How to Break Up with Someone the RIGHT Way (ft. Dr. Lindsey Doe!)

How to Break Up with Someone the RIGHT Way (ft. Dr. Lindsey Doe!)


My name is Lindsey Doe and I’m a Sexologist,
and serial monogamist. I have a YouTube channel, called Sexplanations, and this is your episode
on breaking up. There are many ways to transform a romantic
relationship into a non-romantic one. But, there are things I would avoid. Like, punching
the person in the face, or ignoring them until they get the point. So you could wait until someone else comes
along. Stop talking or spending time together. Move! Like, pack up your things and drive
away. Text, email, put it on a sticky note. Or, sit down over tea and say good bye. In most cases using your words is the healthiest
way to go, but that doesn’t have to be done in person, or with an explanation. There’s
no right way to change, just less hurtful ones. Assuming you’ve done the task of deciding
to break up, video guidance here.. This is the video about how to break up. 1: Ask yourself what you need – you’re part
of this break up too. Do you need space? Support? A party? A lawyer? Put these things in place
so that you’re prepared before you say goodbye, and not while in the midst of it. 2. Ask yourself what you’re afraid of. Are
you afraid of being lonely? Of hurting the other person; retaliation; making the wrong
decision; sadness; guilt; memories? You don’t know what your future self is going to experience,
but you can be aware of the feelings your present self has about it. Hold this up to
the possibility that the future could be better than you possibly ever imagined, for everyone. 3. Use the acronym THINK. Is it Thoughtful,
Honest, Intelligent, Necessary, and Kind. And communicate just that. 4. Consider what the other person needs. You’ve
been in an intimate relationship with them. Hear what they have to say, and then, like
I’ve done for you, encourage them to self-care, and hope for a better future. 5. Take really good care of yourself. There’s
nothing shameful about the way you relate to situations. He was your partner, now he’s
your former partner. The best break up line ever – our relationship
is going to be changing. It’s like renting or buying a house, you could have every intention
of living there forever, but if it’s not working our or whatever reason, I hope that you find
a better home that suits your needs, and you move your belongings there with grace. That’s a metaphor for packing and unpacking
your emotions carefully. With consideration for others, but not responsibility for them.
You’ve got this!

Author:

41 thoughts on “How to Break Up with Someone the RIGHT Way (ft. Dr. Lindsey Doe!)”

  • TripppleNegative says:

    Lol I don't know why I'm watching a video about breaking up when I have no idea how to find a relationship in the first place 😛

  • billy faircloth says:

    I think they're missing out on a good thing by having the annotation say "support how to adult" rather than "how to support"

  • cuttlefishii says:

    I've only had one breakup. I had a very long conversation with him explaining the breakup, and we agreed to just be friends, but he also said that if we were just friends he'd always be hoping for more. He was a clingy enough boyfriend that I knew he wasn't lying about this, so I went ahead and went radio silent with all of his messages afterwards. Because having a friendship where both parties are on different levels is not a healthy one, so I had to give him a reason to get over/possibly hate me. I still wonder if there was something better I could have done. I know you said going silent on them is a bad way of doing it, but do you think in my case it might have been the right thing to do? I was just trying to make it easier for him so that he wouldn't be stuck caught up over me.

  • I am actually quite happy that I saw this, because it's really useful even if you plan on keeping the relationship but still need to have a discussion on wants and needs.  Thank you!

  • Sheyla Montoni says:

    I'd like to take the time to say that How To Adult is absolutely one of the best youtube channels ever. I mean, I've never been the one to break up with someone and I'm not in a relationship for god knows how long, yet I find this video really interesting and I feel like i learned something while watching it. Thank you for the awesome work you do, guys! Have a great weekend! 🙂

  • I would really love to see an episode on how to deal with having a bad/incompetent/bigoted boss. this last year I had a boss who was mean, deeply sexist, not respectful of boundaries, and terrible enough at his job that it made me worse at mine, and I had no idea how to deal with it and spent the whole time miserable, and now I feel like not being able to list him as a reference makes me less likely to get jobs.

  • TheSmexyAssGuy says:

    Darn, these Dr. Doe videos feel too short! I feel like more useful information could have been included in this video!

  • I really like your last point: you should have consideration for someone else, but that's not the same as them being your responsibility.

  • wayfareangel says:

    The best breakup I've had is with the last person I dated. I happened to be the first person they'd dated who hadn't put them through emotional hell or acted like a dick to them. When they told me they wanted to break up, they were really nervous, so I told them it was okay, and to take their time. They explained that they were going to be transitioning from male to female soon, and they knew they were going to get crazy due to the hormones, and knowing their own mentality they were pretty sure they were going to come to resent me for things that weren't even my fault. So they wanted to end the relationship then, before it got toxic and ruined things between us. I assured them that it was a really good reason to break up, that I understood, and I would be there for them if they needed me. It hurt, yeah, but it really was a good reason to end things, and it was the first break up either of us had that wasn't overly dramatic or hurtful. As a result, I have plenty of good memories of our time together, and I like to think they do too.

  • Sigh…where was this when I needed it 20+ years ago.  I hope I never need this again.  Still it is a useful mindset to have when making any change and a good advice cheat sheet when asked for help.  Thanks Dr. Doe!

  • It occurs to me that "You got this" is a great catchphrase too. Dr. Doe is crushing it on these things, 2/2!

  • As someone who has been on the fuzzy end of two breakups, I have to say that being told what went wrong is incredibly helpful. While not necessary or required at all, it's the right thing to do, if you hope to be friends with the other person. With one, I was entirely lost during the whole "mourning" phase. For the other, I was treated as a mature person who could handle criticism, and it was so much better! I understood why the other person broke up with me and I was happy to at least be considered an adult individual who could handle it! So while you never really "need" to explain yourself to whoever you're breaking up with, remember that most people would like to be told what's wrong, at least so that they know you acknowledge they're mature enough to be able to deal with it.

  • Good advice! I tried to break up with my ex in person, but he sat in front of the door so I couldn't leave until I agreed to keep trying to make the relationship work. (That kind of thing was the reason I was breaking up with him, and the reason I chose not to do it in public – I felt pretty sure he'd make a scene.) I ended up having to break up with him a second time by text message, and he called me all kinds of horrible things.  I feel confident that if my current partner and I should ever break up, we'll be able to do it more maturely.

  • What about How to ask someone for help? I feel like I've struggled with this more and more, whether it's talking to teachers or getting emotional support from friends.

  • I want to give a piece of advice that I wish I had known when I broke up with my first major partner. The idea that you don't need to give them an explanation is correct, but I want to elaborate on what that means.

    When I broke up with my boyfriend he was understandably hurt and angry, but he kept contacting me months afterwards wanting to know WHY. Why did I break up with him, why did I hurt him, why wouldn't I give him another chance? The answers I gave him weren't good enough, so he would keep messaging me. I didn't know what to do so eventually I just told him to stop messaging me altogether.

    After talking about it with my sister and people online, many of whom gave the advice 'You don't need to give a reason why', it finally hit me what that really meant – it's not just that you don't need to GIVE a reason, you also don't NEED a reason. The only thing you need to know is this: is the relationship making you happy? If it is not, you are allowed to break it off, simple as that.

    It doesn't matter if your partner is perfect – they could be the kindest, most generous, hottest person in the world, but if your relationship with them is not making you happy, you are allowed to break up. You are allowed to do what you need to do to make yourself happy, even if that hurts them. You don't need to give a reason, you don't need to give an elaborate explanation. "I'm not happy in this relationship" is good enough.

    Had I known that at the time, I would have just done that. I would have just replied "Because I'm not happy" every time he asked. Because, really, that was the real reason why I broke up with him, and ultimately that's the most important reason.

  • Question for the community:

    How do you break up with someone who didn't do anything wrong? I've been dating someone for the past six months who is incredibly kind and thoughtful and creative and all that jazz but something has never felt quite right. Something's never quite clicked in our relationship for me. I enjoy hanging out with her but it still feels like a task I'm putting on a calendar instead of something I look forward to. It makes me feel sad and conflicted because she's not doing anything wrong!

    I've tried to voice some of these opinions to her but because I don't really have a reason why it doesn't feel right, she just insists that we can work it out. Part of the reason I stay is because I'm the first boyfriend she's had who wasn't abusive to her and she thinks the universe of me. So I try to look after her because I don't want her to get the message that she's somehow unlovable or "not good enough."

    Advice, anyone? :/

  • Anthony Ridgway says:

    As someone who was recently broken up with, I have to say, this video was pretty on point.
    Now,  please tell me you'll be posting a video about how to deal with being broken up with. I'm still wrestling with it.

  • "HE was your partner, now HE'S not your partner." Apparently the language of gender neutrality doesn't apply when you're dumping someone.

  • My girlfriend just broke up with me today. I wonder if she watched your video, Lindsey because it was actually a really nice, non hurtful breakup. And I'm doing mostly fine.

    EDIT: grammar

  • Sometimes it feels bad knowing you're going to make the other person feel bad…but we can't all live our lives afraid of upsetting others. No one would be happy :/

  • this would have been so so so helpful about a year and a half ago

    I did that "totally ignore them and stop talking to them" which was really not the best idea.

  • Michael Jarrett says:

    My Girlfriend broke up with me last month, said she loved me but wasn't in love with me among other reasons, Needless to say It hurt a lot, still stings now, I really felt I had something with this girl. She told me face to face, she looked quite upset when she was telling me, I didn't get angry [I'm not an angry person anyway], I didn't walk away, and I didn't break down, I told her I admired her and thanked her for telling me, It was the longest and most difficult bus ride home I've ever had, It's not right in a relationship if two people don't love each other the same way, if someone isn't happy, then it is unfair on Both parties. We're still staying as friends though ;]

  • Can you make a video on how to break up with a friend? I'm sure there are a lot of similarities, but it would be helpful to have a how to for telling someone you may see regularly (say school or work) that you'd rather not associate with them anymore, for whatever reason.

  • Brittany Spiel says:

    Can how to adult do a video on buying your own cellphone for the first time? I've been on my parent's plan since I was in high school. Smart phone options, dumb phone options (but especially smart phone options…..), how much I should expect to pay, companies with the best coverage, limits on minutes/texts/data….. ?!?!?!?

  • I just got broken up with, and I stumbled on this video while trying to make sense of it, and it made me feel very, very, very reassured about the whole thing. I like the house metaphor a whole lot, probably because part of my breakup entailed moving out. It takes time to pack up and unpack but ultimately for the best for everyone

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