How to break up with someone easily (and save your mental health)

We need to normalise breaking up for little reasons.

Sissi Malva de Moura
12 min readJan 9, 2022


Little reasons (and rational, simplistic ones) are often the best reasons: our survival instinct doesn’t always speak to us through dramatic and spectacular premonitions, or even via an unmistakable physical discomfort. Sometimes the clues are subtler and may come disguised as a petty annoyance one can’t shake off.

A thinker that I fail to recall right now said something along the lines of “when you are in love with someone, their very flaws are endearing: when you are out of love, even their finest traits irritate you”. If someone’s quirks irritate you to no end, it’s probably a hunch. Chances are that you ain’t really into them, or that they are toxic people in disguise and you should run for the hills before leaving becomes too complicated.

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And that’s one problem about relationships that annoy you instead of breaking your heart: they tend to drag because after all, “it’s not that bad”, “nothing awful is happening” or “he/ she is sweet, but…” (emphasis on “but”). There are no huge deal breakers, no sensational events or quarrels to end things with a bang. Therefore, unless you are a very decisive person with an amazing sense of opportunity, you might find yourself lacking the impulse to break things off long past their “best before” date.

Now that’s the ghastly thing: you are not only settling because either you think nothing better will come along, or you’re too busy to find something better, or you are just comfortable (which gets you off the market preventing you from finding someone worthy). You are wasting time that you can never recover and ultimately, compromising your mental health.

Just because someone isn’t downright abusive, violent, a cheater, a narcissist, a con artist or an addict, that doesn’t mean they can’t be harmful. Worse even, some of these “good, but not good enough” people tend to be stage-ten clingers.