wikiHow to Break Up with Your Girlfriend over the Phone

Three Methods:Sticking to a ScriptTiming the Breakup CallMinimizing the Emotional Reaction

Breaking up over the phone can be tough. Many argue breakups over the phone are in bad taste. Some recent surveys, however, indicate that casual relationship text breakups are approved by the majority. [1] Nearly a quarter of people are even fine with breaking up a serious relationship via text. If a breakup text is OK in today’s smart phone-dominated world, then surely a breakup phone call passes muster. Breakups are naturally problematic because there was a reason for the relationship, and the receiving end of the breakup often has hurt feelings. [2] Try to avoid the awkward interaction and minimize the pain by employing a few strategies during your call.

Method 1
Sticking to a Script

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    Tell her you have something to talk about. The seriousness of this type of comment will get her attention. It’s important to say this at the beginning of the call, not as a reason for a call. If you tell your partner you’d like to talk about something personal before the call, she’ll likely want to talk in person. [3]
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    Start your conversation with a compliment. Many people utilize a compliment-sandwich, where criticism or harsh news is in between praise.[4] Here are a few great possible choices:
    • ”I think you’re a great person.”
    • ”I’ve been so lucky to have you in my life.”
    • ”We've grown so much together.”
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    Inform your soon-to-be-ex of what failed in the relationship. No matter what it is, there needs to be a concrete reason for the breakup. Without a definite cause, there is a probable argument or a drawn out conversation. Any one of the following possibilities is a great reason to provide. [5]
    • ”You were caught cheating, and I just don’t believe I can ever forgive you.”
    • ”We simply argue too much. The relationship isn’t fun anymore.”
    • ”You’re mean to me, and I’m just not happy.”
    • ”The communication in our relationship is a one-way street. You never listen.”
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    Say you want to break up. Do not preface the sentence with “I think” or “I believe.” Do not use a substitute like, “I think we need space.” Be very blunt. It’s important to get your point across without any interpretation, debate, or argument that will bring about doubt.
    • ”I just don’t see any future between the two of us. We’ll be staying together for no reason.”[6]
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    Let your partner know why she is a good catch. She may not want to hear it, but it’s important to end things as positively as possible. It’s important for both her well-being and yours to minimize whatever emotional stress and trauma there could be.[7] Try one of the following comments:
    • ”You’d be a great girlfriend for anyone. You’re so caring.”
    • ”Anyone would kill to have someone as lovely as you.”
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    Listen to final comments. She may potentially understand the reason for the breakup. There may even be the possibility that your partner has been thinking about the breakup for some of the same reasons you’ve provided. She may even provide examples of why the relationship hasn’t been working.[8]

Method 2
Timing the Breakup Call

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    Inform your soon-to-be-ex before telling others. You don’t want the rumor mill or shared friends to spread the news. Avoid telling your friends and family, because they may say something to another person, and in a matter of no time your partner could find out. With the speed of today’s online information, there is a good chance information will break before you have your discussion.[9]
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    Don’t delay the phone call. Chances are there have been problems for some time. Keeping things going because you don’t want to hurt her feelings may inadvertently cause more attachment, and more pain. When you make up your mind the relationship should end, make the call as soon as feasible. Don’t mess around with further communication.[10]
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    Choose the right time. Think about what would make it most convenient, what would ease the pain. Avoid any specific times when your soon-to-be-ex may be busy, at work, or occupied with anything important.
    • You don’t want to ruin a location she loves. Find out her schedule and try to plan a day and time that won’t lead to tainted memories of a specific place.[11]
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    Select the right day. Depending on her processing style, it may be kind of you to provide time to mourn. The weekend works as a great emotional buffer, two days for crying, calling friends, and getting over the news. [12]
    • If your soon-to-be-ex is not that into you, and is likely to shake off the breakup quickly, then breaking the news on a Monday may work just fine. She’ll likely soak it in during free time.

Method 3
Minimizing the Emotional Reaction

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    Provide a reason for the breakup. The reason some lines are more prevalent is that they have been used multiple times and are pretty broad-ranging. They also minimize emotional reaction with just enough vagueness and deflection.[13]
    • ”It’s not you. It’s me.” This is a solid line that places blame on you instead of your girlfriend.
    • ”I’m not ready for a commitment.” Pointing to superior readiness to progress in a relationship places blame on you.
    • ”I need some space and time alone.” You’re essentially calling them clingy, but it could be interpreted as too loving.
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    Apologize for any pain you have caused. You may not be able to cause happiness about the breakup, but you may be able to assuage the feelings by sincerely apologizing and mentioning qualities that will attract new potential partners.[14]
    • ”I’m sorry you’re upset, but I really feel we’re better off without one another.”
    • ”If there were a way to say this without hurting you, I would definitely prefer it.”
    • ”I apologize, but I just don’t see a future for us.”
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    Terminate your relationship before starting another. The last thing you want is for the news to break about a new partner before your phone call takes place. Do not provide reasons to be angrier during the phone call. If you have already tried to fix the relationship, and it’s definitely ending, then break things off before starting another.[15]
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    End all interaction. You don’t want to prolong any lingering thoughts or hopes the relationship may rekindle. You also don’t want things to remain open for potential makeup sex.[16]
    • Those who have had their hearts broken, generally don't want to see the person who caused the emotional pain.
    • Your soon-to-be-ex may also want to avoid seeing you because the emotional strain may cause her to sob, turn red, or have emotional reactions otherwise.[17]
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    Avoid post-breakup gossip. Be respectful about the end of the relationship, and try to forget it. You likely have mutual friends who will relay information. Even if your social media profiles are disconnected, friends will still see if you’re badmouthing your ex.[18]


  • As always, be kind and gentle, and not to mention classy.
  • Sometimes, she will try and avoid the break up. If this occurs, just be straight and say it's over, but try to be polite and quick.


  • You can't change your mind after you've broken the bad news. Stick to your guns.
  • Anticipate potentially aggressive counter-arguments. Don’t stoop to a lower level if insults start flying.
  • Expect friendship to cease once you've dumped her. Your ex may be so upset they never want anything to do with you again.

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Categories: Breaking Up