What Is a Healthy Breakup? (For Teens)

Relationships can be great, but there may come a time when it is no longer what a person wants. A healthy breakup is as crucial as a healthy relationship and can affect health now and later. A breakup should be based on the same rules of respect, dignity and healthy contact as a healthy relationship. Here are some tips for going through a healthy breakup.

A healthy breakup means to:

  • Give the person space to talk about feelings and needs.
  • Hear what the person has to say.
  • Respect the reason for calling it off.
  • Give time and space for healing and thinking.
  • Say things that support the person, even when upset about the breakup.
  • Be trustworthy.
  • Act as an equal and treat the person as an equal.
  • Behave in ways that show you accept the relationship has ended.

A healthy breakup means not to:

  • Break up over text or social media.
  • Insult the person.
  • Share private information with others.
  • Post about the breakup on social media.
  • Use force or threats.
  • Damage the person's reputation.
  • Hurt the person physically or sexually.
  • Call, text or visit the person when it is not wanted.
  • Stalk the person online, through friends or in person.
  • Make demands on the person's time, money, property or space.
  • Convince the person to stay in the relationship.

If, after a breakup, a person feels upset and wants to hurt him- or herself or others, that person should get help from a trusted counselor, parent, doctor or nurse.

Anyone who has been abused may call the National Dating Abuse Helpline to talk or get advice from a teen or adult: 1-866-331-9474 (TTY 1-866-331-8453).

Or visit the websites:

To find the domestic abuse program nearest you, visit http://www.pcadv.org/ and click on Find Help or use the Find Help map on the home page.