How to End an Unsatisfactory Relationship

First try to fix the Relationship–If there is a way to salvage the relationship try doing so. This may entail changing negative behavior to positive behavior, learning good communication skills and if necessary seeking counseling. If you still think it is best to end the relationship do the following:

1. Understand that ending a relationship will be difficult and painful.

2. Blame yourself–Tell the person that you want to end it because by giving reasons specific to yourself, e.g. you need more time for yourself right now, you want to go to school. If you blame your partner, you may give them the opportunity to try to make things better and subsequently make you feel obligated to give them another chance.

3. Cut off the relationship completely–Sometimes the person who wants to end the relationship may want the relationship to evolve to a friendship. However, if you are the “dropper”, it may be more difficult for the “droppee”. Continuing to have a relationships with him or her may give them false hope. Cutting it off completely may help the “droppee”¬† heal faster. On the other hand, some people do better turning relationships into friendships. It depends on you and your partner

4. Learn from the Relationship–It often easy for us to blame the other person. This is time for you to focus on what you did to contribute to the breakup. Look at things such as jealousy, being controlling, cheating, being fearful of commitment, etc.

5. Allow time to grieve and heal–Know that it is going to take time. Studies¬† show that it can take from 12-18 months. Know it is going to be painful and it is okay to cry. It helps with the healing process.

6. Clean up your social network pages, e.g. facebook, twitter, etc. Sometimes angry ex-partners use social networks to vent their anger about the breakup. You may have to purge and disconnect them from your social network sites

7. Start Dating again–One way to get over a relationship is to start dating again. But remember, you should also take time to heal, so that you do not bring the hurt and pain from the previous relationship into the new one.

Overall, look at this as a time to heal, reevaluate what is important to you, behaviors and habits that might need to be worked on changed, and ultimately as a new beginning to find the right person for you.


Choices in Relationships, Donald Knox & Caroline Schacht, Wadsworth, 2010.