Staying in an unhappy or failed relationship isn’t beneficial to either partner. Many people take relationships lightly and allow bad relationships to affect them mentally, emotionally, and physically. They stick around to avoid the uncomfortable experience of a breakup, but there are ways to end a relationship on a positive note.

While it’s good to try and save your relationship, it’s sometimes not possible. Things don’t always work out, and the relationship could continue to affect you negatively. Even if you want it to last forever, you must admit when it has become a heavy burden.

Ending a relationship is difficult, even when you’re the one doing it. Emotions run high when you close this chapter of your life, and it’s never easy to say goodbye. It’ll be easier if you don’t end things on a negative note, though, and things will be smoother and less harmful.


These tips can help you end your relationship on a positive note, allowing both of you to move forward. They’ll promote healing and acceptance, and it won’t be so awkward if you run into your ex later.

Why Relationships End

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Essentially, it doesn’t always matter why you want to end a romance. If you want out of the relationship or feel like your needs are unmet, that is all the reason you need. However, relationships often end for many different reasons, including these:

  • Conflict
  • Personality differences
  • Lack of quality time
  • Infidelity
  • Lack of positive interactions
  • Low relationship satisfaction overall

Ways to End a Bad Relationship on a Positive Note

There’s no best way to end a relationship, but you can take steps to make it a little easier. Everyone is different, so you must determine which tips work for your situation. Consider the needs and feelings of your partner, and think about their personality before you decide how to end things.

1 – Set up to End on a Positive Note by Having the Conversation in Person

Technology makes it easy to send a message to break up with someone. However, a virtual breakup will always end things negatively, leading to shock and confusion. It can increase heartbreak because of the lack of consideration given.

Plus, virtually breaking up can make your partner think there’s a chance that things will be okay when you meet up in person. A face-to-face conversation is the best way to handle a breakup. While a secluded location is beneficial, you can choose a public place if you fear a violent reaction.

2 – Don’t Blame the Other Person

Avoid blaming your partner, and don’t accept blame, either. Instead, avoid blame by accepting the situation and planning to move on. Blaming one another can lead to hatred or cause you to cling to each other to prove the other wrong.

While it might be tempting, you should avoid voicing complaints that could hurt your partner’s feelings. Even if your thoughts are accurate, it’s best to let them go because it won’t help. Blaming one another is hurtful and can lead to fights, not allowing you to end things on a positive note.

3 – Give Genuine Reasons, but Don’t Be Mean

While you don’t want to blame your partner, you must give a genuine reason. The other person should have the chance to understand why the relationship is over. It eliminates misunderstandings, helps ease heartbreak, and allows for growth.

As you give the reason, make sure you’re not being harsh. It could make the other person angry and defensive, hindering your efforts to end on a positive note. Be honest about the reason, but don’t give so much detail that it harms your partner’s self-esteem.

4 – Remember That It Isn’t Easy

There is no simple way to end a relationship, so don’t find the easy way out. No matter how you do it, there will be pain involved for both of you. Even when the relationship went south long ago, there will be hurt feelings and pain.

Remembering that it isn’t easy will give you the courage to follow your plan. Don’t linger in an unhappy relationship because it’s easier than ending things. Acknowledging the pain will prepare you for the experience and aftermath.

5 – Don’t Cave to Arguments or Protesting

Your partner might want to argue or protest the breakup, but don’t give in. If the situation surprises your partner, their arguments might be even worse. They will likely get defensive and offer reasons to stay together and try again.

While you might waver because of their arguments, remind yourself of all the reasons you need this to happen. Stay firm, and don’t cave into their protests, or you’ll likely have to do this entire process again soon. If you don’t give in, you can start the healing process immediately, allowing things to end positively.

6 – Don’t Suggest Keeping in Touch

If you want your relationship to end positively, you must make a clean break. You might think it’s kind to suggest keeping in touch or staying friends, but it won’t go well. To move on from a relationship, you must take time away to heal.

If you continually see your ex or spend time with them, it’ll be harder to move on, worsening the pain. It might be possible to become friends again when you’ve both healed, but now isn’t the time.

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7 – Express Sympathy

You’ll likely be sad about the breakup even if you decide to do it. Consider how you feel and say things that help you both feel better. If you feel sad about it, imagine how your soon-to-be ex feels.

Although the relationship didn’t work out, there’s no reason to cause more pain than necessary. Show sympathy during the experience by discussing some of the good times you had together. It helps soften the blow and makes it more likely that you’ll end on a positive note.

Whatever you say, express sympathy by letting your partner know they positively impacted your life. Also, let them know that you feel sad about the situation and that it isn’t what you had hoped for.

8 – Don’t Wait

The timing will never be perfect, so don’t wait for an ideal time or situation. Instead, end the relationship as soon as you know that you will. If you wait, it’ll be harder for both of you.

When you know your relationship is over, please take the necessary steps to end it. You don’t need to receive permission from anyone, as this is your situation. Trust your gut, and don’t put off the inevitable.

9 – Prepare Yourself Mentally to End on a Positive Note

When you realize your relationship has no future, start planning to end it. Preparing for the breakup can help you move on, allowing your partner to realize that things aren’t working. While you shouldn’t wait to end things, you should create a plan and do some things to prepare.

You can start preparing by not making plans together for the future. When you don’t have any upcoming plans, it makes the breakup less devastating when the situation occurs. Plus, it can create an opening to have a discussion.

Additionally, you’ll want to prepare the setting for your breakup. Preparing the stage for the situation might sound crazy, but you’ll want to ensure no distractions. You’ll also want to ensure no third parties present that could create conflicts or offer unwarranted judgment.

10 – Say Some Good Things About the Other Person

Breaking up will likely make your partner feel bad about themselves, so do what you can to ease the situation. Bring up the things you enjoyed about the other person, and be sincere as you do it.

Focus on positive aspects of your relationship and things your partner did well. They’ll feel better knowing that you appreciate and care about them.

11 – Be Clear

Don’t use vague terminology when breaking up with someone. You want your partner to know what you’re getting at and ensure they don’t think they can change your mind. Use specific words to prevent confusion, including:

  • End the relationship
  • Stop being a couple
  • Separate

12 – Avoid Comparisons to Keep Things on a Positive Note

It’s tempting to compare yourself to the other person or compare the other person to someone else you know. However, comparisons are sure to cause the relationship to end negatively. Even if you think your relationship was the worst, avoid comparing because it doesn’t help.

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Final Thoughts on How to End a Bad Relationship on a Positive Note

Breaking up with someone is never easy, but you can take steps to end it on a positive note. Focus on being kind and sympathetic, and avoid blaming and comparing. Remember that as badly as you’re feeling right now, your partner will feel bad, too.

If you want things to end positively, follow the tips discussed above. Then, if you run into your ex later on, things aren’t awkward or tense. Plus, you can move on without worrying about bad karma catching up to you.