How to end a relationship: Healthy ways to break up

Ending a relationship with your partner, especially if there’s still love, can be difficult and emotionally challenging. It even makes the decision to end the relationship more complex. But after doing everything to make it work, if things still don’t improve, you should know when it is time to move on. However tough it is, you need to express yourself. But figuring how to end a relationship can be tricky.

Health Shots consulted Dr Samir Parikh, Director, Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences, Fortis Healthcare, Delhi, and Mehezabin Dordi, Clinical Psychologist, Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital, Mumbai to know how you can end your relationship without having regrets.

How to end a relationship: Healthy ways to break up
If your relationship is affecting your growth, it might be time to call it quits. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Signs to know when to end a relationship

There are some couples who keep trying to make things work even if being together is not healthy for them. Dr Parikh says you should end a relationship if you feel:

• You are not being able to feel the joy of togetherness
• You are not looking forward to spend time
• Time spent with your partner is giving you stress
• It is affecting your growth or your quality of life
• It is having a negative impact on you and you are getting into a vicious cycle of distress or arguments or conflicts which you are not able to resolve
• You tried all the help, but you still can’t make it work

Healthy ways to end a relationship

It all begins with communication. You and your partner should give each other time to explain what is the reason behind the break up. Dr Parikh says that it should also be about how you two can support each other if you can and make it more amicable.

Dordi also feels that effective communication is essential while ending a relationship. She suggests to choose a calm and private setting to have an honest conversation with your partner. Clearly express your feelings, concerns, and reasons for ending the relationship. Be compassionate but assertive. This will allow you and your partner to express each other’s thoughts and emotions.

Here are other ways:

1. Show respect and empathy

Since ending a relationship can be difficult for both of you, it’s important to show respect and empathy towards your partner’s feelings and experiences. Dordi suggests you to acknowledge their emotions and validate their perspective, even if it differs from your own. By demonstrating empathy, you can help to minimize unnecessary pain and maintain a sense of dignity throughout the process.

2. Set boundaries

Establishing clear boundaries is crucial when ending a relationship. Clearly communicate your expectations regarding shared spaces and mutual friends. While it might be challenging maintaining distance initially, it can facilitate healing and provide both of you with the necessary space to move forward. Boundaries also help to prevent misunderstandings and minimize the potential for hurtful interactions.

3. Decide the nature of communication you want to have

It is important to decide the nature of communication that you would like to have with your former partner after parting ways. It means, would you want to stay in touch or not. If yes, then in what way or if you want to keep it completely off touch. Then, accept that, says Dr Parikh.

end a relationship
Setting clear boundaries while breaking up is necessary. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

4. Seek support

It can be beneficial to take support from friends, family or a therapist during the break up process. Share your feelings and experiences with trusted people who can offer guidance and validation, suggests Dordi. Professional therapists can provide a safe space to process emotions, gain insight and develop coping strategies. Having a support system in place can help to alleviate the emotional burden that is associated with ending a relationship.

5. Focus on self-care and healing

After a break up, prioritise self-care and allow yourself time to heal. Engage in activities that promote physical and emotional well-being, such as exercise, hobbies, spending time with loved ones, or practicing mindfulness and relaxation techniques. Focus on personal growth and self-reflection, learning from the experience to become stronger and more resilient, says Dordi. Taking care of yourself during this period is essential for emotional recovery.

Ending a relationship is a complex process, and these tips may help you sail through it in a smoother way.