Over time, you and your partner’s interests might change. You can grow apart or have less in common with the person you’re dating, and it might be time for you to think about ending the relationship.
If you decide to end a relationship, it can be difficult for both people, and respecting one another will make things easier. Once you decide to end the relationship, it’s a good idea to be honest, kind and definite.
You might want to tell the other person what you’ve been feeling and thinking, and what you want for yourself. It’s not helpful to blame the other person or try to pick out faults. Sometimes relationships end simply because people are different, and getting to know someone during a relationship can reveal differences that you didn’t see before. Differences are natural, but they might prevent you from keeping your relationship happy, healthy and strong.
Not sure whether to break up?
It can be hard to tell when exactly a relationship should ‘end’, as often there’s no exact point. Listen to your gut when feeling out these changes you have for your partner. If you’re in a long-term relationship, remember that the ‘honeymoon stage’ only lasts so long, and after that, it’s about genuine love and connection with that person.
Healthy relationships involve trust, support and respect. If those are absent, you might consider whether that relationship is good for you long-term.
How do I break up with someone?
Breaking up with someone can feel daunting, especially because you don’t want to hurt them. Try to pick a good time to break the news to someone, where they’ll be able to react naturally, express how they’re feeling and not get rushed. Often, it takes some time for the news to sink in, especially if it’s a surprise. People might react to a break up differently. It’s not uncommon to feel sadness, anger, disbelief, guilt or even indifference. If you’ve been experiencing difficulties in your relationship for some time, your partner might even seem relieved.
Managing these feelings can be hard. Try to be calm, kind and gentle when you’re ending a relationship but also be firm and clear. Think about how you’d want someone to talk to you about ending your relationship. It’s best to wait until you can see that person face-to-face, so you can discuss things more thoroughly. Breaking up over a text message or phone call can come across as inconsiderate or disrespectful of the time you’ve shared together, but if your safety is at risk, this may be your best option.
Getting Over an Ex & Moving on After a Break Up
If you’re being broken up with, the uncertainty and devastation from the ending of the relationship can be overwhelming. Breaking up is hard, but try to remember the reasons why you or your partner made that decision and that it’s the best thing for two people when they can’t grow anymore in that relationship. It is not unusual to go through the different stages of grief after a big relationship in your life has ended.
It might take some time to accept that your relationship has ended and to move on from the relationship. The end of a relationship can give you time to learn more about yourself, spend time with your friends and do things that you enjoy doing. Having someone you can talk to about your feelings might be helpful. This can be a friend, family member, counselor, or other mental health professional.
You may also find it helpful to:
Stay busy. Staying active and doing things you enjoy might help keep your mind off the break-up. You might want to hang out with friends, read a book, go for a run or walk or listen to music.
You may want to check out our articles Express Yourself and Developing Coping Strategies to find more ideas on how to stay busy and cope with the new change.
Try something new. Sometimes it’s helpful to make a fresh start by trying something different. There might be a class you’ve always wanted to take—like drama, art, or yoga—or you might want to start playing a sport. Learning new skills is a great way to rebuild your relationship with yourself after a break-up and can offer you a healthy distraction to get your mind off the pain.
Look after yourself. This might be a difficult time, and it’s important that you look after yourself. Eating a healthy diet and staying physically active can be helpful. It might also help to treat yourself to something special. Do something that you enjoy. It might also be a good idea to do a check-in with yourself to see how balanced (or imbalanced) your life is now that you’re single. To learn more about a wellness check-in you can do with yourself, visit The 7 Dimensions of Wellness to get started!
Welcome positivity into your life. Think about your achievements, your friends, things you enjoy and the good people in your life, and the positive things they have said about you. Try thinking of potential doors that have opened since the closing of your relationship. Do things that help you feel empowered as an independent person. This can help keep you feeling upbeat.
Realize it’s okay to be sad. No matter when the break-up happened, and who made the final call, you have every right to be sad about the ending of that shared journey. In relationships with others, we can give a lot of ourselves and it’s definitely an adjustment period of not having that same person to talk to or things you can do with that person. It’s okay to grieve how things are changing. Journaling or talking with yourself and acknowledging your inner pain is a good way to be present with these changes and can help you reframe what’s happening in a better light.
Talk with someone you trust. Getting some support when a relationship is ending might help you work through how you’re feeling. You might find it helpful to talk to your friends, your parents, a teacher, school counselor, doctor, or another person that you can trust.
It’s OK to be single. We promise- it can even be fun. Just give yourself time. Learn how to become your own biggest support and best friend, because whether or not you’re in a relationship, you’ll always have yourself. Use this time to explore who you really are.
Need more info?
Visit Love is Respect for more info and quizzes like the Healthy Relationships Quiz.
Developing Coping Strategies