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Break ups

A relationship can end for many different reasons. Breaking up is a hard thing to do but sometimes it’s the only way.

Breaking up with someone isn’t always easy but there are some common signs that may help you know if and when you should. Getting over a break up is hard but there are support groups who can help.

How do I know when to break up?

Knowing when to break up with someone isn’t always easy. Here are some signs that it might be time to break up:

  • you don’t enjoy spending time together
  • you no longer care for them, or you don’t feel cared for
  • you or people close to you feel unsafe
  • your health is suffering because of the relationship
  • you are always fighting
  • there is physical, sexual or emotional abuse, including constant criticism.

One idea is to make a list of the good things and the bad things about your relationship. If there are more bad things than good things you might want to think about ending the relationship.

What’s the best way to break up?

Breaking up is not going to be easy. If breaking up is your choice, stick to your decision and try not to get into a debate about it.

Be respectful of their feelings and think about how you would want to hear the news. Tell them in person if possible.

The decision to break up might come as a surprise to them so when you tell them, try and be as gentle as possible.

What if I’m scared or uncomfortable with the person?

Sometimes you might not feel safe to tell your partner you have decided to break up with them. If you feel really uncomfortable alone with them, it might be a good idea to break up in a public place where there are people around or ask a friend to support you.

How do I get over a break up?

You might feel all sorts of emotions when you break up - sad, happy, free or relieved. It will take time to get over your feelings and move on.

You could think about the following ideas to help.

  • Talk about your feelings or write them down.
  • Was the relationship working well for both of you? Chances are, if your needs weren’t being met then the other person’s probably weren’t either
  • Nobody has the perfect relationship. We all make mistakes; that’s how we learn. Take a really good look at what happened to get the learning, not to point the finger.
  • Talk to yourself but try not to be negative toward yourself.
  • Blaming yourself or being overly self-critical won’t help you and will put you in a negative mood.
  • Don’t be afraid if your feelings stick around for some time. If someone meant a lot to you, then it’s respectful and appropriate to grieve over it. You might not forget what happened, but you will find it gets a little easier as time passes, and as you focus on your life again.
  • Be yourself and do your own thing. Do things that make you feel good.
  • If the hurt or guilt keeps coming back, picture it in your mind as a bundle of thoughts that need a good strong box around them. Only open the box when you’ve got the time and support to help you. Picture yourself firmly closing the box, so you can get on with your new life.

Who can help?

If it ever feels like the going is getting way too tough or you feel like nothing is helping, phone a counsellor or make an appointment to see someone – there are always people to help.

Some places you can go for help:

Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.

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