How To End A Relationship The Right Way — 9 Steps To Follow

End a relationship with class and dignity.

How To End A Relationship The Right Way — 9 Steps To Follow Getty

As one popular love song goes, "There's no easy way to break somebody's heart." And it's true.

Depending on how you break up with someone, you could end up causing even more heartbreak. When learning how to end a relationship, you should know that you owe someone the decency of breaking up with them in person, instead of over text or email — or, even worse, having someone do it for you.

But, what is the best way to end a relationship?

This question is always hard to answer because there isn't one right way. However, there's a lot of advice out there about different strategies that you can follow when planning to break up with someone. 


You might be asking yourself, "How do I know it's time to end my relationship?" and the answer to that question isn't always clear, unfortunately. Either way, there are obvious signs to look for that will tell you if or when it's time to end the relationship. 


The hardest type of breakup is one where you still love your partner — how do you end something with someone you still love? You might have noticed some undeniable red flags that you can no longer ignore — maybe you struggled to deal with how your family members feel about your partner, or maybe had issues with the long distance.

In any case, you have to do what is right for you. So in order to not burn unnecessary bridges (or at least ease the transition), you want to break it off with them nicely while remaining honest. You both will have to deal with heartbreak for a while, though.

One thing that you should avoid if you can, is breaking up by text. It's a bad way to break up with a partner, no matter how long you've been together — no one deserves that awful and heart-wrenching text. 

Luckily, as adults, you should and can still be respectful and prevent any further heartbreak.


RELATED: The 5-Step No-Nonsense Guide To Breaking Up With A Man Like An Adult

Here's how to end a relationship by being mature, straightforward, and considerate of their feelings.

1. Sit them down and explain why you want to end the relationship.

You should have a prepared explanation for why you want to end the relationship — don't leave them hanging. It's even worse to just leave them without saying goodbye.

Keep in mind that the person that you're planning to leave has been a part of your life and they deserve some respect from you.

2. Be honest (sugarcoating your feelings won't help).

You need to be honest. Don't make excuses for why you are breaking up with them — stick with the truth.


Excuses only complicate things in the future. It's better to tell the truth because, at least once it's all over, both of you can move on without any questions waiting to be answered.

If you're afraid that telling the truth might hurt your partner, tell yourself that although the truth may really hurt, your partner deserves to know the whole truth and nothing less. If you got tired of them because they were boring and annoying, tell him or her directly. Don't be rude in saying so.

The advantage of telling the whole truth to your partner is so they can work on their weaknesses and mistakes. And in the future, they won't be faced with the same problems. Hopefully, their future partners won't have to leave them for the same reason you did.

3. Be direct and straight to the point. 

When you break up with a person, don't be a tease. Don't ever play with their feelings and emotions.


The moment you break up with someone, they will feel vulnerable. If you want to stay friends, say that — but don't say things that will purposely hurt their feelings. 

RELATED: 5 Things You Need To Think About Before Breaking Up With Your Partner

4. Be firm and confident in your decision.

Don't be overly nice. Being too nice can give your partner false hope that you might want to get back together at some point. Make a clean break and be clear you that you want the relationship to be over. 

5. Be clear and concise when telling them how you feel.

Tell them that you are breaking up with him or her, and then clearly state your reasons. 

Avoid laughing or smiling when you're talking and be empathetic. You really wouldn't enjoy it if someone was smiling while breaking up with you, either.


6. Tie up loose ends.

You may not be able to solve your unresolved issues, but try to keep the breakup civil and friendly. Emphasize clearly yet nicely the need for both of you to move on. 

Don't sugarcoat your reasons, because you will only end up not getting your point across and you could end up making your partner more confused than before. 

7. Be brief and don't waste too much time arguing. 

Don't dawdle. That would only add to the anxiety of your partner, and it's not worth arguing at this point since you're ending the relationship altogether.


If you want, you can tell them that you still want to be friends, but if you don't want to be, don't say it. 

8. Be gracious and gentle towards your (soon-to-be-ex) partner.

Don't forget to express your gratitude to your partner for the time you spent together. Admit that you shared some happy moments together.

9. Don't assign blame: Avoid shaming your partner.

Put yourself in their shoes and understand how the other person feels. If someone were to assign blame to you, it would make you upset right? That's why it's good to avoid that part altogether (so you can avoid another argument). 

RELATED: How To Break Up With Someone Without Breaking Them Down


Christina Young is known as "The Healing Heart Coach" through her work as a surviving infidelity expert and relationship coach. She is author of the book 'A Woman’s Guide to Forgiving Infidelity.'