Steps to Break Up and End a Bad Relationship

End a RelationshipCredit: Mark Sebastian


Ending a relationship can be one of life’s most unpleasant if not dreadful obligations that we have to face. When the words “we have to talk” leave your mouth you suddenly feel like you have an appointment with the dentist or to get your blood drawn. It’s something that you just do not want to do, even though you know in the end it will be for the best.  There are a lot of feelings at stake, perhaps months or years in a relationship that just isn’t working, you don’t want to hurt anyone or feel hurt yourself and you aren’t sure how he or she or even how you are going to react.  If you want things to turn out the best that they can for the both of you, the idea would be to have a plan, a strategy, so that you don’t go in blindly and you are prepared.  The following advice may be of use if you find that it’s time to end your relationship.



Are you sure you this is what you want to do, or have you made the decision to end the relationship when you were angry or just after an argument?  If you are furious about something that he/she said or did, the heat of the moment could cloud your judgment. Don’t be rash, take some time and calm down.  If when you are more rational and thinking more clearly you see that what he/she said or did is part of a pattern of immaturity or disrespect that leaves you feeling bad about the relationship time and time again, then perhaps ending the relationship is the right decision.


Be Organized

Before the moment of “we have to talk”, take some time to clear your mind and organize your thoughts.  Often it is helpful to use a pen and paper to help you clarify the reasons why you are ending the relationship.  Have them clearly and calmly in mind before and during the moment of truth.

Plan Ahead

Visualize the scene in your head. Put yourself in the moment and imagine that you are speaking with him/her, and visualize all of the possible responses, arguments, and replies. Be prepared for every scenario.  It may seem that you are being calculating, but having your words carefully chosen can help avoid and diffuse any potential explosive emotional moments that could arise.  


Choose the right moment. There’s no need to be cruel, thoughtless or tactless.  Birthdays, Anniversaries or heaven forbid Valentine’s Day, should all be considered out of bounds and/or foul play.  Nor should you choose to end the relationship on a day when he or she is sick or having family problems etc.  Choose a normal day and time that is not charged with emotions and if in the very moment he/she tells you about something bad that happened to them that day, perhaps you could consider putting off the dropping of the bomb.


Be Direct

Get straight to the point. Tell them calmly that you have something serious to talk to them about and when he/she asks “what about?” tell them that you have decided to end the relationship and that you would like to talk to them about it.


Be Brief

Do let things drag on and on. After the conversation tell him/her that you have to go (using the excuse that You Have Prepared) and leave. If you don’t, you are allowing the possibility that emotions are going to take over and that an argument or a fight could take place. Be “professional” so to speak. Do what needs to be down, quickly and with as little pain for the both of you as possible, and move on.

Be Human

Once you are alone and in your own space pay attention to how you feel and allow yourself to go through your own emotional process.  You may experience conflicting emotions or feel as though you have made a mistake. This is normal.  Give yourself time.  Or perhaps you feel great, as though a burden has been lifted, if so, congratulations.  Either way, after the breakup it is important that you get out, stay active and meet new people, and move on with your life.

Of course ending a relationship will never be easy, but it can be less difficult if you have a plan and approach it with a clear head, understanding your motives and feelings before you find yourself in the “we have to talk” moment.