7 Ways to End Your Relationship as Peacefully as Possible

December 6, 2011  |  
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Most people would like to be the one who puts an end to a bad relationship rather than being dumped by their loved one. But the fact is that, even if you want to end your relationship, it’s not easy to tell someone that it’s over.  That’s right, essentially breaking up is a lose-lose situation.  Breaking up with your partner may be necessary at some point but let it have the dignity that your relationship did.

Ending a relationship is all the more difficult when it is not by mutual consent. When one of the partners has to initiate the break in the relationship, it can turn into a situation filled with anger, sadness, confusion and frustration and therefore must be handled with care and lots of thought. Here are 7 tips that might help you along the way to a peaceful break-up.

1. Acknowledge

Acknowledge that the relationship is really over. Come to terms with your own feelings and make a firm decision to end the relationship. Accept that your relationship is not working and make a firm and clear decision to break up. All relationships that come to end do so for different reasons.  Here are some common issues that end up breaking up a bond: you always feel frustrated, you find reasons to spend time apart, you wish your relationship was more like the way it was in the beginning, you changed your values, beliefs or goals to accommodate your partner with the hope that the relationship would get better but it didn’t, you have cut off close relationships with friends and family members to be with your partner, or you are being physically, emotionally or sexually abused.  Pinpoint the issues that are untreatable so that you have a solid foundation and reason for the break up.  Telling someone you want to break up just because “you’re not feeling ‘it’ anymore,” is a hard pill to swallow.  Respect your soon to be ex and give solid reasons for your actions.

2. Don’t delay the inevitable

Once you decide to break up with your partner, immediately think about how, when and where you will take action. Once you decide to end your relationship, don’t delay it, immediately plan how, where and when you can take action.  Ensure that you discuss the matter between the two of you and never send a third party to convey the message that you want to end the relationship with him.  Make sure that you assess the issue from a clear, rational perspective and never make a decision, especially this big, when you feel angry. Take the time to consider the consequences of all your possible actions.  Whatever you choose to do, you must be confident in your decision.

3. Be Confident

The moment you decide to break up with somebody, you have to realize that it implies that a conversation to resolve issues is not even a possibility.  If it is a possibility for you, maybe you should think of approaching your talk with your man as more of a relationship-counseling sort of way, instead of a break up.  Generally speaking, break ups do not get reversed and the relationship will be unsalvageable.  Not being totally sure of your feelings when you go to end a relationship can mess with your heart and his. If you’re not completely certain that it’s the right thing to do, you’ll confuse him and make him feel like he still has a chance, or worse, you’ll lose him when you still have feelings for him. Be totally ready to cut the ties or risk more heartache than necessary.

4. Find a Neutral Setting

The best place to have “the talk” is a private, neutral setting where the two of you will have the privacy to freely express yourselves and show your emotions. Restaurants and other public places are generally a bad idea. The last thing you want is your partner weeping, yelling or calling you names in front of a live audience.  Approach the topic when both of you are calm and rational and don’t announce your intention to break up during a heated argument or a moment of anger. On the other hand, if you are afraid that your partner may react violently, definitely end your relationship in a public setting where you can call for help if necessary. Never break up with someone at work. And avoid at all costs ending a relationship over the phone, via email or with a “Dear John” letter. You’re not in high school. If you are going to end a relationship with someone, have the courage and the decency to do it face to face.

5. Don’t Blame

First and foremost, never blame your partner while ending a relationship. People break up for various reasons. Often, the break up occurs because the relationship didn’t work out. Remember, it takes two to make a relationship work.  You have to realize that the experiences in your relationships, and issues that came up did so to teach you a lesson.  It’s hard to see what “lesson” is taught after being cheated on, for example, but if you look deep enough you might reflect back on some times you were a little too naïve, or ignored blaring red flags.  Whatever the case, think of your relationship as a rough draft.  You learn what worked for you and what didn’t make sense, so that you can revise your issues and make it even better next time.

6. Anticipate His Reaction

There are four main reactions that you can expect when you break up with someone: silence, sadness and crying, an outburst of anger or rage, or questions about your decision.  Think about which of these reactions you can expect from your partner and how you will deal with them. It is a good idea to prepare yourself for any and all scenarios when ending a relationship.

7. Respect & Honesty

Remind your partner that you’ll never forget the positive qualities in your relationship, but emphasize that you’re ready to move on with your life. If you leave a person with respect you will always have their respect. “Do for them as you would have them do for you” is a very good rule of thumb to guide you through an unpleasant and unhappy time.

It isn’t easy to tell someone to their face that you don’t want to be their partner any more. This is especially hard if you have been a couple for a very long time. This is where the honesty comes to play so that you leave the person with as much of their own self-respect as possible. Tell him why you need to move on and answer any questions he may throw at you as honestly as you can. Think about the times you were dumped for no reason. How did you feel? It probably frustrated you wondering why, when things appeared to be going so well, he decided to end it. Be fair and be honest with your man and give him a final taste of your class and respect to give yourself the highest chance of ending your relationship peacefully.

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