Dating experts universally agree: there's one break-up line in our toolkit that needs to be scrapped immediately if not sooner.
Of course, splits are never easy, that's why we resort to self-care practices, mint chip ice cream and Adele CDs. However, matchmakers and relationship coaches insist that one seemingly simple phrase makes things infinitely harder than necessary. Rid yourself of that breakup guilt and let your former partner rest easy—without the pain of this tired line.
The one break-up line that has to go:
It's a cliché for a reason, friends: "It's not you, it's me." No, it's not, that's a complete lie. If you want closure and want to treat your former significant other to the same courtesy, do yourself a favor and forget that this rom-com spiel existed in the first place.
"Not only is this played out and overdone, but this also prevents you from explaining to your partner what the true issues are in the relationship," says Maria Sullivan, a dating expert and the vice president of Dating.com.
Communication is the only way to improve a connection, even one that's coming to a close. Wouldn't you rather have peace of mind knowing that you laid it all out honestly? (Gently, too, of course.) Was your relationship even authentic if you feel like you cannot be truthful to the person who you considered your other? Getting over a breakup is hard enough without weeding through insincerity and phony gestures.
Likewise, Eva Gallagher, a resident dating expert at Plenty of Fish, wants to crumple up this line like Berger's PostIt to Carrie and make sure it never becomes a go-to breakup coping mechanism again.
"This statement is rarely true and despite the intention behind it of letting someone down easy, it typically has an adverse effect," she warns.
With a line like this, your ex is prone to overthinking and overanalyzing, whereas you're simply stewing in your own remorse for not telling it like it is. You can say what you're really thinking. In fact, it's encouraged.
"Be honest and gentle so that you both can move on with clarity," Gallagher adds.
Maria Sullivan is a dating expert and the vice president of Dating.com.
Eva Gallagher is a dating expert at Plenty of Fish, a Match Group dating app with personalized connection options that help "create the same magic online that you would IRL."
What to say instead during a break-up:
There is no "right" phrasing, but you need to start with the truth.
"Be forthcoming with the reasons for the breakup, as this gives the other person the opportunity to learn and grow from the experience," says dating coach Rikki Dymond. "Knowing the actual reason why things didn’t work out will help give someone closure."
While a breakup might seem like a time to lash out and get defensive, remember to take a step back and be kind. Explain why you don't feel aligned instead of belittling someone you once cared for.
"You should focus on why the relationship isn’t working for you rather than attacking the other person’s personality, which will make someone else very happy, and be the reason that they love them," says Pippa Murphy, a sex and relationship expert for Condom.uk.
Every situation is different, and dating coaches cannot tell you what to say when calling it quits, but they will gladly tell you what not to say. Rid "it's not you, it's me" from your dating vernacular and start fresh in every sense.
Rikki Dymond is a dating coach and Flirtinidating expert. Her mission is to "help women reconnect with themselves and use their natural feminine energy to bring forward mature and lasting love."
Pippa Murphy is a sex and relationship expert at Condoms.uk, which provides access to safe and trusted brands within the sexual health industry, as well as information about your sex health.
Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.
Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few.
When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.
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