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How to Break Up with Someone Before College

It's time to decide if you want to take your high school relationship to the next level or not.

Young man starts packing his things in a dark hotel room before going somewhere different.
Photo: Unsplash

When we're getting ready for college, it's normal to come up with a mental to-do list. There's the sheets, the notebooks, the quilted mattress pad that Buzzfeed told us we absolutely needed. Yet, there are other things we need to do before leaving that do no revolve around our dorm's decor. If you're in a relationship, one of these things can be deciding if you want to break up with your significant other before parting ways, especially when you're going to schools that are far away.


If you've decided that breaking up is the right move, then here are a few ways to help you through this heartbreaking yet liberating process:


1. Figure out the right time and place


This is the first step to setting yourself up to a successful break up. Even if you're done with the other person and plan on never seeing them again, it's nice to plan this out in a way that's going to minimize the damage. Do not break up on your last date or at your going away party (unless you're living in the morning). Set aside specific time to speak to them in a place that is meaningless to you two. The last thing you want is to break up with them at your go-to restaurant for dates or on the day of your anniversary.


2. Don't let them manipulate you into staying in this relationship longer


If you've made up your mind and know that breaking up is the right thing to do, it's important that you don't bend to their will. If the break up blindsides them, most likely they will beg or try to convince you that you can make it work. Seeing someone you care about act desperate can be enough of a guilt-trip to change your mind. Stand your ground! Remind yourself and them that while this hurts now, it will be better in the long run. Don't wait til you hate each other guts to break up again. It's better to part ways in good terms.


3. Have an exit plan for both of you


This is huge, bestie. If you're breaking up with them, make sure you didn't drive to the restaurant together or that you're hundreds of miles away from your home. Let a friend know about your plan and if possible, have them pick you up after. Even if you're at peace with your decision, it's good to have someone there who can help you if things take a turn for the worst or if you need to process the break up after. Make sure your ex will also have a ride back or that it's a place where he can get a moment to collect themselves before leaving.


4. Don't spread the word right away


While it might be exhilarating to break up with someone, especially if you're thrilled about going to college single, it's better to hold off telling the news. If you care about your ex or want to stay somewhat friends, it's important that you give them the space to recover. It's even more important to give yourself the time to reflect on what this relationship meant for you before other people start sliding into your DMs to shoot their shot or ask for the details on the break up.


5. Cut any sort of deep or intimate communication with your ex


If you dated this person throughout high school, they've become a part of your everyday life. With something as big as college coming up, you'll be tempted to reach out to them and update them on how you're doing. Stop. It's only going to drag you into a rabbit hole where you'll question if you made the right choice. Once you've made peace with that chapter being done, move on. I promise that they'll be fine and you'll be fine if you don't text each other.


6. Be open to meeting new people


Unless you broke up with your ex cause you needed time to be single, be open to the idea of meeting new people at your school. In college, everyone's buzzing with the excitement to hook up and date new prospects. There's the cute person you always ride the elevator with or the hottie that sits next to you in class. Commit to giving new people a chance, regardless of what you're looking for at the moment. This can help you heal and move on faster.