When you decide a relationship (whether romantic or platonic) is no longer heathy it is important to let the other person know so they are not just left wondering what happened. This can seem intimidating as confrontation is never easy.
- Be honest to yourself and to the other person. Continuing a relationship that is unhealthy is not benefitting you or the other person. Try our Relationship Check-In tool if you suspect that your relationship is not healthy.
- Be direct but not hurtful. Stick to the facts instead of placing blame, neutralize your statements. For example, instead of saying “You never listen, you don't care about me." State something more neutral, “I feel our communication needs are different and because of that, this relationship is not working for me."
- Talk to the person in real life if possible, either face to face or on the phone. Breaking up over text or through another person leaves a lot of pain and confusion.
- Restore the relationship if possible. If you feel that the situation could be a misunderstanding that can be worked out, try these steps to restore the relationship.
- If needed, apologize. There will be times when you know that you have been in the wrong. When this happens apologize. This might not change the situation or make them want to stay in a relationship with you, but you will know that you have done the right thing by owning up to your mistakes.
- Be clear about future communication. When the relationship is ending, be clear if you are going to continue to communicate with them as an acquaintance. Don't just leave them on read when they text you without an explanation. If you no longer want them to text you then kindly tell them this. If they continue to text you, be firm and let them know you will no longer be communicating with them via text, phone etc.
- No Ghosting. Many times, at the hotline, we will hear of instances of Ghosting. This is when someone stops all communication without letting the other person know what is going on. Don't be this person. This behavior leads to lots of speculations and assumptions. Often the other person makes up their own story as to what the other person is thinking or worse yet, relies on rumors and gossip to fill in the blanks. In some cases, the other person is left wondering about the safety and well-being of the person who is not responding. To prevent this situation from happening, be clear about what type of communication, if any, you will have moving forward.
- Be mindful of what you say. Try not to talk to others in a negative way about the other person. Just because your relationship/friendship was not a good fit for you does not make the other person a bad person. Remember the old saying, “If you can't say something nice then don't say anything at all."