How to Break Up Like a Lesbian

October 10, 2023 Daniel Lyons

October 8th was International Lesbian Day, and in celebration of this day, I thought I would cover one of my favorite topics: lesbian breakups. Breaking up is hard, no matter your gender or sexuality. I know because I've lived all along the gender and sexuality spectrum, and I've survived a lot of breakups. I've had breakups with straight men, gay men, bisexual men, bisexual women, and, oh, lesbians. Hands down, the most challenging breakup I've had has been with my most recent lesbian-identified relationship. 

I find lesbian breakups to be particularly difficult. Maybe it's because of the depth of emotional connection I experience in being with women, but there is something to calling it quits with a woman that I find hard to do. What makes it so hard? Well, today, I'll explore some of the common elements of a lesbian breakup. 

There are a lot of tropes about lesbians. Probably the most infamous is when lesbians "U-Haul," meaning bringing a U-Haul on the third date so you can move in together because of the speed at which lesbian relationships move. Today, with a little bit of humor, I will identify five tips to break up with your partner the lesbian way. 

5 Tips for Breaking Up Like a Lesbian 

  1. Go through at least one pretend breakup. If you want to break up the lesbian way, try not really breaking up when you break up. This might look like continuing to tell each other you love each other after breaking up, incessantly texting each other about how much you miss each other, and maybe even going shopping for cat furniture together for the animal you are still parenting together post-breakup.
  2. Fight over your shared animal custody and financial arrangements. If you don't have at least one shared cat or other small animal, are you even a lesbian? The verdict is out on that one. I have seen lesbians share joint custody of their pets for many, many months until it usually ends in heartbreak for whoever in the duo has to give up their animal. My ex and I spent our first post-breakup phone call bickering over the financial arrangements for the cat. (I am happy to report I kept her, though.)
  3. Post an angsty breakup post on your local queer app. My favorite app for queer dating, new friends, hookups, and community is a queer app called Lex. It's actually how my ex and I met. Just moments after breaking up, I posted an angsty post on Lex, asking for moral support, new friends, and kind words. Many of the people who messaged me knew just what it was like to end a lesbian relationship. Plus, there's always the possibility your ex will see it, which comes with a certain amount of gratification (if I'm being honest).
  4. Contact another romantic interest and tell her you're single. No amount of time is too little for a lesbian to begin to move on to their next romantic interest. So why not get to business and plunge into your next emotional entanglement before no more than 72 hours pass? 
  5. Walk away when you need to. A disclaimer: I am not saying that all of the above elements are healthy or even a good idea for a breakup with a lesbian. They are just things that many lesbians have tried. In fact, in reflecting on some of my breakups with my most recent partner (yes, we have had more than one; please refer back to number one), I realize that many of these patterns didn't serve me. I wrote this article to mostly serve as comedic relief for what lesbian breakups can be sometimes.

As a community, it's also important to acknowledge when our ways of doing things stop being healthy and lead to staying in unhealthy dynamics. Lesbians, while capable of withstanding a lot of emotional processing and emotional involvement, still have limits. Sometimes, after you've tried enough pretend breakups, it's time to break up for real. When you're ready for that, read my next post about when it's time to walk away from your queer relationship.

APA Reference
Lyons, D. (2023, October 10). How to Break Up Like a Lesbian , HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 20 from

Author: Daniel Lyons

Daniel Lyons (they/he) is a writer and mental health therapist who is passionate about the intersections of gender, sexuality, and mental health, and he lives in Oakland, California, with his service dog Noche. Find Daniel on Instagram and Medium.

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