How to End a Relationship on Good Terms: 20 Ways To End It Gracefully

  • Prepare yourself

Before going into a break up, do not act like you know what they will do. You don’t. Nobody likes a breakup so there’s a high chance they won’t react calmly and collectively. However, the fact that you’re eager to learn how to end a relationship on good terms says a lot about your intentions for the breakup.

  • Respect them

Respect is the one thing you should have if you want to know how to end a relationship on good terms. Do not talk down to them. Do not patronize them. Even when things are practically over, don’t insult them or belittle them.

  • Do it in person

If you’re going to end things, at least have the decency to do it in person. They deserve a proper breakup and doing it over text, email, or even a call will make them resent you.

  • Be honest

For some reason, people have a real problem with this. If you sugarcoat or even lie to them about the real reason for breaking up, don’t expect things to end on a good note.

  • Thank them

This seems cheesy, but make sure they know you appreciate them. This is one of the most overlooked ways in learning how to end a relationship on good terms. Thank them for the relationship and everything they’ve done for you.

  • Do not ask anything of them right now

Asking them to be friends right away isn’t the best idea when you’ve just dumped them. Whether they are heartbroken, pissed, or in shock, it is not fair of you to ask anything of them right now. Pause asking any favors from them and give them time to process their feelings for.

  • Give them space

Just because you are ending the relationship on good terms does not mean you are going to be BFFs right away. Some people really aren’t okay with being friends with their ex as it can stop them from moving on.

  • Don’t comfort them at the moment

You see them crying or getting upset and you want to comfort them. Don’t. You lost the right to comfort them when you broke up with them. I know it’s your instinct to do so, but this might make them even angrier and probably confused. You can hug goodbye, but trying to comfort and console them will not help things end on good terms. Your intentions might be good, but it’s not going to benefit the breakup.

  • Let them cry

Crying is absolutely normal in a breakup and you shouldn’t think otherwise! Wanting them to stop crying is more for your benefit than theirs. You probably feel guilt or even shame when they cry, but it’s a way for them to release their feelings.

  • Answer their questions

In a breakup, it’s normal for them to ask questions, especially if they never saw it coming. Be direct in answering their questions. It’s their form of closure and the least you can do is give them peace of mind. Don’t tell them that your answers won’t help – that’s just patronizing. The truth not only makes you feel better, but it will give them more closure than a soft lie.

  • Remember you don’t know what’s best for them

We see this in breakups all the time. Whether it’s using lines to sugarcoat the real reason or maybe softening the blow, everyone does this all the time.

  • Be polite

It doesn’t make you a bad person to be uncomfortable when ending things – it makes you human. It’s more unusual when you don’t feel uncomfortable. With this being said, even when lashing out is easy, be polite with them as much as possible.

  • Don’t spread gossip

Your relationship might be over, but there’s no need to spread rumors or gossip about them. Even when you’re both from the same friend group, you don’t need to tell everyone how badly they reacted to the breakup. It’s easy for you to say – you did the dumping and not them.

  • Don’t show off new relationships

We’ve mentioned respect earlier and it should be the foundation of this entire list on how to end a relationship on good terms. Especially if you broke up with them, you have no right to show off new relationships and boast to them.

  • Accept their reaction

No matter what reaction you get, just accept it. Stop controlling what they feel because honestly, you don’t know a single thing about what they feel in that moment.

  • Don’t take advantage of their feelings

You’ll make them hate you with an endless passion if you either sleep with them, lead them on, or basically just confuse the hell out of them. If you broke up with them, stick with that decision. Don’t suddenly tell them you miss them or kiss them just because you’re lonely. Stop confusing your ex and ruining their moving on process.

  • End things the way you’d want others to end it with you

You need to treat them with respect and do everything you’d want others to do to you if they were dumping you. If you don’t like your feelings being invalidated, then don’t do it.

  • Stand your ground

You need to prepare yourself for the possibility that they won’t accept the breakup. *yes, this happens!* In learning how to how to end a relationship on good terms, stand your ground, and don’t change your mind just because you feel bad.

  • Don’t do it in public

If you really want to know how to end things on good terms, don’t do it in a public place. As much as possible, do it somewhere where you won’t be around too many people where you both can express what needs to be said without the fear of judgment.

  • Talk about them on a good note

When people ask why you broke up, tell them the truth but also don’t ruin their image. You can tell your relationship story without cursing your ex or calling them all kinds of names. This is not just a sign of maturity, but a sign of respect. You still loved your ex even if the relationship didn’t work, so they don’t deserve to be the bad person in your story.


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