How should I end a relationship?

Having realistic expectations is important when you’re thinking about ending a relationship. This isn’t an article to tell you it’s going to be easy, or that you can avoid any stress… sorry! Even though it’s much more comfortable to pretend it’s all going to be ok, if your gut feeling says that it won’t be, then you can manage it if you prepare yourself well before the start of the emotional roller-coaster…

The first step is to accept that it may take more time and energy to create a ‘good’ ending than perhaps you’d hoped. The second step is to approach each stage with the right mindset. This means that come what may, you’re mentally prepared to stay calm and polite. Act in the way you would want your partner to act if they were the one breaking up with you.

What’s the best way to break up with someone?

Relationships end for a lot of reasons. Maybe you’re not happy with your partner, or maybe you just don’t want to be in a relationship right now. Whatever your reasons, these are some handy tips:

Prepare. Think about what you’re going to say in advance. You may even want to practice on a friend or in front of a mirror, or write out your thoughts.

Pick the right spot. Talk to your partner somewhere that’s comfortable for both of you.

Say it in person. Talk to your partner face to face. E-mailing, texting, or talking on the phone may sound easier, but it’s usually not the best option. And don’t ask a friend to deliver the news for you.

Be respectful. If your partner asks you why you’re breaking up with them, be honest — it could help them have better relationships in the future. But don’t insult them or try to hurt them.

Make a clean break. If you really want to be friends, that’s fine. But if you’re just saying “let’s be friends” to let your partner down easier … don’t. It can lead to more hurt feelings. Even if you plan to stay friends, give your partner some space. It may help to take a break from seeing or talking to each other for a while.  

Stick with your decision. If you feel like you’re doing the right thing, don’t let your partner try to convince you to stay together. It’s normal for someone to cry or get upset during a breakup, and that can be really hard to deal with. But feeling bad or guilty isn’t a reason to stay in a relationship.

Making a clean break may be hard to do, but it can help you focus on moving forward. Resist the urge to post bad things about your ex on Facebook or other social media — it can lead to a lot of embarrassment and regret. Finally, try not to feel bad about yourself. Your relationship didn’t work out, but that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you — or that you’ll never find love again.

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