Smart Way #41: The right way to end a wrong romantic relationship

When someone wants to call it quits, so many emotions arise that it’s often hard to separate the fact that the relationship won’t work from feelings associated with failure and finality. This often delays the inevitable final parting.

My advice is that if you’re in a truly wrong or dysfunctional relationship, it’s better to break off cleanly, without too much emotional soul-searching.

Sometimes, when looking for justification to end it with someone we just know we shouldn’t be with, we ‘horribilise’ the other person. We have to make them out to be the worst person in the world, when we should simply realise that it’s the combination of the two people in the relationship that make it ‘bad’ or unworkable.

Regardless, when it’s time to say goodbye, deliver the message in person, in a public place where things can’t get too emotional and you can’t fall back into bed if you have been using sex to medicate your problems. The exception to breaking up in person is If you risk the other person becoming violent or volatile. In these situations, it is best to break things off in writing- an email is better than a text message.

Learn about what to write in that letter as well as how to handle social media and friendship once you’ve broken up. Read Smart Way #41 of Making It on My Own; 52 Smart Ways to Smash It in the Real World.