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How To Respond During A Break Up And Its Effects

Updated on October 8, 2017
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An expert in relationship matters, the following are articles which I've written which touch upon relationship issues.


People react differently during a breakup. The ones who receive the largest blow are the dumpees. It hits them like a bomb. This is not to say the dumpers aren’t affected when they end the relationship. It depends on why they decided to end the relationship if their reasons are justified.

Studies seem to suggest the extreme actions partners carry out during a breakup has to do with the sex of the person. Women tend to act more dramatically than men when they are on the receivership of the breakup. To some extent it’s true but not overly. It doesn’t largely depend on the sex but on a variety of reasons such as the personality of the person, the environment he/she grew up, how emotionally bonded the person was in the relationship and how many breakups he/she has undergone.

Breakups hurt and it’s very difficult (at times) to know why the ex decided to end the relationship. A person feels as if he/she has been stripped naked, a laughing stock in the society and the worst of all, feels as if his/her dignity has been degraded. Furthermore, he/she feels messed up, his/her world turned upside down, and feels muddled to the extent of feeling pretty useless.

Whether you have undergone more than one breakup or it’s your first time, it’s imperative you take caution on how you respond to a breakup. If you end up acting dramatically, later on when you have recovered from the breakup you will wonder why you acted in such a manner. You will regret and feel ashamed. Furthermore, if you reacted negatively during the breakup – whether you were the dumper or dumpee - it would take a considerable length of time to heal and recover from the breakup. If you want to get back your ex, it will be very difficult because of how you reacted.


When you respond positively – as much as it hurts – it indicates several things:

  1. You are aware your ex doesn’t want to be in a relationship with you because of the reason he has given you. Therefore, you will not live in denial early on after the breakup. You will not deny you didn’t hear him saying the relationship is over. Living in denial is a great tragedy as you will tend to live in a fantasy world you've made up when the reality stares at you.
  2. It exemplifies despite the fact you feel hurt you are not going to act dramatically since it will not help in making the circumstance any better. It expresses even in hurtful states acting positively is a sure way of dealing with hurtful emotions that results from a hurtful situation. Acting dramatically will only increase the emotional pain you feel.
  3. You also need your own time to think things through. You need time to sort out your thoughts such as whether the reason your ex gave for ending the relationship is justified or not or if the breakup has happened for your own good.
  4. You have come to the realization not all relationships were meant to survive the strong winds. The two partners were never meant to be together. They became emotionally bounded by accident. They were never meant to be. As such, it is possible yours is the same case.
  5. It shows you are aware some things don’t happen as you want and that hurt is inevitable. On top of that you realize sometimes there is nothing you can do if you have tried to justify your part as objectively as you could.


Do the above positive responses make sense? If not, read on they will make sense later.

Once you react positively the following outcomes will be manifested:

  1. It will take a shorter time to heal and recover from the breakup. Acting dramatically or negatively will prolong the healing process since you will be more inclined to live in a denial, angry and blaming state.
  2. It will act as a proof to your ex you will not turn out to be a panhandler. You will not be crippled by the decision your ex made to the extent you feel you cannot do or live without him.
  3. Even though you feel hurt, the breakup will end in a good note. It means you will not have created a boundary of enmity between you and your ex. Instead of creating enmity you will have earned respect from your ex (and also yourself) for having dealt positively during the break up.
  4. You will have taken your ex by surprise. He will wonder why you haven’t reacted negatively. It is something many dumpers usually expect from dumpees that you will plead and plead. What if your ex tells you he has another girlfriend so you shouldn’t disturb him? By reacting positively don’t you think you’ll show him you don’t care and it doesn’t matter however painful it feels to be betrayed? You still have a life to live.
  5. You will not regret or feel ashamed since you didn’t behave dramatically, and you will feel good about yourself. When you feel good about yourself – not being proud – then you will heal quickly and it will take a shorter time to recover.


The following are positive ways you should respond for the betterment of you.

a) Respect Your Ex’s Decision

First of all, accept the decision of your ex. Accepting means you have respected your ex’s decision. Respecting the decision means you’ve heard what he has said and have agreed you did in fact hear it. You will not deny you haven’t heard it.

It is true it hurts. You might cry. The fact is you will be hurt. What matters is how you react to a hurtful situation. Let your heart know your ex has made the decision to end the relationship. Respect the decision by accepting the fact your ex has uttered the words of ending the relationship. Respecting means you’ve acknowledged you’ve heard but you haven’t yet stated your part concerning the decision of your ex based on the reason he gave for ending the relationship.


b) Talk A Little

When you talk a lot, you might say things you will regret later. Say what you have to say, not which things you want to say. Do you want to tell him everything that is in your mind? No need. Do you want to give him a piece of your mind? No need. Do you want to tell him how much you are hurting? No need. He is no longer your partner who you need to confide the matters of your heart. Don’t let him know how hurt you are, let him see it with his own eyes how strong you’re trying to be by not allowing yourself to act irrationally. When you talk a little, you will be in a position to control the hurtful emotions from exploding out of proportion.


c) Don’t Act Dramatically

Many breakups don’t end up well. Some fight, others yell, others throw at each other obnoxious words while others throw things at each other. At the end of the day, you the recipient of the breakup suffer more pain than the initiator.

It is possible to control the negative emotions. Don’t let the emotions dictate how you are going to respond. You will only make things worse than they are, and years later after the breakup you will still be treating each other as enemies. It will take a long time to heal and recover from the breakup because you’re extremely angry and hateful.

d) Don’t Blame

We all know blaming never helps in anything. Even if he was the cause of the breakup, it will not help in anything. What will follow is the blame-game resulting to yelling, throwing at each other cruel words and so on. All you need to do is state the facts as regards to his decision to end the relationship, then provide justifiable reasons why you don’t agree with his decision or talk from a third point-of-view concerning your ex’s decision to end the relationship or your view concerning the failed relationship.

e) Justify Your Position From a Third Person Point-of-View

Don’t beg for another chance as if your life depends on the relationship. Don’t act dramatically because you’re furious at the decision of your ex to end the relationship. The best you can do is to tell him why you think his decision to end the relationship is not justified. Give him the reasons. Control your emotions as you tell him why his decision to end the relationship is not justified if you feel it is not justified. Let him know which huddles faced the relationship and how you can resolve the relationship. Relationships can be mended. If he insists he won’t bow out of his decision then don’t plead for him to stay. Accept the relationship is over. Don’t lower dignity by pleading because it shows you are needy and desperate, something you should not accommodate.

f) Don’t Force

Don’t force things. Don’t force someone to stay in the relationship when he doesn’t. Respect his decision for he has already decided that is the case. His reasons may be justified or not. Don’t force someone to love you when he no longer loves you. If he accepts to be in the relationship with you once again do you think his love for you will be the same? Or, will you know whether he is pretending to love you when the fact is he has accepted to be in the relationship because of whining or begging - for the sake of being there, not that he loves you?


g) Don’t Plead

Don’t lower your dignity by pleading. It is not that you’ll die when he leaves you. Your world will not come to an end because of him leaving you. It will not be the end of you even if you love him very much beyond words. People breakup and move on with your lives. Pleading indicates you don’t have a life of your own – you’re living someone’s life. You might have been the cause of the break up. The best you can do is to ask for forgiveness if you were the cause of the break up. Furthermore, you can ask your ex to reconsider his decision or to give the relationship another try.

h) Forgive

Ensure he hears it before he disappears from your eyes. Tell him that you have forgiven him. Tell him despite him hurting you; you are not going to react negatively such as revenging or saying nasty things about him. Show him the end of the relationship is the beginning of another relationship. Life has to go on. When you forgive him while he is still in your presence, then you will not experience the extreme end of negative emotions and the healing process will start early on.


i) Be Grateful

Yes thank your ex for the time you have been together if he does not want to get back with you. Thank him for being good to you (even if he wasn’t but there were positive things about him you liked). Being grateful shows despite what has happened you are still thankful you are alive and there is so much in life, not just the relationship. Despite the hurt you are going through you will feel good about yourself. It is a paradox but it’s the truth.


Not all break ups can be revived. Sometimes as hard as it is, you’ve to accept it’s over. Now, you have to allow yourself time to heal from the hurt, recover from the breakup so you can find the strength to move on. Ensure you don’t diminish your value by begging. It is better to accept the decision of your ex the relationship is over because when you get reunited you don’t know if the reunion will work out or will end in another breakup. It is hard to know. The most important thing is to ensure you control your emotions during this hurtful period by acting as positively as you can. At the end of the day you will not feel worse about yourself.

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Next: After reading this you might wonder whether there is possibility of a failed relationship working out. Check this article 'Do Relationships Work Out After a Breakup?' to know which factors you need to consider for a failed relationship to work out again.


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    • Ben716 profile image

      Alianess Benny Njuguna 5 months ago from Kenya

      I agree with you dashingscorpio. It is not good to be platonic friends due to the reasons you gave plus it will hinder the healing processing and eventual recovery.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 10 months ago

      Great advice!

      It takes two people to make a relationship work.

      It only takes (one person) to end a relationship.

      There is no reason to pursue someone who doesn't want you.


      The person breaking up with you offers to be friends because they don't want to feel like the "bad guy".

      The person being dumped hopes that by being friends there may be a chance they can get back together.

      Odds are if they do hookup it will be nothing more than a "booty call" or "friends with benefits" scenario in the eyes of the person who ended the relationship. Your ex is the last person who can help you get over them!

      You're better off going "cold turkey" and not dealing with your ex at all for at least a year or more depending on how long the relationship lasted.

      In order for your (ex) to be "the one" they would have had to see (you) as being "the one"! At the very least a "soul-mate" is someone who actually wants to be with you! (And vice versa).

      "Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary."

      - Oscar Wilde

      If someone dumps you they clearly don't think you're all that "special",

      Thankfully we live on a planet with over 7 Billion other people!

      Odds are in everyone's favor that there are hundreds, thousands, or possibly millions of people who would love and appreciate us.

      Your future lies ahead of you and not behind you.

      Every ending is a new beginning!