Ending a relationship? Consider these things first


The end of a relationship is usually painful for all involved no matter how long or short a time you have been together. Ideally parting company would be a mutual decision but in reality it is normally one person who makes that choice. If that person is you, you will want to be absolutely certain it is the right choice. Here are some things to consider before you take that final step

Say what you mean and mean what you say

If you tell someone it is over you need to be absolutely sure you mean it. There is no point in threatening to end the relationship as a way of making someone behave as you would like them to. Some couples seem to be on and off constantly – maybe because they like making up after a big fight – but in relationships like these neither one will feel secure and it is unlikely to last as there is no solid foundation for a healthy relationship to grow.

As far as possible be true with your word and only ever say it is over if you are prepared to lose this person from your life altogether. If you want anything other than that you need to work out what it is before you have a conversation with them. Once you have told someone it is over it is very difficult to retract – even if you get back together there will always be that knowledge in the other person’s mind that you were unsure of your commitment to them and the relationship.

Could things be better in the future?

All couples will face difficulties during their time together – it is an inevitable part of life. Before you decide to break up with someone ask yourself if the situation has any chance of improving? If your difficulties are caused by financial pressures, illness, or job insecurity would you want to stay in the relationship if these situations could be resolved? If the answer is no then it may be that these things are symptoms of the problems between you rather than the cause.

Can you move on?

Most relationships end because in some way or other trust has been broken. Feelings of anger, hurt and betrayal can be overwhelming and make you want to end the relationship because you want the pain to end. Before you make any rash decisions it is important to take some time away from the situation to cool off and gain some perspective. Can you forgive your partner for what they have done? Perhaps they made a mistake and you believe it won’t happen again or maybe they have hurt you so deeply that no matter what the reasons were you believe you can never trust them again. Take time to work out if you feel you will ever be able to move on from what has happened or if it has damaged the relationship beyond repair.

Is it you rather than them that is the problem?

Fear of intimacy or commitment cam make people want to run from relationships at the first sign of trouble or when it feels like it is going to move onto a deeper level. In these cases it is common to start picking faults in your partner trying to find excuses to leave. Some people even create a crisis themselves and then use that to justify their decision to leave.

If you identify with this description next time you feel like you want to run from a relationship instead of ending it, talk to someone about how you are feeling maybe a relationship counsellor if you find that it happens a lot. Working through your feelings will give you a much better chance of having a lasting relationship rather than a lifetime full of short, intense romances.

Play the tape forward

If you end a relationship in the heat of the moment you may find yourself in a very difficult position – maybe without anywhere to live or without vital support. Before you make any drastic decisions it is a good idea to try and look at the whole picture and give consideration to all areas of your life that overlap with your partner’s. The very act of doing this can sometimes make people realise how much they have invested in the relationship and they then decide to stick with it after all.

Although it would be nice if all endings were amicable, in reality it can be very difficult to remain friends especially when people move on to new relationships. If you end it, be prepared for the fact that you may not get a chance to change your mind.

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