Planned Parenthood

Ending a Relationship

Ending a Relationship

Sometimes we may feel that there are too many things happening in our relationship that make us unhappy or uncomfortable. Sometimes we may decide that we are not ready to be in a relationship. Or we may enjoy our relationship, but feel that circumstances make the relationship too difficult. Whatever the reason, breaking up with someone can be a hard thing to do.

If you are thinking about ending a relationship, here are some things to keep in mind that may make it a little easier:

  • Think about what you're going to say in advance. Many people find it helps to rehearse what they want to say before saying something that's difficult.
  • Choose an appropriate place. Talk to the person somewhere that is comfortable for both of you. If you are worried about safety, somewhere public could be the best choice.
  • Say it in person. If you feel safe, talk to the person face to face. An e-mail, phone call, or text message is usually not the best option. It's also important to do it yourself. It can create more problems if you have someone else carry the message for you.
  • Be respectful. Don't intentionally hurt someone with insults or name-calling. This will only make the conversation harder. Be direct. The person may question why you are ending the relationship. Being honest may help the person have better relationships in the future.
  • Don't say "we can still be friends" unless you really mean it. Sometimes people promise a friendship to ease the hurt of a breakup. This can cause more hurt and confusion down the line if you don't intend to actually stay friends.
  • Give the person some space. Even if you are going to be friends, give her or him some time to adjust. It may be good to take a break from seeing each other, talking on the phone, etc. for a while, so you can both adjust.
  • If you feel you made the right decision, stick with it. Don't allow the person to change your mind. It is normal for someone to cry or get upset during a breakup. Feeling bad or guilty is not a reason to stay in the relationship.

Ending Abusive Relationships

Sometimes we may need to leave a relationship for our own safety. If you are being abused and are planning to end your relationship, remember that it is best to have a safety plan. You can also get more information and support from The National Domestic Violence Hotline, an anonymous online and phone service. 

Find out more about abusive and unhealthy relationships.

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Ending a Relationship