Breakups and Recovery

15 Things You Need To Do in a Clean Break Up

It’s over, and it needs to be over. The break up needs to happen, with clarity and finality, because the relationship isn’t working. At all.

Once you cut off a pair of old jeans and you get them too short (or they just fall apart), there’s just no going back. You can’t make them longer or stronger again. They go to the thrift store or into the trash. Goodbye, old jeans. No reason to let you keep taking up space in my closet. We’re done. Goodbye!

But sometimes we have an emotional attachment which makes things harder to say goodbye to something that isn’t working (Those were my favorite jeans ever! Maybe I’ll just keep them for a while. Maybe I could make a clever craft with them.).

And in some cases, we just don’t know WHAT to do. So we let it linger, a constant reminder of something that isn’t right, doesn’t feel good, can’t work out.

“Hi Claire. I quit seeing my ex almost 3 months ago, but he still texts me every week, and three times now he’s called with these long, emotional apologies. Our relationship did NOT work, and I’ll never go back with him. I’m tired of meeting him for coffee or talking to his friends (who he sends to try and convince me to take him back). He’s a good guy, just not a match for me. How can I convince him to stop trying to patch things up between us?” – Nadine

Nadine, did you break up with him? Because you said “I quit seeing him.” If I’M not clear, he may not be clear either.

And the simple fact is that you haven’t cut ties.

If you are still returning his texts and calls, meeting him for coffee (!!) and talking to his friends, you’re communicating the wrong thing! You’re essentially saying to him that it’s not really over.

So stop what you’re doing.

Actually wait.

Before you stop, be sure to actually break up with him face to face, in clear language that can’t be misinterpreted. THEN stop what you’re doing. Meaning, all the contact and connection you’re still giving him.

You don’t have to be mean, just be clear.

And keep reading, because I have a checklist for you…

heart jarYou deserve ALL of the RIGHT man’s heart. Hear the story of how one woman “let” her man catch her with passion and style, then use the same method yourself!

See the video!

Take a look at the list below. These are some of the things you need to do to break up when a relationship isn’t working.

It’s doubtful you’ll need to do ALL these things, but sometimes just seeing the list is a good reminder that yep, you need to do these two, or those three, and your life will be much better as a result…

The break up housecleaning list

  1. Break up! The polite and simple way if possible. Here are 9 scripts for that.
  2. Don’t return his calls or texts.
  3. Stop agreeing to meet with him.
  4. Don’t tell him you’ll still be friends.
  5. Don’t hang out in places that were “yours” as a couple.
  6. Stop talking with his friends.
  7. Politely but firmly disconnect with his family members.
  8. Return items which belong to him.
  9. If he has a key to your place, make sure it gets returned to you.
  10. Clear out or put away the things which remind you of him (ticket stubs, photos, etc.).
  11. If necessary, unfriend him on your social platforms.
  12. If necessary, block his number on your cell.
  13. If you work at the same place and it’s a problem, consider a transfer or change.
  14. If you are financially dependent on him (ack!) or he’s giving you money for a shared business or project he wanted to help you with, STOP taking his money. Find another way to make that work.
  15. Date other guys.

Can you ever be friends?

I’m not saying that you can’t EVER be friends again after a break up, but first you need to be clear that you’re not going to be a couple. And that is especially true if he’s still trying to reconnect with you. After you break up, give it 6 months or a year before being willing to consider a friendship.

And be cautious with the whole “friends with my ex” thing. Because that sort of thing can damage new dating relationships you’re growing.

And of course, I’m not talking about a break up that involves a shared child. In that case, you DO want to maintain a relationship (just not a couplehood).

When YOU are the one who doesn’t want to break up…

Are you on the flip side of this story? He’s trying to break up but you’re still hanging on? Here’s one for you, darling:

READ: How to Let Go and Move On When You Still Love Him

Want to share your story of a really sticky break up?

It almost never goes as simply as we hope it will. Which is why you sometimes need a break up housecleaning list! Leave me a comment and share your own story or tips for dealing with a tough break up…

xoxo Claire

5 comments on “15 Things You Need To Do in a Clean Break Up

  1. alison seymour

    Hi Claire,

    the man I was dating, didn’t have any patience, and when I went through some mental difficulties and went to see him as a friend to get help with a job or something, he took me down, the police stations. I had a talking to by the police not a caution I like to add. But I still want him to know the truth and be ok with me. Have you any tips on how I can make sure he knows I am well, and happy now and don’t need him in my life?

    Have you any thoughts on this?

    • Claire Casey

      I don’t see any reason why you would need to convince this man of anything. This isn’t about him at all. Go ahead, keep moving forward and live your life for you, the way you are already planning. My very best to you!

  2. Isabella

    HI Claire
    I’ve talked to you in several times… I AM the one who doesnt speak English very well.
    I have a relationship with an amazing guy, we have been together almost 2 years and I love him so much… we been trought problems because his ex girlfriends looking for his a attention a lot and I know that in the past he was with prostitutes… He’s 31 right now ans I’m 27. He is the first guy I have been sexually. I am really calm, I don’t drink alcohol, I don’t even try with any drugs and I am a good girl. It was really difficult for me see how he has a lot of issues with his past, but we solve it. But I have a lot of insecurities… My mom almost abandoned my father and I. and she hit us sometimes and abuse of me physical. Now we solve some issues and our relationship is better but I never talk that with my guy and I’ve been jealous with him and I had a crisis with my mom and I don’t know why it affected me and I be mean with my guy pushing him away and look for some prove for see if He was cheating on me. Now he knows that and he says that we can’t continue together. I know is my fault and I should trust in him or at least tell him my issues with my mom and not be angry with him for things with my mom. He didn’t know anything about my issues with my mom but I tell him And obviously it was a charge or a back pack that I had and that makes me pushing him away because when something happend or my insecurities show I just want not share my feelings and don’t hurt him with my problems or damage something, so long having that makes me realize now that I damage everything that I should share my feelings with him and he would be with me supporting me and loving . I made a mistake and know I dont know how to keep him back, because was my fault and I didn’t respect his intimacy. Please tell me what should I do?

    • Claire Casey

      Hi, Isabella. If I understand your story correctly, it sounds like you made a major mistake with your guy because you let your problems with your mother get control of your emotions. As a result, and partly because he had no idea you were having problems with your mother, he broke up with you.

      Here’s your “to do” list.

      1. It’s time for you to start healing yourself. Get some help, and start working on your issues. Don’t worry, everyone has them. But they do take some work. Get started on that so that it doesn’t dictate your life. YOU want to be in charge of your own life, and not let your baggage drive you.

      It sounds like you already understand that most of this was your responsibility; I doubt you’ll let it happen this way again. That’s a great start.

      2. Start dating again. Maybe once you start dating again and your ex sees how well you’ve pulled yourself together, he will get interested again. But don’t do it for that reason; do it because you deserve it, and you’ll meet more men who may be your potential partner.

      It doesn’t sound like you and your boyfriend were very close to start with, since he had no idea about your issues with your mother, and the two of you did not yet have a very high level of trust between you (you were trying to prove he cheated).

      That doesn’t mean you couldn’t still get back together — you certainly could. But you have work to do on yourself first, and then you’ll be in a much better position to make it over some of the normal hurdles that all couples have to make it over…

      My very best to you, soulshine! Everybody goes through these things; I promise if you do the work, you’ll come out better for it.

  3. Freddy Garrison

    I still hold deep feelings inside my heart for my ex. Especially after all the things we’ve over come in our lives, between every little moment shared with you that i will always treasure.
    Just like i once did before first time we parted ways back when things were simple between us and loving you was innocent. This being what i was only trying to do from the very beginning that moment our hearts crossed and i touched her lips.

    I admit being at fault but, not alone rather she care to come clean makes no difference. Still till this day i can’t help but, feel utterly terrible for all i did to break her trust and what meant everything to me. At that point in life i was honestly so lost, not knowing which way to turn or even where to begin.

    I couldn’t find to bring myself together and find the words needed to express how i really felt inside, between all that kept me down for too long and beaten up from my situation and over coming addiction. Seriously, it hit me deep being unable to provide you more that you so greatly deserve in life with nothing less then the absolute best.

    This is how you made me feel just being your man, walking together right along side you in confidence, with your hand in mine. Forever & Always its your smile that brightens up my days.

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