How to Get out of a Bad Relationship

Four Parts:Identifying a Bad RelationshipPreparing for a Break-UpEnding the RelationshipMoving On

A bad relationship can be a scary scenario that appears to have no end. Recognizing the warning signs of bad relationships can help you formulate a plan to get out of the situation. Rely on family and friends to help you through the process, and you’ll be able to enjoy healthy relationships once again. If you plan ahead to confront the situation, you’ll be able to end things as smoothly as possible.

Part 1
Identifying a Bad Relationship

  1. Image titled Overcome Low Self Esteem Step 1
    Be your true self. Everyone changes a little when they get into a new relationship. You start watching football because your boyfriend is into it, or you watch drama movies because that’s all your girlfriend wants to watch. If you feel like everything about you is changing, there might be a problem. [1]
    • Ask yourself if you’re compromising your values, opinions, or clothing preferences for your partner.
    • Remember who you were before the relationship, and consider how that differs from your current state.
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    Listen to concerns from friends and family. Not everyone is going to like your significant other as much as you do, but if multiple people close to you raise concerns, it might be time to listen.
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    Make decisions for yourself. A relationship should be mutual in all aspects, so the big decisions should be made by both people.
    • If you are constantly going where he wants to on dates or visiting his family and friends, you need to think about why.
    • If your girlfriend never wants to go to parties, go out for dates, or always makes you stay in, you need to consider if this is the kind of relationship you want.
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    Watch out for controlling behavior. Your significant other should not control every aspect of your life. In a relationship you will want to be around your partner; however, you should still be an individual. [2]
    • If your significant other starts to restrict who you hang out with or how much you see your family, consider this a warning sign.
    • Telling you what type of clothes to wear, restricting the music you listen to, or deciding who you are allowed to be friends with are examples of controlling behavior.
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    Measure the trust in the relationship. Mutual trust is an important component of a relationship. Without it, relationships easily turn bad. [3]
    • Constant questions are an indication of a lack of trust.
    • Jealousy about hanging out with others is a trust issue.
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    Notice how critical your partner is of you. Constructive criticism from your partner can be helpful, but it should not be a constant in your relationship. You shouldn’t be put down every time you are around your partner, and you shouldn’t always be the butt of the joke. [4]
    • If you’re hearing criticism about the way you look or your personality, this is a warning sign of a bad relationship.
    • Constant criticism indicates an unhealthy relationship.

Part 2
Preparing for a Break-Up

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    Admit you're in a bad relationship. To get out of a bad relationship, the first step is to recognize that you’re in one. It’s easy to ignore the signs and keep living your daily life in a failing relationship, but no one should suffer like that. Everyone deserves to be happy.[5]
    • Write down the warning signs you feel are happening in your relationship. Review the list to get a clear picture of what is truly happening.
    • Talk to a close friend or family member about your concerns to hear someone else’s view.
    • Know that you have the power to make a change and to get out of the relationship.
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    Arrange a place to go after the break up. Ask a trusted friend or family member if you can spend some time with them after you cut ties in the relationship. Having someone close to you provide support will help you feel better about your decision.
    • If your relationship has had a history of abuse, it is important to let someone know your plans to help provide you with safety following the break up.
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    Create a plan of action. To be able to succeed at ending a bad relationship, you need to have a plan in place. Creating a plan of action can help you hold yourself accountable to follow through. The most successful plan is one with specific implementation intentions, or if/then statements. [6]
    • ”If I start to miss my ex, then I will call a friend to go hang out.”
    • ”If I begin to regret my decision, then I will write out a list of the reasons I left.”
    • ”If I become depressed over the break-up, then I will seek out help.”

Part 3
Ending the Relationship

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    Plan a time to talk with your partner. Prepare yourself for when you are going to end the relationship. [7]
    • Large social gatherings may create embarrassing scenarios for a break-up.
    • Consider meeting in a quiet public space to avoid confrontations.
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    Tell your boyfriend or girlfriend that the relationship is over. Be blunt and direct. When ending a relationship, it is best to be to the point about your intentions. Tell your partner how you feel in person, rather than calling or texting, to help you process what is happening and show you mean what you are saying.
    • Make sure you stick to the facts so you aren’t caught up in emotions: "I have been unhappy with our relationship lately, and it's time to end things between us."[8]
    • Deliver the message in a calm, direct voice so your significant other knows you are serious about the decision: "I am breaking up with you."
    • If you are afraid of your significant other having a violent reaction to the relationship ending, you should not meet in person or alone. In this case a phone call would be the better option.
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    Put distance between yourself and your new ex. Once you’ve ended the relationship, you will need to stay away from the person you left. Bad relationships are often mentally tough to leave; make it easier on yourself by ending contact with the person so you aren’t tempted to get back together. [9]
    • Delete your ex on all social media accounts.
    • Take your ex’s phone number out of your phone.
    • Go to different places for entertainment where you won’t see your ex.
    • Ask your friends not to talk about your ex to help you create distance.

Part 4
Moving On

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    Surround yourself with positive people. After getting out of a toxic relationship, it is important to surround yourself with the right kind of people. You need to be around someone who will build you up and remind you that you did the right thing. [10]
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    Release your regrets. When a relationship ends, it’s easy to fall into the trap of dwelling on what you could have done better to change your ex. Know that no matter how much you think about the past, it won’t change. [11]
    • Learn from the relationship rather than regretting it.
    • Be kind to yourself. Try not to overthink the reasons why the relationship went bad. Focusing on the past will only hinder you from thinking about the future.
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    Forgive yourself. You shouldn’t feel bad about a failed relationship. Many people beat themselves up for not seeing the signs of a bad relationship, but this kind of thinking will only make you feel worse. [12]
    • Forgive yourself by stating it aloud or writing it down.
    • Remind yourself that everyone makes mistakes, and you can learn lessons from the failed relationship.
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    Remember who you were before the relationship started. It’s easy to lose track of your true interests when you have been in a bad relationship. Now you have time to rediscover yourself revive your interests or seek new ones. [13]
    • Take a class in something you used to enjoy learning about.
    • Join a club.
    • Pick up a hobby from your past.
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    Ask for help. When it’s too hard to process the break-up by yourself, you might need to have some help. Ask for help from friends or family; talk with people who are close to you when you are feeling down. [14]
    • Don’t feel ashamed if you need to ask for help. Many people find themselves in the same place, and professional help gets them back on their feet.
    • Use your family and friends for emotional support to help rebuild yourself after a bad relationship.
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    Contact local authorities for protective orders. If your ex is harassing or intimidating you, get in touch with the local police to request a restraining order. Reach out to shelters or support groups if you feel threatened or endangered. [15]


  • Once you end the relationship, don’t go back. Rekindling a bad relationship creates a revolving door of misery; just don’t do it.
  • Talk to a friend or family member about your plan to end the relationship and why you want to end it. This person will help hold you accountable to follow through and to remind you that you are doing the right thing.


  • If you are in a physically abusive or emotionally abusive relationship, it is important to leave right away. You can get help from local shelters which can found by searching on the internet.[16]

Article Info

Categories: Relationship Issues