Ending a Relationship the Right Way: Our Advice

lone woman worries about ending a relationship

Ending a relationship is never easy. Sure, getting dumped hurts, but in some ways, initiating the uncoupling can be just as difficult. Especially when you’re ending a relationship with someone you care about. 

Relationships end for a variety of reasons, and while calling it quits is sometimes the best, it doesn’t make it easier. 

However, what can help make the process easier is the execution (no pun intended) of it. 

Ultimately you want to be as clear and respectful to your partner as possible while also creating a calm environment for you both to help better deal with the fallout. 

Because every relationship and person is different, there’s not a one-way-fits-all to end a relationship, but you can try to make ending a relationship easier for both parties involved with these following tips. 

Our Advice on Ending a Relationship

Talk about your concerns pre-breakup

Ending a relationship with your partners shouldn’t come out of the blue. 

By the time you’ve decided to have “the talk” it would serve you and your partner to have a discussion, if not a few conversations, beforehand. 

Talk about your feelings. See if there’s a chance for you to work to solve them as a team. Make sure they understand that this is something you’re considering.

No one wants to have the rug pulled out from under them. Otherwise, the breakup can be confusing and much more painful for your partner.

Break up sooner rather than later

That being said, as soon as you’ve decided you want to end your relationship, the best thing you can do for yourself and your partner is to break up sooner than later. 

Many couples prolong breaking up for several factors such as fear, finances, or children but putting off the inevitable will only end up hurting both of you in the long run. 

So, once you’ve decided that ending a relationship is the best decision for you, pull off the bandaid.

Do it in person

It doesn’t matter if you’ve dated for three months, three years, or three decades, ending the relationship in person is the kindest and most respectful thing you can do. 

Texts and emails can be confusing and hurtful. 

Choose a private and safe space where you can have the discussion. If you don’t live together, it’s a good idea to do it at their place so you can leave easily and let them have their privacy. 

Be clear with your reasons

So often we live in ambivalence and ambiguity because we fear hurting the other person’s feelings. However, now is not the time to sugarcoat or negate how you feel and why. 

Too often the dumpee is left wondering why things ended, and many people think if they had only done things differently, then you might have stayed together. 

Closure and clarity are extremely important when it comes to ending a relationship. So make an effort to give that to your partner if you decide to end yours.

Listen to the other person

While the breakup might be your idea, your partner has every right to voice their perspective and feelings too. In fact, you should expect a lot of emotions to come your way. 

Hearing your partner out may feel uncomfortable, but it’s the respectful thing to do. It’ll make getting over the breakup easier for them.

If they have had to endure your reasons for leaving them, then honor them with the respect of hearing them out on how they feel about this decision.

Stick to your decision

If you feel confident about your decision to end the relationship, stick to your guns no matter what is being thrown your way from your partner. 

They will more than likely say some very intense and emotional things. They might get angry and lash out. They might even beg you to change your mind and reconsider. 

But remember: if you truly believe this is a relationship that has truly run its course, you must remain to yourself

This doesn’t mean you can’t remain empathetic, it just means that you should remain firm with your decision.

Break it off as cleanly as possible

This means if you’re living together, you should move out ASAP. Cut the ties off, at least for now.

Don’t linger on as friends, especially not as friends with benefits. If you’re co-parenting, find a way to manage your children as logistically as possible. 

Maybe down the line, you two can establish some kind of friendship, however, right now that shouldn’t be your priority. For now, the best thing for all parties is to break up as firmly as possible so there isn’t any confusion remaining.

Ending a relationship can be difficult, exhausting, and emotionally charged. 

However, it can also mark the beginning of a new, brighter chapter for both of you. Being single can have real perks.

So if you’ve decided that ending your partnership is right for you, take note of our advice to make this transition as easy as possible.

About the author: Brianne Hogan

Brianne is a Canadian freelance writer who's been writing about dating and relationships longer than any of her relationships. She applies a "do what I say, not do what I do" approach to her articles, and believes you can find Your Person mostly when you aren't looking. So enjoy your life, and eat lots of cheese (at least that's her motto). Her byline's been featured on Thrillist, The Huffington Post, HelloGiggles, Elle Canada, Flare, Awesomeness TV, among others.

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