7 Breakup Coping Strategies

Is there a good way to go about a breakup? Maybe not, but there are better ways. Read on for some expert advice from veteran divorce attorney Bruce Provda on how to proceed and recover.


Neil Sedaka crooned about the end of relationships in 1962 with his hit "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do."

Google almost any word that deals with terminating a relationship and over 300 million responses are returned in .64 seconds.

Breaking up is something that happens to everyone sooner or later. Even the best of relationships change and evolve. Using a few coping strategies can keep you from tearing your hair out, crying yourself to sleep, or finding comfort in the bottom of a bottle.

Sometimes breakups are mutual, but often they are one-sided. Remember the well-worn "It's not you, it's me" line?

Dumpers, as opposed to the dumpee, have a variety of tools in their belt up to including the dreaded Facebook relationship status change.

Unlike humans, all breakups are not created equal. There are good, bad, and best ways to leave your partner. Choosing the right option often can leave the path to future romance with your partner clear.

Other choices will make sure you never see or hear from your partner again.

Collins and Gillath identified seven breakup strategies:

1. Avoiding Contact With the Ex

If you don't respond to the text or phone calls, your ex may eventually get the idea that the good times are over. The texts may come fast and furious during the first few days following the breakup, but hopefully they will figure out the inevitable until you don't hear from them again.

2. Blaming Self

Here you try to take the blame for the breakup and try to make your partner feel better, "You're too good for me."

3. Confronting the Ex

Openly confront your partner, state your feelings and the desire to break up. "Sorry, it's just not working for me."

4. Picking Fights

Become unpleasant and pick fights with your partner to encourage them to break up. "You know how to push my buttons, don't you?"

5. Manipulating

Use manipulative tactics such as telling mutual friends about your desire to break up in the hopes that your partner will soon find out.

6. Make Technology Work For You

Uses indirect communication methods such as email, text message, or Facebook. Your partner will get the idea when they see your status changed to "Single."

7. De-escalate

By "de-escalating," you're telegraphing that you want a break or are blaming the breakup on factors other than the relationship, such as having to return to college following Summer break.

Depending on what you think you may want out of the relationship will help determine which strategy to use.