Ask Sam letter


To Sam

How do I tell my parents we broke up?

Hi Sam,

So a few days ago, I broke up with my boyfriend. My heart wasn't in it anymore. We dated for almost ten months. Seeing as I broke up with him, I'm pretty much over the relationship. It took me a while to go up to him and actually break up because self confidence is an issue for me.

My parents did know about the relationship, but now that it's over, I'm struggling to tell them that we broke up. To be honest, they didn't know my boyfriend that well, though they're always pretty concerned about my safety, which means they ask a lot of questions. So, I'd really like some advice on how to tell my parents!

What do I say? How will they react? I'm not sure how to bring up the topic!


Ask Sam


Hi there,

Starting a difficult conversation can be hard, especially if you don't feel very confident. Sometimes we may feel like we don't know how to begin a conversation and the longer we put it off, the harder it becomes. Feeling confident about what you have to say is the first step to talking about it. There are lots of ways to boost your confidence and you need to find the right way for you.

Making a big decision like breaking up a relationship takes a lot of courage, so you were very brave by making a choice and going through with it. But telling people about the decision you've made can be tough - especially when it's something personal or private. Some people find it especially difficult to share personal things with the people who look after them, and this can become even harder as you get older.

Starting a conversation with your parents about your boyfriend could happen in a few different ways. You could tell them by just coming out and saying it. This is the most direct approach but it can be hard to build up the courage to do this if you're feeling nervous. You may also need to be prepared for questions afterwards from your parents about how you feel and what happened in the relationship. If you're able to think of a time you can do this without distractions then this may be the quickest way to talk about it.

If you don't feel able to be this direct, you could try bringing up the topic in other ways. Saying things like you've had a difficult week or talking about how you're feeling at the moment might prompt your parents to ask you more about it. But this is less reliable and might mean you still don't tell them - and the longer it takes, the harder it can become.

Practising what you're going to say can be helpful. Our Childline counsellors are always there if you want to try talking to them first. Doing this over the phone can be better because saying it out loud is different to writing it down in a 1-2-1 chat, but whatever works for you is fine. You could also talk about it with other people like teachers, friends or other relatives to practise before telling your parents.

I hope this helps you, thanks for your letter.

Take care.


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I read every single letter but I can only answer a few each week. My replies are published here on my page.

Write me a letter