How to end a relationship on good terms? This is a question many people ask when they look for the best ways to end the relationship, sometimes even over text. Yes, the end of a relationship is a bitter pill to swallow for the one who gets dumped. It is not an easy thing for the one who decides to pull the plug either. It’s actually a good thing if you’re wondering what to say to end a relationship, because it’s not something that should be taken lightly; breaking up on good terms is a real possibility and you can definitely make it happen.
Ending a relationship on good terms mainly requires a smattering of patience and a sizeable chunk of compassion. So yes, breaking up on good terms may take a bit of extra effort, but on the bright side, it also helps in avoiding a lot of drama and messy emotions. For breaking up on good terms, you just have to stay focused on the end goal which is to not let your equation with your soon-to-be-ex turn so bitter that you can’t be in each other’s life anymore.
Not only does it require kindness on the part of the doer, but also a great deal of strength to not end up going back and forth. Nobody needs an emotional roller coaster ride at a time like this. The more grace and finesse you practice, the smoother the breakup will be.
To maneuver this process, let’s take some help from psychologist Anita Eliza, (MSc in Applied Psychology), who specializes in issues like anxiety, depression, relationships, and self-esteem. With her tips and guidance, figuring out how to end a relationship gracefully is only one read away!
6 Reasons To End A Relationship
There can be many reasons to end a relationship, ranging from personal to situational. Not every relationship heads toward the ‘till death do us part’ aphorism. No matter what your reasons behind breaking up, it is important to pick the right time to do it.
Breakups are harsh but in the long run, most of them are the right thing to do. Not every man you meet is your prince charming and not every woman you go out with is the girl of your dreams. Besides, being happily single is another experience altogether! So embrace it with open arms if you feel like your present relationship has been making you feel weary. Here are a few reasons to cut off from a relationship that might not be good for you:
1. Halting your success and growth
Brie was enjoying her budding romance with a guy she had met at the gym when she landed a much-awaited promotion at work. The requirements of her new role required greater commitment and energy, ten-hour workdays and constantly having to leave town for meetings.
Her busy schedule became a constant bone of contention in the relationship, and Brie thought it was best to end things with her boyfriend since it was all still new and neither was too emotionally invested yet. In a situation like this, you too might find it difficult to invest your energy in a relationship.
While it’s true that we all like to have someone to come home to, in these circumstances, greater things need your attention. It might be unfair to keep a partner just hanging or benching them when your mind is occupied elsewhere.
2. Lack of emotional satisfaction
You might be drifting apart, are too different in your worldview or might simply be too busy to create a spark anymore. Just because the first few dates were great, doesn’t mean that you’re meant to spend your life with this person. If a relationship is not emotionally comforting, it’s time to rethink whether it’s worth it. If the warm hugs, kisses and smiles are not evoking the same happiness and love as before, your relationship might just not be at the place it used to be.
It is natural for affection, or at least displays of affection, to decline in a relationship sometimes. However, if you are looking for excuses to end a relationship, it’s best to tell them that you do not feel that emotionally involved in the relationship.
Chances are they’ve been feeling the same and agree with you, leading to an easy and amicable breakup. By being honest and upfront, you can end a relationship in a good way and still salvage the possibility of a cordial equation with your ex.
Related Reading: 21 Dos And Don’ts Of Breaking Up With Your Girlfriend
3. Being treated as a second option
“It is important to remember that you should never settle for being treated as second best, especially if you consider the person you are in a relationship with as your first choice. There is a chance you may not feel equal in the relationship as you may be giving it your all while the other person may be approaching you only if their first choice is busy. The trust that you have, that feeling of ‘My partner will always stand by me’ may be be shaken if you are not their first option. Being someone’s second choice is something that one should never allow especially when you think of them as your first. This will undoubtedly hamper your mental wellbeing making you feel less important”, explains Eliza.
If your partner is not as invested in the relationship as you are, it is an indisputable relationship red flag and is one of the necessary reasons to end a relationship soon. If they keep dodging your calls and forgetting important dates, chances are that they are not prioritizing you.
Mel found it frustrating that her girlfriend, Rory, spent her evenings at the gym, her weekends with her friends and preferred hanging out with a travel group on holidays. “Where do I fit in?” Mel wondered as Rory became too engrossed in her life, leaving practically no room for a relationship.
It is pointless to hang on to the hope that they will change their ways and come back to you. The best recourse in such a situation is to cut oneself loose when the other partner clearly has different priorities.
4. Abuse and manipulation in a relationship
Ending a relationship becomes imperative in a situation like this. If your partner exhibits toxic traits and likes to demean you, just run away…now! If they show signs of gaslighting you and manipulate you often, then the relationship will only be harmful to your mental health. You deserve to be treated with love and respect, in every relationship, always.
If they try to make you feel insecure, play mind games with you, it is a huge cause for concern. Even too much jealousy can slowly become unhealthy. You must put yourself first. Always. Your emotions are not their puppets to string around.
If you are feeling smothered and claustrophobic in the relationship, let them know and walk out. An amicable breakup is possible in such a case too, but highly unlikely if they have anger issues or are abusive. In such situations, it may not be feasible to leave a relationship on good terms. Try your best if you value your partner despite all that they’ve done to you, but if things turn ugly despite your best efforts, don’t beat yourself up about it.
5. Trust issues
This is a major reason for ending a relationship with someone. If your partner has a history of repeatedly lying, making things up or going against your will – it might be time to re-assess how good they are for you. Or if they exhibit dubious behavior, show signs of dishonesty and seem to be hiding something from you, it might not be a good idea to trust them any further.
Do you really want to get more and more involved with someone who is not being 100% upfront with you? A relationship is built on trust and communication. If that starts shaking, consider the relationship already over.
Say you are entangled in a relationship with a married man and are not really sure if he is trustworthy and ready to give his all to you. That’s when you could think of ending the relationship with a married man because you find it hard to build trust.
Related Reading: Trust Issues – 10 Signs You Find It Difficult To Trust Anyone
6. They refuse to compromise
If your partner thinks they’re the boss of the relationship, it’s time to show them that is not how things work. A domineering personality who expects you to bend at their will, lacks the understanding that is needed in love and therefore cannot build a healthy relationship.
Eliza tells us, “Sacrifices and compromises are a part of a healthy relationship as long as they are coming from a healthy mindset. But when it is only you who has been making them, it can become tiresome and frustrating, especially if your partner does not see them as sacrifices or adjustments that you have made for them. Rather, they may tend to take it as their right and believe that they deserve them.
“This can affect you and your mental stability tremendously. I personally wont suggest walking out on that relationship as the first choice. You should consider reflecting upon their side of the argument too. Maybe the communication about the choices that the individual had to make to bring about harmony in the relationship, was poor. This is also very common — bad or unclear communication. But even after spelling things out in black and white, and making every effort to understand them, if you still feel that the other partner is not compromising or is taking you for granted, it may just be in your best interest to walk away,” she adds.
If they fail to acknowledge your needs and make sacrifices for you, it is time to turn away from them. Compromise is important. From deciding where to get dinner to which place you’re going to on your summer vacation, your partner needs to be accommodating of you and your choices.
How To End A Relationship On Good Terms?
Now that we’ve covered the reasons to end a relationship, let’s get to the question of what might be the best way to end a relationship. To be brutally honest with you, no amount of tips and tricks are going to make ending a relationship easy on anyone. To end it well, you require an even greater deal of determination and understanding. If one of the partners throws fits, tantrums and starts blame-shifting – it will probably never end well. In order for this to work, they need to be just as cordial as you are trying to be.
While you can’t control how your partner will react to your decision to end things with them, you can certainly make an effort of breaking up on good terms. Breaking off peacefully can be done only if a person uses the correct words and can effectively gauge which feelings they must present. That entails a lot of introspection and practice before you sit across from your partner and tell them you want to break up.
Here are 10 ways on how to end a relationship on good terms:
Related Reading: How To Break Up With A Guy Nicely?
1. Do it face-to-face and end a relationship gracefully
To end a relationship on good terms, you must do it in person. Nobody needs a death note sent to their inbox or postbox. I’m sure you would not prefer that either. Breaking up over text is also very impersonal and rude, so steer clear of that if you really do still care about this person.
Eliza says, “Ending a relationship face-to-face is always the best and most mature form of breaking up on good terms. This means that you value the other person and feel that you owe them an explanation of why you want to end the relationship.”
The lack of online intimacy allows people to put a cap on their emotions instead of talking it out honestly. That’s when ghosting mostly happens. Laila’s boyfriend of six years fell in love with someone else whilst away for a six-month-long onsite project. However, he thought it best to not tell her that over email or even a video call.
Instead, he flew back over a long weekend and explained to her how he felt. Laila was heartbroken but she understood where he was coming from. The fact that he flew across the country to tell her that he was over her softened the blow. Today, they’re still good friends who stand by each other through thick and thin. See? Wasn’t that truly the best way to end a relationship?
Do not just take the easy way out; tell your partner about your decision face-to-face. You can give them closure this way and end a relationship on good terms.
2. Avoid public places
Such a grave exchange of emotions requires a freer atmosphere for both individuals to express themselves correctly. Your partner might want to cry, emote or say certain things to you which might be inhibited in a public place. It is difficult to ascertain how a person might behave after a breakup as you two might even end up getting into a big argument.
Any kind of repression might evolve in an unhealthy manner and then released later on in unfriendly ways. A simple setting at home is ideal. Whether the breakup ends up being short or prolonged, the comfort of being at home is unquestionable.
As Eliza suggests, “Avoid breaking up with someone in public as it can embarrass the other person or make them feel cornered. Ideally, a private place or the other person’s place would be the best choice for an amicable breakup.”
If there is a chance of drama or things turn messy then the four walls of the house will shield you. Eventually, you can have the break up on good terms.
3. Plan out the reasons you mean to bring up for ending a relationship on good terms
Want to end things on good terms? Then you must plan what you want to say to them. A breakup should not resemble a work presentation and you do not need to be reading from a curated list. However, clarity is important. You must be aware of each and every reason behind your decision to break up.
To end a relationship on good terms, both partners should have a good understanding of what went wrong. Thus, make a mental list of instances, occurrences and thoughts that you want to bring up during the conversation.
Eliza says, “How you phrase your words during the breakup is of utmost importance. Mentioning all the things that didn’t work with you or certain things that bothered you is a better way to phrase it rather than labeling the other person or blaming the other person for how you feel.”
Knowing what went wrong will help both of you ensure that you get closure and you can move on without bitterness or resentment. But when you talk about the reasons make sure you do not get into a messy mud-slinging match. Focus on stating facts and your own feelings without placing blame.
4. Best way to end a relationship — don’t just speak your mind but also process their feelings
When you are ending a relationship, you have already decided that it is what you want to do. Your partner might try to convince you otherwise even though the decision is set in stone for you. However, you should not shut your ears to what they have to say.
Even though you are adamant about sticking to your decision of breaking up, you owe it to them to fully comprehend their take on the same. They deserve to be heard well. Compassion goes a long way in ending a relationship on good terms.
Eliza tells us, “Evaluate the reason for breaking up and have a proper conversation. Ask yourself what is negotiable and what is not negotiable. It’s very likely that the partner you are trying to break up with may not want to do so. Being calm and yet assertive about your reasons is important in such a case.”
“If you feel that you may not be able to manage the situation well, it’s always better to have the support of someone you can trust to intervene. And finally when the breakup has been initiated, cut all ties from them and follow the no contact rule so that you remain in that space to deal with the breakup on your own too,” she adds.
Listen to what they have to say. Do not make that “I am not interested anymore” face and sit there. Because what they have to say will be important in helping you to break up on good terms.
Related Reading: How To Break Up With Someone Who Loves You?
5. Avoid inflammatory language to end things on good terms
Terms like ‘your fault’, ‘I cannot believe you’ or ‘stay away from me’ should be completely eradicated from your vocabulary for that moment if you want to end a relationship in a good way. An accusatory tone and hurtful words will only fuel a potentially volatile situation. Ending a relationship as an adult requires maturity in your choice of words.
A lot of thought and care needs to go into what to say to end a relationship. Replace your argument with phrases like “I’ve been strongly feeling that”, or “I hope you do not take this too personally” or “I’ve been uncomfortable lately”.
These words will help you to avoid a messy breakup. If you have been planning to end the relationship on text then let them know in advance that it’s not working anymore. Springing a surprise on text is not the done thing.
6. Mention the good times
Is it better to end a relationship on good terms even if it did not make you happy? Yes of course it is! No matter how ugly things got toward the end, it is always better to have an amicable breakup rather than an ugly one.
A relationship, even if it didn’t last, must have made you happy at some point and contributed to your growth as a person. To remind your partner that you will continue cherishing them, bring up the good times and tell them how much you enjoyed making memories with them. What to say to end a relationship also involves some happy and positive chitter-chatter.
Mention the times they made you feel less alone or taught you an important lesson. Good breakup etiquette requires the perfect balance of emotional release. A few final endearing terms will definitely end the relationship on great terms.
A breakup will not necessarily be calm and collected from the beginning. Even if you do end up arguing and thrashing it out with each other, this is a great way to reconnect after the big fight.
7. Discuss taking time off before being friends again
When ending a relationship, it is not ideal to be friends immediately after. A decent time apart is good for emotional recuperation and self-growth. It is a good idea to agree upon a duration of time for which you’d like to steer clear of one another. Whether it is 6 months, a year, or more, that is up to you.
Laila and her boyfriend, for instance, didn’t speak to each other for the rest of the time that he was away for his project. Laila said, “Even though we ended our relationship on good terms and with a lot of respect, it was important for my emotional well-being to stay away from him for a while.”
When he returned after three months, he touched base with Laila but she politely told him that she needed more time before she could even consider meeting him again. He understood. It was a year before they could start talking to each other again.
Your ex too may need time before they’re ready to be in your life again, despite your efforts to leave a relationship on good terms. You too need that time apart to process your emotions. If you are feeling any kind of negative emotions chances are you might flare up if you talk to them.
So, if you want things to resume a platonic relationship after breaking up on good terms, stay away for at least 6 months.
8. Be open to hearing about your own mistakes too
Nobody ever said, “We ended our relationship on good terms”, with one person constantly pulling out the faults of the other as they sat and quietly listened to the list. To end a relationship on good terms, you might have to take some hits too. If the relationship has been going downhill for a while, chances are that your partner will have a few things of their own to complain about regarding your role in it.
Even if they are just harmless mistakes, their decision to bring them up can sting, especially when you’re trying to end a relationship in a good way. If they bring up some of your shortcomings, do not be baffled, or worse, act like an egomaniac. This is no time to try to act like an alpha-male. Listen intently and do apologize if need be.
How to end a relationship on good terms? Be open to hearing about the mistakes you made, from your partner. You are not infallible, so if they tell you where you went wrong you should be willing to hear them out.
9. Thank them for everything as that is the best way to end a relationship
For ending a relationship on good terms, sprinkle a little gratitude in your conversation. I’m sure things would not have always been sour. Their presence in your life will always stay with you and you must thank them for the same.
Telling him it’s over does not have to be a bitter or hateful affair. It can end with a soft caress, a sweet goodbye kiss and an honest “Thank you for being in my life.”
Yes, we know this is easier said than done. But if you are breaking with someone you have loved deeply then it’s hard to end things on bad terms, isn’t it? To truly end a relationship gracefully, you must seal the deal with a ‘Thank you’.
Related Reading: This Is Something You Must Do After A Breakup
10. Don’t turn a blind eye to their tears but don’t get carried away either
Crying is only a natural release during something so heart-breaking. Even though you want to be detached, it does not mean you should not comfort your partner.
Eliza explains, “Breakups can be the result of either an impulsive decision or a well thought out decision. In either case, it can be distressing to the person at the receiving end. It is very important for the person who decided to break up to reflect on the reason for doing so and not be carried away by the emotional reaction of this or her partner.”
Nolan wept like a baby when his long-term girlfriend, Kiera, with whom he was deeply in love, told him that she wanted to end things. His emotions swung from anger to hurt, culminating with him sobbing into his hands. Keira held him through it all, comforting him and telling him that she was sorry for causing him so much hurt. That helped Nolan get through not just the breakup conversation but also its aftermath.
To cause minimal hurt to your partner, allow yourself to hold them and care for them in that moment. A warm embrace can make the moment lighter. It’s this hug that they will remember all their life and it will ultimately banish any negative feelings they might harbor. This is a good way of ending a relationship on good terms, but be careful and don’t let them sway you from your decision either.
“I have seen in my practice as a counselor that the partner who initiated the breakup through an impulsive decision gets carried away when their partner breaks down and they get them together again with them. Now once back in their life again, it creates a disturbing cycle. A more rational approach would be to reflect on why this relationship was unhealthy and why a breakup could ultimately facilitate better mental health for both the partners involved,” Eliza further adds.
What To Say When Ending A Relationship On Good Terms?
Whoever said ‘words can make or break you’, wasn’t kidding. I’ve observed so many discussions erupt in flames simply because they were worded haphazardly.
When you are metaphorically holding another person’s heart and soul in your hands, you must choose your words carefully and eloquently to avoid crushing them. What to say to end a relationship depends on the causes behind the break up, yes, but also on how you handle the situation.
If you are grappling with what to say to end a relationship, we can help. Here are some tips you can use to cause minimal hurt to your partner.
1. Say “I’m as saddened by this as you” to end things on good terms
When you are breaking up with someone, you can use these words to lighten the load on your partner and make them feel that they are not alone. Breakups are heartbreaking for both parties and you must show them that you too are bogged down by the unfortunate situation. It’s honestly better than saying, “It’s not you, it’s me”, thus leaving them totally confused.
In this way, they will not feel like they are being blamed or abandoned. If you throw your happiness and relief into their face, they will consider you a vile perpetrator and it will further fuel their hate. With that, you lose any chance of ending a relationship on good terms.
2. “I hope you find happiness further on”
Wishing your partner to be happy and find love again is the perfect way to wrap up a breakup. To end a relationship on good terms you must end a relationship without hurting the other person.
As Nolan was crying his heart out, Kiera held his face in her palms and said this softly, “I know I’ve caused you immense hurt, but I hope you find happiness again and see being in love as a good, happy thing.”
By showing them that you wish only good things for them, you can truly make breaking up on good terms a reality.
Related Reading: Ways To Move On And Find Happiness All Over Again
3. Say, “I’m afraid we are not good for each other anymore” for breaking up on good terms
This is a soft way to do it, if you are serious about breaking up on good terms with someone. For ending a relationship with her without any drama, you must keep it as simple as possible.
These clear-cut terms will immediately convey your perception of the situation. It insinuates no blame, no accusations and no anger. A clean breakup is a healthy breakup.
4. “I can’t do this anymore and you deserve better”
If the cause of your breakup is more personal to you, this is a good and direct way of telling them that and ending a relationship on good terms. Your breakup might be because of your career, your own low self-esteem or personal issues you want to focus on.
In such a case, you must show your partner that they are not at fault. Tell them that you believe in them and that they are worth loving. However, add that you are unable to cater to the demands of a relationship and think they deserve someone who can value and love them more.
5. “This is unfortunately not what I thought it would be” for an amicable breakup
Staying away from first-person pronouns is one of the nicer ways to express your feelings and the right way to end things on good terms. It is better to refer to the situation rather than referring to them. Saying ‘this’ instead of ‘you’ can lighten the burden on your partner. They may feel more at ease and be able to judge the situation more rationally.
Telling him it’s over does not have to plunge into them like an impetuous sword. Guide your partner toward greater understanding and walk them through the process. What to say to end a relationship requires a great deal of cooperation.
Try these actionable tips and you’ll be good to go!