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The Right Way To End A Long Term Relationship

Updated on July 9, 2018
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StricktlyDating is an Australian writer who creates pages of original funny quotes and status updates.

The Right Way To End A Long Term Relationship:

When you've been in a long-term relationship, you have years of sharing personal moments, memories, and experiences, and often shared friends and possessions. Your lives have been inter-twined over time even if you haven't been living together. So when you realise the relationship really isn't working for you, and you want to end the relationship, you need to be sensitive to this, especially when the other person may not feel like you do now, and could still be madly love with you.

Before you end the relationship you need to consider a number of things - on your own:

  • Do you really want out of this relationship?

Because this is not the kind of relationship you end on a whim.

  • How will you really feel when this person is no longer in your life?

And how you feel about them eventually finding another relationship? Whether you realise it or not at this point there will be a 'gap' left that the other person used to fill after you end the relationship, and they may fill the gap you left quickly with another person.

  • Have you already tried to make this relationship work better for you?

Have you communicated about it? If not, the other person may have absolutely no idea about your unhappiness and therefore has not had the chance to work on improving it.

  • Have you considered that when you end the relationship, you may not be able to get your partner back if you change your mind later?

When you break up with someone who loves you it generally causes them pain, heart-break and a loss of trust which cannot always be gained back.

If you've already thought through all of these things, and want to end your long-term relationship, the best way to do it is to be respectful to the other person (no matter what your feelings are for them at the time).

  • Plan a time to tell them where you'll be able to talk to them face to face for more than just a few moments.

Because you've been together so long, they deserve a proper explanation, and a chance to ask you any questions. And by doing this it also saves you having to possibly endure another meeting with your ex so that they can discuss their feelings about the breakup with you (or their frequent phone calls about it).

  • Be prepared to discuss and organise the seperation or collection of any of your possessions.

It could become a drama trying to organise and retrieve your things down the track, after the initial breakup discussion.

  • Be clear that your feelings for them have changed, and explain the reasons for you deciding to end the relationship.

Be prepared to spend time talking to them about each of your reasons for breaking up, if they need to understand more about it. Answer any of their questions as honestly as you can without being nasty.

  • Don't be overly affectionate.

If you're ending your relationship and kissing and cuddling them at the same time, it sends mixed messages and can cause confusion. Keep any affection brief as otherwise they may want to cling on to you.

  • Stay calm.

You may be confronted with wild emotions from the person you're ending the relationship, try not to let your emotions go this way too. It's important to remain calm, even if the other person is angry at you because of your decision.

  • Realise it's normal for you to feel emotional too.

You're ending a relationship which has in the past been important to you too, so it's natural to feel upset about ending this part of your life. It doesn't necessarily mean you have doubts.

  • Stand your ground.

You may know that you've hurt your former partner by ending the relationship, but you don't need to agree to any 'compromises' out of guilt. Agreeing to be 'friends' or 'lovers' at this point only pro-longs the emotional side of the break up - it's not a clean break and can cause heartache for many months to come.

  • Don't involve friends in your breakup.

Don't attempt to discuss your reasons for ending the relationship in detail with the other persons friends especially. This can cause a 'nasty' breakup, as it can become a topic of gossip.

  • Delete them from your online contacts:

If you are 'friends' online as well, you're best to delete them from your contacts after you've ended the relationship, it can cause some distress reading eachothers 'Status Lines' and comments online after a breakup, a 100% clean break is the best breakup.

  • Switch off your phone.

Because you've already spend some time talking about the break up face to face with your ex, you're not required to answer all of their further phone calls about it. If you do respond to their calls, keep your responses brief or you could be in for an emotional war. This is because the other person once knew you well and will know how to 'play' at your emotions if they want to try to get back together with you. Provided you're satisfied that you've discussed the breakup face to face and respectfully, and you have no personal property to collect it's best to ignore the calls.

  • Plan something nice for yourself.

You are starting a new chapter in your life, so instead of moping around feeling guity, plan something nice for yourself after the breakup, like a little getaway or activities with friends or family. This also gives the other person space to deal with the breakup without knowing you're around.

Reader Poll:

How did you end your last relationship?

See results

© 2009 StrictlyQuotes


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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I know this is from the dumpers point of view, but I am the dumpee and I came searching because after five years my ex decided to end it over the phone. It was a long distance relationship, so I undertsand, but it hurt so much. After five years I felt like I deserved more, or am I wrong to think that? (PS the distance was not that far)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I'm currently in an 8-year relationship and I can't shake the feeling that I want to end it. While I truly love my partner and value what he has brought to my life, I'm increasingly bored in the relationship and cannot see it lasting forever. The hardest part is that anyone looking at our relationship would think that it's a great one, my single friends actually say that it's what they're looking for. It's true that we share a lot in common and we've been through many major life events together. However, the passion is gone from our relationship and I find myself growing annoyed by everything he does, even though these are little insignificant things. He has never done anything to hurt me and I know that he loves me deeply but neither of us seem very interested in sex anymore, it feels like we're more 'best friends' or 'room-mates', only I never really feel like spending time with him these days. At the same time, I've had a very stressful and transitional year at work so I worry that these feelings might be tied to broader discontent with my life that I might be projecting onto the relationship. How do I know if I actually want out? I feel like most people would think I'm crazy to want out of such a 'great' relationship...

    • profile image

      Joe N 

      8 years ago

      Thanks for the advice. I actually managed to create a new relationship with my ex girlfriend - no need to search elsewhere.

    • sapphire77 profile image


      9 years ago

      My partner was living with me and paying his parents bills which I found quite odd. After a year I gave him an ultimatum at the age of 25. After 8 years it seems a long time for him to be putting his family before his own immediate family. Dont really know how you put up with this but maybe you should point out to him that if you leave him he will have to support you and your kids which could be more expensive. Its all not that easy though especially where kids are involved. Good luck and hope it works out for you.

    • profile image

      8 year relationship 

      9 years ago

      Hi. This article has been very helpful, but I'm still confused and need help!

      I've been in an 8y year relationship and feel it needs to end only because of his financial situation. His money is all tied up with his family and he doesn't take his fair share. I've tried to explain that he needs to take his half of his money from the family business rather than taking what he needs, which is practically nothing and therefore, never having anything. I feel that I can't relay on him to support our future family if I am not able to work to raise our children. Am I being fair?

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      This really hits my problems. I am in a 12 year relationship have asked for it to end a few months ago however took him back after guilt of hurting him. However he cheated on me. again said to him a couple of weeks ago it was over, however he continues to sleep on the sofa he really thinks it can work. I donestly don't I cannot get over the cheating thing & the lies. It is really difficult to do beleive it or not I dont want him hurting but I dont want to be hurting on the inside constantly just to keep things ok :(

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Great article, i have recently eneded a 3 year relationship and i am finding it really difficult to get over the guilt of ending it.

      I am plagued my thoughts of my ex being alone and thats not because i think of myself as being impossible to get over!

      Its because i know my ex and she will stay herself she doesnt have any family to turn to for help.

      I tried my very best in the relationship and we split up a few times,i went back because i felt so guilty at leaving her and i went back thinking i could forget my wants and needs but i couldnt manage it and i have ended up hurting her even more.

      At the moment i fight with myself everyday not to contact her to make sure she is ok.

      It was recently her birthday and i didnt contact her because i didnt think it was right to say happy birthday....because i figured what would be happy about it!


    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Great article. I've decided to end my 7-year relationship. It has taken about 2 years to get to this point and I finally feel I have been able to make this decision. However, at the moment my boyfriend is in a depressed mental state, he has isolated himself from his friends and his life is very stressful at the moment due to his work. I feel like telling him how I feel might really be too much for him to handle at the moment. Yet at the same time I can't stay in the relationship for him. What do I do? (should I maybe wait til his winterbreak starts?)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Great..but how come on my part I still cant achieve the ending of our it because we now had a baby?for 7yrs. he is the only guy i was with,on and off relationship we had & i am working financially for the both of us so does my child needs. can u pls. give me advice?

    • Lizard Lips profile image

      Lizard Lips 

      9 years ago from Western New York

      Great article. This is such a difficult subject to bring up but you did it in a way to make the reader feel confident about making such a decision. I couldn't have stumbled across it at a better time--Thanks!

    • minutecreature profile image


      9 years ago

      What a great hub!

    • shanaya profile image


      9 years ago from Living in my Own Dreams:)

      It's hard to find these kind of advice.however you sound like you already know what you're speaking about.BRILLIANT i always say.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      it sounds like good advice, but im actualy thinking about leaving him for another, should i tell him about the other? (btw its his bestfriend im going with, i know im horrible)

    • lctodd1947 profile image

      Linda Todd 

      10 years ago from Charleston

      This is really sound advice. A lot of times other people are involved and it only causes un-necessary advice. Getting out of something that is not good for one is not that easy but it is necessary sometimes. Thank you for the hub.

    • christalluna1124 profile image


      10 years ago from Dallas Texas

      Excellent article. I am in the same position now and its hard to say goodbye even when the relationship is no good.

      warmest regards,


    • Teresa Laurente profile image

      Maria Teresa Rodriguez - Laurente 

      11 years ago from San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A.

      Thank you for your posts. They are very helpful and informative. More power. Hope to see you in my hubs as well. Take care.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Interesting hub full of interesting advice. In my experience long relationships die down until both parties recognize there is no point in continuing. Then it's quite obvious what should be done, but not easy :(



    • Lady_E profile image


      11 years ago from London, UK

      Very good, practical advice. One has to be firm and it's always nice to get away somewhere afterwards.

    • MAYRAPINK profile image


      11 years ago from texas

      great i said i am in the process of deciding where my 3 year relationship is going... its hard but reading hubs like these sure do help :)

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 

      11 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Great hub, great advice, thanks for sharing. creativeone59

    • shamelabboush profile image


      11 years ago

      Very useful tips, though it is a heartbreaking thing to end up a long term relation... I wonder who can do this? Thanks dear.


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