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How To Break Up (And What To Do Next): 5 Love Tips From Brazilian Painter Belmiro de Almeida

Belmiro de Almeida, The Spat (Arrufos), 1887, detail, Museu Nacional de Belas Artes

Latin American Art

How To Break Up (And What To Do Next): 5 Love Tips From Brazilian Painter Belmiro de Almeida

Valentine’s Day is traditionally celebrated on February 14th, you know for sure. But, in the country where I live, Brazil, the date reserved for lovers is June 12th. On that day, couples meet, go to candlelit dinners and exchange gifts. Be it in February or June, the celebration of love is not easy: some have not yet met their soulmates, and there are those who have but want to beat alone. The ways of the heart are always very complicated…

If you are looking for romantic advice or an “artistic” way to further your love, I suggest the article Five Ideas For Valentine’s Day Inspired By Art History. But if you prefer to stay single, join me and the Brazilian painter Belmiro de Almeida. We’ll show you how to get out of a relationship with dignity – after all, advice from a great artist should be quite legit, don’t you think?

First, a few words about our agony aunt. Belmiro was born in 1858 and like many artists of his generation, he studied art in Europe, having started his studies in Brazil at the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts. After World War I, Belmiro settled in Paris until the end of his life. By the way, did I mention that June 12 also marks the death of Belmiro? He lived until the age of 77 and had a fantastic career: he was a painter, drawer, caricaturist, and sculptor. Now that we have been properly introduced, let us turn to his advice!

1. Dialogue is always the best alternative (but choose a good place)

Brazilian Painter Belmiro de Almeida

Belmiro de Almeida, Street in Italy, circa 1889, Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo.

Okay, talking about ending a relationship is not always a conversation we want to have. But calmly explaining the reasons for wanting to leave the love bond is the first step for the couple to become friends after the breakup (if that’s possible). But remember to choose a good place. After all, busy streets are not good for that. Opt for dark corners with few bystanders.

2. Be patient, but firm.

Belmiro de Almeida, The Spat (Arrufos), 1887, Museu Nacional de Belas Artes

In Portuguese, the word Arrufos, title of this painting, means a kind of a specific bad feeling, directed only to the one that we esteem much. Is not it the case of an ex-lover? If the first conversation did not work, insist a little more. It may be that one of the lovers cries, but be firm. Sometimes these tears are nothing compared to the problems you will get if you continue in a toxic relationship.

3. If it does not work, try writing a letter.

Belmiro de Almeida, Bad News, 1897, Museu Mineiro.

You may not be able to end everything in person. This is not as bad as they say. This is the time for you to put into action your best writing skills to explain in a letter your reasons for the breakup. Of course, the”letter” here can be replaced by more up-to-date options such as emails, facebook messages or WhatsApp, but I do not recommend. Write a letter. It is always more definitive. And more artistic.

“My relationship is over, and now?”

Let’s say you’ve been able to finish your dating so far. I do not recommend that you start another dating straightaway – after all, we believe that even with the end of the romance, your heart is broken, isn’t it? So follow these tips further to find out what to do after.

4. Focus on good things (and keep busy)

Even if the choice to end the dating has been yours, you may be suffering. In that case, try to keep good things in mind. And they can be a song you like, good food, flowers, or a movie. The important thing is to have a positive attitude and smile. Anyway, try to distract yourself. If you’ve tried everything, how about cleaning? Cleaning the house sometimes also clears the heart.

Brazilian Painter Belmiro de Almeida

Belmiro de Almeida, The Chatterbox, 1893, Museu Nacional de Belas Artes.

5. Overcome!

Well, if you think it’s time to live a new love, and that your heart is ready enough for it, immerse yourself in it! Life is the art of meeting, as Vinicius de Moraes says. So, do not be afraid to experience a new romance. On the other hand, if you meet your ex with a new lover, get over it! Love is renewed by other people, and that is the greatest advantage of this feeling.

Brazilian Painter Belmiro de Almeida

Belmiro de Almeida, The Guard’s Flirt, 1904, Museu Chácara do Céu.

I hope you do not need such advice anytime soon, anyway. And show love regardless of the day of the month. If you are Brazilian and you are dating, I also like to wish you um Feliz Dia dos Namorados. Enjoy!

Find out more:

The Flying Lovers, Bella and Marc Chagall


Someone who believes, through reading and intuition, that the history of art is the true history of humanity. In love with Renaissance art and a huge fan of the Impressionists.


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