Leaving a bad relationship can be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. When you finally realize you are not going to be getting what you need out of the relationship, you’ll have to prepare emotionally for the breakup. Withdrawing from a relationship can be one of the loneliest times of your life. You’ve made a tough decision, and it’s important to surround yourself with friends and family who will offer support. It’s also important to have a plan of action. Here are six steps to help you through.
Admit you’re in a bad relationship.
The first step to getting out of a bad relationship is admitting to yourself that it’s a bad one. Write down why you consistently feel unhappy in this relationship. Be honest with yourself. Do you keep going back to your partner for a response they never give? Are you always disappointed by their behavior? Are you giving much more to the relationship than they are? Ask yourself what you are getting out of this relationship. Answering that question can help you decide if the perks are worth the headache.
Build a support structure.
Surround yourself with people who really care about you. Build a close circle of family and friends who will provide you with emotional support as you withdraw from your relationship. The odds are pretty good that they already know how unhappy you are. They can help you through difficult times and they can sustain you with a positive outlook. Remember the list of things that are making you miserable in your relationship? Run it past someone you trust to hear another point of view. Having a close friend or family member who is supportive will help you feel better about your decision.
Set the stage for your farewell.
Map out how you’ll tell your partner that you are leaving. Prepare to tell your partner in person instead of calling or texting the news. Plan a time and place to talk with your significant other. Meeting in a quiet public space will cut down on the likelihood of a confrontation, while breaking the news during a large social gathering may invite an embarrassing scene.
Be calm but direct about your intentions. Your partner needs to hear that you are serious about the decision. Be prepared for an emotional outburst. Listen to what they have to say but don’t get drawn into a heated round of accusations and recriminations. Remember that you have made your decision. You’re meeting just to let them know: “I am breaking up with you.”
Develop a safety plan.
If you are afraid your partner will react violently, you should not meet in person or alone. A phone call would be a better option. If your relationship has been abusive, you should develop a safety plan before you tell your partner that you are leaving. Get support from domestic violence professionals if needed. Let someone you trust know that you are delivering the message so that they can help provide you with safety following the breakup. Arrange a place to go after the breakup and have your things ready to go. If your ex threatens or harasses you, get in touch with the local police to ask for a protective restraining order.
Distance yourself from your new ex.
The temptation to stay in touch will be strong. End all contact so you won’t be tempted into starting the relationship again. Delete their number from your phone and erase them from your social media accounts. Don’t go where the two of you used to hang out and you won’t run the risk of “accidentally” bumping into them.
Give yourself a few days to mourn the loss of the relationship, and then get busy. Surround yourself with positive people who will support you and remind you that breaking up was the right thing to do. Focus on what you learned from the relationship and think about what you want moving forward. It could be anything from a new project at work to an interesting hobby to traveling. Join a sports club or sign up for a multi week fun cooking or painting class. Dating apps are on the rise, so choose a few and get yourself out there.
Turn your attention toward creating the life you want. Take steps every day toward creating the life that you deserve.