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mw editorial

how to ‘unsubscribe’ from a toxic relationship

April 14, 2020

We’ve all been there. You’re scrolling through your inbox one morning, and you come across an email from that clothing brand you subscribed to months back to get 10% off your first order. The shirt you ordered from them was poorly made and unraveled after one wear. You’ve been deleting the brand’s emails ever since, so why keep them around? It’s time to hit the unsubscribe button.

The concept is simple when it comes to junk mail, so why not extend that philosophy to your personal life? If you’re no longer getting value out of a relationship, it’s time to purge that person from your life.

During a breakup, it can be difficult to fully let go of an ex. Here are a few ways to “unsubscribe” from a toxic relationship:


While this is the most obvious approach, it can also be the most difficult. Closing the line of communication will give you some much needed space to begin healing. If your ex continues to pursue conversation against your requests, we suggest blocking his/her phone number, even temporarily. Not being able to see the attempted calls and texts will help to push that person from your mind.

If you’re the person having trouble letting go, we recommend deleting your ex’s contact information from your phone. This ‘out of sight, out of mind’ method can help you resist the urge to reach out.


In today’s digital world, it seems we’re all glued to our phones and computers. It can be hard to let go of a toxic relationship if you wind up on your ex’s profile every time you open Instagram. Deleting that person from all social channels – Facebook, Instagram, Google Hangouts, even LinkedIn – can provide some much needed space. You won’t feel tempted to scroll through old photos and conversations to reflect on better times. You’ll also be less privy to what he/she is doing in their day-to-day life, so the temptation to engage won’t be as present.


When we’re involved in toxic relationships, we have a tendency to isolate the people closest to us as a result. A good way to start moving on is to reconnect with those friends and family that you may have distanced yourself from. Whether that’s a standing phone call or a weekly Sunday brunch, re-establishing positive relationships is key to breaking things off with a toxic ex.

Connecting with new people is another great way to build up your support system. You might ask a coworker to drinks after work, or ask a neighbor over for dinner. Building new friendship can be exciting, and it will open you up to new experiences.

If a toxic relationship continues to take away from your personal wellbeing, think about hitting the unsubscribe button and taking steps toward a healthier, happier you.


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