The famous and influential boy band of 2000 (Y2K peeps where you at?!), 2gether, graced us with the words ‘the hardest part of breaking up (is getting back your stuff)’ and they are the realest words we live by even 16 years later. So, how do we do it? Ghosting seems to be the trend, because 99% of us are extremely lazy and easily distracted. But what about everyone else with a soul? Here are the 7 rules for breaking up with someone.

1. Don’t pretend you’re ‘fine.’

1If you’re unhappy, you should feel it’s okay to share your feelings with your s/o. Communication is key, even if that’s what drove you both to this point. Spell it out, make sure it’s clear, and don’t even think about a friends with benefits relationship.

2. Don’t feel obligated to stay friends.

2Staying friends could be the worst! Yes, you’ll have your BFF remain in your life, but it will come with a lot of baggage. Mostly your baggage, but baggage. You could easily end up becoming hook-up buddies, or watch him woo another chick aka the most awkward heartbreak ever.

3. Don’t jump (back) into bed.

3Breakup sex can be extremely emotional, and by emotional we mean he could cry into your fresh blowout or you can be left naked and alone and heartbroken all at once. That heavy, sad feeling isn’t worth it in the end.

4. Don’t trash all of your ex’s things.

4Don’t keep your ex’s things, but definitely don’t trash them! If you want all of your personal belongings returned intact, you should treat his things as you’d want him to treat yours.

5. Don’t date your ex’s best friend.

5That’s just…not cool. Though you aren’t obligated to tell him or her if you’re interested in someone else, you shouldn’t date someone within your mutual friend circles. You know what could easily be worse? Him dating your best friend. And then your relationship airing on Jerry Springer.

6. Make it short.

6Instead of making the breakup a public screaming match that ends up on Snapchat or YouTube, make the breakup short. Also, keep all the cliche lines to yourself, try your best to not to flip out, and don’t get physical.

7. Do make it sweet (if at all possible)

7It’s okay to offer a little bit of comfort if you see they aren’t handling it well, but don’t embrace them. Getting physical (even in a positive way) can lead to more awkwardness and hurt feelings all around.

How did your last breakup end? What advice would you offer your friends? Let us know in a comment below!