to how you end the romance, that’s where you can proactively help yourself heal if you do it the right way. Which is why we reached out to Heartbreak Coach, Claire Byrne, to guide us on the healthiest way to call it quits. Read on for Byrne’s expert insight and advice.
Editor’s note: Although this article uses male pronouns, the advice applies to all sexual orientations and gender identities.
What's the best way to end a relationship?
“An honest conversation from the heart.
It sucks to let someone down, but if you’ve been exclusively dating a lovely man you’re no longer into, do him the honor of explaining where you’re coming from. And if you don’t see rekindling the relationship down the road, make this clear to your future ex, who may want to hold on to false hope.
But, if the relationship has become toxic and you feel unsafe having a conversation out of fear of his violent reaction, you can absolutely write a clear, succinct message, without leaving any room for discussion.
The same goes for if he was two-timing you or you discovered there was major gaslighting he pulled off throughout the course of the relationship. You 100% don’t have to set yourself up for more of it. Make it final in writing without any wiggle room for a conversation, and then put the energy you would have given into trying to unravel his masterful brainwashing back into healing yourself and moving forward.”
Let’s chat social media post-breakup. What’s your advice for handling Instagram/Facebook after a breakup?
“If you’re hurting, you have to disconnect from him on all forms of social media—including your stalker account (read: finsta) that allows you to spy on him, his friends, and his family.
You’re punishing your already heartbroken self by thinking you need to know who he’s with and what he’s up to. What he’s doing has no basis on your life anymore. The time you’re putting into wanting to know the latest about him is time away from focusing on healing you, and eventually creating space for the right man to enter.
And if your savvy detective skills reveal he’s still single, you’re giving yourself false hope that lets you pointlessly hold on. (Even if he comes back, that energy is still pointless.)
What’s more important? Healing? Or torturing yourself?
Start loving yourself as much as you love him … if not more.”
Do you recommend deleting pictures as a couple on Instagram?
“It all depends on your reason behind deleting or keeping the pics.
Are you deleting as a way to say F you? Maybe that feels really good in the moment, but any act out of anger or malice never heals the hurt lying beneath it, and I’m all about encouraging the dumpee to take the high road, regardless of the dumper’s behavior. Pause before you POOSH the delete button and ask yourself, ‘What is my intention for deleting?’
If your intention is to commit to healing and moving forward, you might decide that deleting pics is an act of self-care to help you avoid painful reminders of the good times.
Now, if you can’t bring yourself to delete because you hate the thought of the world knowing you’re done, making it that much more real, it’s time to embrace what is, and delete. Holding on to what isn’t anymore, plus needing others to believe you’re still together, not only prevents you from facing reality, but also from moving forward.
And if you’re keeping the pics because you don’t want to give him the satisfaction you care, you’re getting into the business of what HE’s thinking (which you never really know), and are behaving from a place of defensive self-protection vs. self-love.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure your reasoning is coming from a clean space that serves your best interest, instead of his and the rest of the world’s.”
Does blocking someone actually work?
“It all goes back to your intention behind the blocking.
Are you deeply committed to healing and moving on, more than you’re committed to getting him back? If so, blocking him is an incredibly brave step, but not the only step toward healing your heart.
If you’re blocking because your bestie told you to, but find yourself constantly obsessing over where he is, who he’s with, and staying connected with mutual friends to get updates on him, then no, blocking is not the solution, although I’d still highly recommend it.
But without the right mindset behind the blocking, it will be more of a struggle to get over him. Think of it this way: who’s the woman you want to become after this breakup?
A woman who takes her power back?
A woman who uses this heartbreak to fuel inspiration to become the best version of herself?
These are some good mindset questions to marinate on before you POOSH the block button.”