How to end a relationship the right way

Throughout our lives most of us will have dated a fair number of partners before eventually finding the one that is perfect for us. This is of course natural and normal and upon reflection we usually recall previous partners with fondness and affection for making us who we are now. However, ending relationships and moving on from them are some of the most difficult situations we will have to face.

It is common for us to feel sympathy for the person who has been broken up with and not so much for the person that made the decision. However as we have or will learn, breaking up with someone is never easy and it is often not not what we want, but instead what we feel is right and what we must do for our lives to progress to the next stage.

Here are some words of advice that will help you to think about your decision and how to end a relationship the most respectful way:

Firstly, it is so important that you only begin the process of ending a serious relationship if you are 100% certain that it is what you want. Putting yourself in a situation where you leave and then regret it will only give out mixed messages. Personal and professional relationship coach Michael Myerscough says “ Getting back together again almost never works – you broke up for a reason and even if you’ve forgotten it, that reason is still there. “It’s a cruel and unusual punishment to be on and off”, says relationship psychologist Susan Quilliam. So make sure that you are sure that this is what you want before setting out on this path.

Secondly, though this sounds like a trivial thing to be concerned about among all the other emotions you might be feeling but you need to consider where to end the relationship. It is usually best to do it at ‘their’ house, because this will allow you to leave and will mean they are in a comfortable and familiar environment. Quilliam says another area that can work is a quiet area of a public park. “That way you can stop and start – but if there’s going to be tears it’s a bad idea,” What is most essential is that there is no distractions as it is disrespectful to not be focussed on the other person.

In terms of what you should actually say it is best to not beat around the bush. Small talk will only make the situation worse as it will make the message unclear. You don’t have to be cold and emotionless but clear and concise. Go in with your eyes open and be prepared for the other party to be shocked and upset and hopefully it won’t be as bad.

Plan what you are going to say beforehand as this way you won’t slip into the horrible breakup pattern of pointing out their faults and listing dislikes. “Blame the failure of the relationship on outside factors, avoiding personal and self blame,” says Quilliam. Although you might have some things you feel need to be said, don’t be cruel. A little white lie could mean that somewhere quite a way down the line you will be able to salvage a friendship. After all this person has been a huge part of your life and it won’t all have been bad. Think of it preparing each other for the next stage of your lives.

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Emma Hilton

Written by Emma Hilton

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