Do We Really Want To Know WHY They Broke Up With Us?

I recently had the pleasure to watch an Independent Film/Documentary out of the UK called “A Complete History of My Sexual Failures” and I found it brilliant!  The director and main character of the film had the idea of going around to all his ex-girlfriends to see why they all broke up with him.  Needless to say the majority of them didn’t want to speak with him, but some did and went on to tell him why he was a selfish ass and not an ideal boyfriend at all … oh and he was awful in bed.  That’ll do it! It’s hilarious, awkward and strange all rolled into one.   You should watch it if you have the chance, it’s on NetFlix.  Anyway, it got me thinking, would I want to know why all those men broke up with me?  I have to say I have done my fair share of dumping too, would I tell them why?

Why Do People Break Up?

giving feedbackPeople break up generally because they are no longer happy in their current arrangement.  Their needs aren’t being met and things just aren’t moving in a positive direction.  Obviously it’s better when it’s mutual, but typically it isn’t and the other person is left feeling confused and upset, especially if there is no closure.  Sometimes there’s no real reason for breaking up, just the end of feelings or not wanting to be with the person anymore and there’s nothing wrong with that.  But, people always want to know why.  They want answers.  But we all know, the truth hurts, so is it worth it, or, is ignorance bliss?

I polled my Twitter and Facebook followers a couple of times to see what they thought and almost everyone who responded wanted the closure that came with knowing WHY.  However, some really didn’t want to know and others didn’t have faith that they would get the real answer anyway. Like the protagonist of the movie I mentioned, they wanted to know what happened.  What do I personally think?  I think I would want to know why.  I need that closure or else it’s just an open wound festering for longer than it needs to.  If it was mutual then no need to for answers, we both didn’t want to be together, but if someone up and disappeared on me, or hurt me badly I want to know why.  I always extend that courtesy to someone I’ve broken up with.  It’s only fair that they know and more often than not it goes well.

Is There a Benefit to Knowing Why They Broke Up With Us?

I really do think there is a benefit to knowing why they broke with us.  I’ll tell you why.  Getting constructive feedback from others benefits us greatly, not only are we able to correct our actions, we can learn about what works and doesn’t work with us.  Let’s admit it, we don’t always like hearing it, because, you know, we’re perfect and we were the ideal partner … or were we?  Just doing self assessments I see lots of things I did wrong and things I could have done differently in relationships, imagine what THEY were thinking.  I know depending on what stage of my life I was in I could have been unknowingly clingy, distant or even bossy (cue friends saying “Suzie bossy? Never!).  We’re not perfect, we all make mistakes.  The important thing is to LEARN from them, so getting constructive feedback after a breakup is beneficial.  That’s what the protagonist in the movie learned as well.  He didn’t realize how horrible at relationships he was until he heard it from several of his exes.

How To Give Constructive Feedback

Gently!  In order for it to not look like criticism or attack, you need to be kind and gentle about it.  It also has to be information specific and related to the relationship, don’t bring in outside influencers or events.  So here are some points to remember:

  • Keep it on topic.
  • Base it on truthful, factual observations, not suspicions or hearsay.
  • It has to benefit them in some way.
  • Say how the action made you feel (“when you did this I felt that”)
  • Speak about what you liked about them not only what you didn’t.
  • Be direct and get to the point quickly.
  • Don’t send mixed messages that might be interpreted differently.

These points are also beneficial when you’re in a relationship and want to discuss an issue before it becomes a big problem.  These techniques have worked for me both in my personal and professional life and I think can benefit you too.  Try it, what have you got to lose?

So, do you really want to know why they broke up with you? How do you do it? Let’s discuss in the comments!!

Your Sister in Dating Bliss,

Single Dating Diva

Copyright Single Dating Diva


  1. There was a guy in college I was mad about and I was heartbroken when he just disappeared on me. I never knew why and I still wonder decades later why he didn’t get in touch again. Was it me or were there other issues going on in his life (he’d been kicked off his course) or both? I suspect both but I’ll never know. Closure then or any time since then would have been good. I moved on, got married, had kids but he’s the only one I catch myself wondering about once in a blue moon, probably just because I never found out what happened – he definitely wasn’t Mr Right – I know that in retrospect.


    • Thanks Ana! Things really do always work out the way they should but it’s nice to know why something didn’t work out, just to have closure which gives you the ability to move on peacefully. Thanks for stopping by!!


  2. It really depends on the person!
    The last guy I was with said some really horrible and unnecessary things to me when we broke up, (explaining why he was breaking up with me), a lot of which I believe were unwarranted. However, a lot of the words he used stuck with me negatively. If I could take back hearing some of his words, I definitely would have preferred he keep hurtful things to himself! But sometimes you share things with the other person and it’s completely constructive. 🙂

    Sometimes it seems like it’d be better to know then to be left wondering why, but I think a lot of the time if people knew “why”, they would have preferred to be left wondering. 😛



    • Thanks for your comment Carly and that that’s a good point, if someone can’t say things nicely and constructively then don’t say it. Post-relationship feedback shouldn’t be abusive or negative in any way. Thanks again!


Comments are closed.