There Are 7 Types of Breakups (and Here’s How to Deal with Each One)

Conscious uncoupling may work for Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, but for the most part breakups are pretty tough. And, depending on the type, each one requires its own kind of care. Here, seven different breakups and how to recover from each one.

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new girl types of breakups

The Mutual Breakup

Your relationship has been a whirlwind. (That’s what happens when you meet on Tinder.) And at dinner last night, you both noticed the spark had fizzled out. Cue the “I’m better because I knew you” convos—and a somber but not-too-terrible return to the dating pool. (Seriously, on the inside, you’ve been ready to move on for quite some time.)

mad men types of breakups

The “it Was Coming” Breakup

He boozes on the regular while you wake up early to work out. Plus, as a result of his after-work antics, you’re squabbling all the time. Cue that sinking feeling that something’s off, followed by “the talk” that you both have been avoiding for months. In this situation, it’s never a bad idea to distract yourself by putting all your energy into a new (and non-romance-related) goal like running a marathon or totally crushing that new biz deal at work.

sex and the city types of breakups

The “never Saw It Coming” Breakup

Things were mostly perfect. Then, out of the blue—bam—it’s over. This type of breakup is the hardest to process, mainly because you have zero explanation of when or why things went south. The best defense: Wine. And a night out with your closest pals, aka the ones who always build up your confidence and remind you how fab you are.

greys anatomy types of breakups

The Really, Really Bad Breakup

You weren’t just in love, you were living together. And angling to get hitched. Le sigh. Usually, this type of breakup is tied to the big stuff—kids, retirement goals, really nice furniture from West Elm, etc. The length of time you’ve been together will inform how easy it is to move on. If you’ve been together ten years, you might need an entire life (or location) change to really mend your broken heart. Cue up Eat, Pray, Love.

jane the virgin types of breakups

The One-sided Breakup

Bottom line: You’re not on the same page—and you’re not sure you’ll ever be. Perhaps with time (and a heck of a lot of effort), things will change, but for now, it’s better that you just part ways. Whether you’re the breaker or breakee, this one’s going to hurt. A lot. But you’ll get through it and be stronger for it. (Just try to put yourself back out there sooner than later.)

parks and recreation types of breakups

The Logistical Breakup

Long distance is the worst. After living on opposite coasts (or worse, countries) for six months, the communication between you just broke down. The good thing about this type of breakup is that your day-to-day won’t change all that much. (After all, literal face time was minimal for the most part.) That said, it might be smart to delete each other’s digits to remove any temptation to make a phone call at 2 a.m.

the affair types of breakups

The “i Cheated” Breakup

Eep, this one might be the worst kind. Our best advice: Keep your temper in check, no matter which side you’re on. (The high road is the best road, right?)

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Rachel Bowie

Royal family expert, a cappella alum, mom

Rachel Bowie is Senior Director of Special Projects & Royals at PureWow, where she covers parenting, fashion, wellness and money in addition to overseeing initiatives within...
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