how to break up with anyone book coverReviewed by Poppy Johnson

How to Break Up With Anyone: Letting Go of Friends, Family, and Everyone In-Between by Jamye Waxman is a book for anyone in the predicament of needing to end a relationship, and right now. In the age of social media options for befriending others anywhere and anytime, few people today are versed or skilled at even knowing how to break off a relationship. Let’s face it, some people in our circle of relatives, acquaintances and friends have extended their expiration dates in our lives but how to get away from these people has been left up for grabs.

Waxman does make it clear that the person who wants to break away from a relationship should not feel like a “bad” person when the time is right for a legitimate break up, and break ups should be carefully planned out, not spontaneous. The break up needs to be planned down to the moment of extrication (like getting rid of a rotten tooth, the one way in the back there, that is aching, oh so aching); if it is not carefully orchestrated, the person breaking up will risk getting into a “fake up” or a fake break up. If this all sounds confusing, relax, the break up book reviewed here makes it all clear for the reader in due time.

The book has twelve chapters, exploring non-romantic, romantic, family, siblings, best friends, community, career and other types of potential break ups. Each chapter offers a real life break up scenario, a quote from a sage regarding the mechanics of a break up, key tips to ending a relationship, and so on. There are options to managing the break up, and carefully written “Considerations for the Broken Up” to round out each chapter.

Waxman explains that many people hold on to detrimental relationships for too long, and that we need to get away from draining and toxic people or risk being dragged down with them. Usually, the best way to bow out of a bad relationship is to address the “getting out” head on. If we are at the receiving end of a break up effort, we need to receive the news gracefully and learn how to back off if someone wants us to just go away.

I found it particularly interesting that Waxman suggested breaking up with social media–especially when many people today use the social media as the only way to connect with friends. Most people on social media spend way too much time on their accounts – or looking at other people’s accounts – to have real lives themselves. It’s true that social media is no substitute for an in-person encounter, and many people can legitimately blame Facebook exchanges for all manners of miscommunications.

This book is a great reference for those looking to end toxic relationships. People who break up have to go through a process, to grieve the hurt feelings, and heal. This book shows us how to move forward, and perhaps even welcome the people we’ve “broken up” with back into our lives down the road.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

After a decade of working in several NYC law departments and teaching, Poppy decided she enjoyed writing full-time. She currently works as a freelance writing consultant, and lives with her husband and sons on the East Coast.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Seal Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.