Don't Break Up Before Trying These 9 Last-Ditch Tactics

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couple touching noses on the beach

Are you ready to call it quits on your relationship, but are left wondering when to break up with your partner?

Sometimes, when the relationship no longer feels right, you just want to end things and move on. But breaking up with someone you love is easier said than done.

Before you drop the bomb on your partner that you no longer want to be in the relationship, it's worth trying to see if you can still save your love. 

Unless your relationship is abusive or toxic beyond repair, it's always worth a shot to examine whether or not your relationship and commitment are salvageable. 

If you're not sure about when to break up, here are 9 things to try before calling it quits for good.

RELATED: 25 Signs He Wants To Break Up But Is Scared And Doesn't Know How

Try these 9 last-ditch tactics before breaking up:

1. Get to the absolute origin of why you want out

Is there too much conflict? Do you not know how to communicate in ways that each partner feels heard and understood?

Was there infidelity and it feels impossible to move forward? Is the passion dead? Is there a basic level of distrust?

Does your partner feel like a stranger? Do you feel like you have nothing in common?

Does one of you think the grass would be greener with someone else? Do you have conflicting values?

Does one of you want to grow and the other is cool with the status quo? Is one of you doing more or less of the work?

Is there mental illness or addictions that are impeding health in the relationship?

Don't focus on the symptoms, such as, "He won't do the dishes," or, "She's too emotional."

Find the cause. If you don't, you will inevitably bring it into your next relationship!

2. Write down a laundry list of resentments you both have with each other

Do not hold back. Be ruthlessly honest while using language that does not blame or name-call.

Use "I feel..." statements, so you're each owning your experiences.



"I feel like I never get the romance I want."

"I feel like I carry the burden of the relationship on my shoulders."

"I feel like I never get enough space."

"I feel like growth is not important to you."

"I feel threatened by the relationships you have with other women or men."

3. Take ownership of your faults

Each partner should take responsibility for what they're doing or not doing to create the relationship's possible demise.

Yep, it's not easy. But you have to own it!

RELATED: If You Notice These 15 Things, You're About To Be Ghosted

4. Learn how to repair after your fights

If you think fighting is the problem, think again. Not learning how to mend your conflicts is the problem.

All couples fight, and it's usually due to the fear of conflict if they don't. There are 4 easy steps to resolve a fight.

Collaboratively decide if it is an appropriate time to repair: If one person is not ready to talk, they need to let the other person know when they are available.

Ideally, a repair should happen within 30 minutes of the conflict, according to Stan Tatkin, author and therapist. If this is not possible, make a plan for when the repair will happen.

Listen to each other's side of why the conflict occurred: Don't respond while the other person is speaking. Receptively listen, even if you want to jump out of your skin.

When you share your experience, speak using "I" statements (i.e., "I felt like you were defensive when you walked in the door, and I got triggered.")

If things get heated while you're taking turns sharing your experiences, take time-outs. Calm yourselves down and reconvene.

Better yet, calm each other down (i.e., "I see that what I said upset you. Is there something I can do to help?").

Own your part: What did you each do to contribute to the fight? (i.e., "I got defensive and acted like a jerk because I wanted to avoid you.")

Once again, listen to the other person as they own their part. Allow them space to share without responding.

Come up with a plan for the next time a fight happens and how you'll do better to help each other in the future: Learning how to both fight and repair well is an art form. It takes time and lots of trial and error.

Learn your partner's triggers: What are your most significant stressors? What about you stresses your partner out? What do you need from each other to feel calmer while triggered?

Ideally, your partner should be a balm for when you're in an activated state.

5. Know your attachment styles

Many types of attachment styles influence how you form bonds and relationships with other people.

Once you and your partner figure out your respective ones, you'll be able to give and receive love in the ways you need.

6. Make a list of your needs, and don't hold back

Your relationship is in crisis and you cannot afford to be anything but transparent now. Know what needs are deal-breakers.



"I need you to be monogamous."

"I need you to invest time and energy in personal and relational growth."

Yep, having needs and appearing "needy" is triggering for many humans. And we all share this humanness if we are willing to look inward.

RELATED: If These 5 Things Are Happening, Your Relationship Is Already Over

7. Go away for a weekend together, just the two of you

After a couple of days together, you will have more clarity about a path forward, even if it's a plan to separate.

There are too many distractions in daily life that interfere with intimate partnerships. Try to remove them and see what happens.

There may be blow-ups, sweet exchanges, or both. But stay present with each other.

8. Make a list of all of the benefits of the relationship

What are you getting out of it? These can be positive or negative.

"I get to be with my best friend."

"I get to be supported financially and not have to deal with making money."

"I get someone to do fun things with."

"I don't have to be alone and face my fear of loneliness."

Be extremely honest with yourselves and each other.

9. Get support and have a plan of action, whether you stay together or not

Hire a coach or therapist. Take a workshop or seminar together.

There are no quick fixes and you cannot do it alone. Get educated. Allow yourselves to be seen in your human messiness.

I guarantee you will learn something and grow as a couple or as individuals.

RELATED: 14 Experts Reveal The Most Common Reason People End A Relationship (Other Than Infidelity)

Keri Signoracci is a Therapeutic Relationship and couples Coach with a background in psychology as well as extensive training in relationship coaching. 

This article was originally published at The Relationship School Blog. Reprinted with permission from the author.