Ending a relationship takes a lot out of you, leaving you drained, but in time you can learn how to come out of a relationship stronger than you started.
When you are ending a relationship, you often feel defeated. Even the idea that you can come out of a relationship stronger than before feels heartbreaking.
Whether it was mutual, you were the one breaking up with them or they with you, it hurts. It can feel like you have a lot of healing to do, and you may not even be able to think about that healing while you are still coming to terms.
When your relationship first ends, no matter the reason, it feels like you may never recover. You probably cannot even fathom the idea of being stronger than you were before the relationship started. And that is okay. In those moments, it is okay, natural, and healthy to grieve the loss. That is a part of becoming stronger.
How to end a relationship better
The first step in coming out of a relationship stronger is the end of the relationship. From each relationship, we learn a lot and gain things that we can take away and apply to ourselves and future relationships.
Before you’re even fully out of the relationship, the ending of the relationship being healthy can help you become stronger. Breakups are notoriously dramatic, but they don’t have to be. You don’t have to fight and throw your partner’s clothes on the lawn. You don’t need to say something you’ll regret or push them away.
In fact, you can have a calm breakup that leaves both you and your ex accepting things as they are. You may not both be happy right away, but you won’t be angry or miserable either.
So, how do you do it? How do you end a relationship in a healthy way so you can start rebuilding your strength?
#1 Do it sooner rather than later. One major reason breakups are so hard is that they are avoided. Once someone knows they can’t take the relationship anymore for any reason, they still stay. Maybe it’s the other person’s birthday or a holiday or they just got laid off.
When someone waits to end things until they are completely fed up, they are ending a relationship they have already been done with in their mind so they can’t empathize with the other person as much. Ending things sooner rather than later helps things be a lot more calm and respectful.
#2 Always do it in person. I don’t care if you’ve been dating a month, a year, or two weeks, breaking up in person is the only way to do it. This ensures you both are being as clear as possible. It helps to prevent miscommunication and unknowns.
People are more likely to speak truthfully in person than via text or phone call when you aren’t seeing each other face-to-face.
#3 Be honest. Lying about the reasons for the breakup or how you feel about it will only make things harder now and down the line. If you can be honest about why things are ending, you can come to terms and move on in a healthier mindset.
#4 Listen. Yes, the relationship is over, but you still should be respectful. Listen to what they have to say. Try not to get defensive. Take accountability for your role and just listen. Let them share their feelings. You both deserve to be heard right now, so you can make a clean break.
#5 Stay apart. Whether you are planning to be friends or not, make sure to take time apart after the breakup. Don’t keep in touch at least for a few weeks or months so you start feeling the change right away. Easing away from each other will make things more difficult and moving on will take a lot longer. [Read: Should I talk to my ex? The revealing questions to help you decide]
How to come out of a relationship stronger
If you can end a relationship in the healthiest way possible, you have already gained a lot of strength you probably didn’t have before. You’ve gained emotional intelligence and self-control.
You have figured out how to put your needs first and learned how to communicate your feelings honestly and calmly. You’ve been able to make tough choices for your future.
All of this proves that you are already stronger than you thought.
Even if you struggle after a breakup. Even if you’re crying over the loss and struggling to move on. The fact that you took that step shows how strong you really are. Everyone moves on and recovers from a relationship ending at different rates. No speed is any better or worse than any other.
Feeling all those feelings, facing them, and moving on is what shows your strength and ability to bounce back and take all that you learned with you.
On top of that, to come out of a relationship stronger, you can…
#1 Choose yourself. After being in a relationship, it can be hard to make the adjustment. You’re used to sharing your life with someone and now focusing on yourself can be difficult. Take that time though. Relearn who you are without your ex. Do the things you enjoy and maybe haven’t done in a while. Put yourself first and appreciate the time you get to spend alone.
#2 Take responsibility. Yes, the relationship is over, but it will have a lasting impact whether the breakup was mutual and smooth or more difficult. Take responsibility for any mistakes you made. Admit to yourself what you may have done to hurt yourself or your ex.
Acknowledge your bad habits. Figure out where you went wrong, what you ignored, what would have made things easier. This will help you see the benefits of the breakup. Then you can look back on the relationship and appreciate it for what you learned.
#3 Take control. Take control of the things you have control over. You cannot change how your ex reacts. If they call you or post sad photos or reach out to your friends, you cannot stop them, but you can control how you react.
You can control how you move forward. You can focus on what you want and what you have the power to change.
#4 Communicate. Continue to communicate with friends, new dates, and everyone else in your life, whether you want to date again or take a break. Communication is not just vital for romantic relationships. What you learned from this relationship shouldn’t be in a box but applied to future relationships, friendships, and more.
Continue to use those skills to aid all of your relationships. If you stop practicing those respectful and beneficial habits while you’re single, it can be hard to start it again when you do meet someone new.
#5 Look ahead. You don’t need to focus on the future to look ahead. But you need to turn away from the past. Once you can appreciate the past for what it gave you and move forward, you can start to figure out what you want.
You can make goals and plans that will make you happy.
Once you’ve been able to do all of this, you can take stock in the fact that you have come out of a relationship stronger than you were at the start, and that is something to be proud of.