In a perfect world, we would all be able to make our own choices and accept or reject any relationships as we see fit. But sometimes relationships are not our choice.
Sometimes they’re thrust upon us because of an unforeseen circumstance or event that makes it impossible for us to freely move forward with our lives.
In cases like these, saying goodbye can be difficult – if not impossible – which means that saying a kind farewell often isn’t possible either.
So, what is one supposed to do when faced with a situation where they cannot continue a relationship or let go of their feelings? The answer is actually quite simple: Accept your situation for what it is and be at peace with it.
That’s easier said than done though – but once you understand how your emotions work within a relationship, letting go will become much more feasible. So read on how to say goodbye to someone you don’t want to leave and why saying goodbye can really hurt – then learn how to truly let go.
Recommended reading: How long does it take to get over someone you love
How to say goodbye to someone you don’t want to leave?
How to say goodbye to someone you don’t want to leave? For many, saying goodbye is one of life’s toughest tasks. Sometimes we can get so caught up in our own feelings that we don’t realize what our loved ones are going through.
As an empathetic human being, it’s your job to console your loved one—even if it means temporarily shelving your own feelings.
Put aside negative feelings and explain why you feel strongly about ending things before moving on with other topics.
Be sure to apologize for any pain caused by your actions or words. If you took action based on a lack of trust, try to repair trust by letting them know you still care for them even though a relationship can no longer work.
Tell them about things they did or said that made a difference in your life while urging them not to give up on finding happiness themselves either.
Resist saying any statements meant to hurt back at them because while they might be true, they’re cruel and will only add fuel to an already burning fire.
End with something positive such as I wish you all success in your future or I’m really proud of everything you’ve accomplished. Endings aren’t easy, but there is some comfort knowing that they don’t have to be hard on everyone involved.
There’s no right way to say goodbye; sometimes all you can do is hope for a graceful exit and move forward with your life, leaving the past behind forever.
10 ways to say goodbye to someone you don’t want to leave
1. Focus on your reasons for saying goodbye:
The next time you want to just give up and ready to leave the relationship, remind yourself of why it’s important that you go through with it.
For example, if your breakup is due to an irreconcilable personality difference, do some soul searching until you find something (or multiple things) about yourself that aren’t right.
It might be best for everyone involved if you come out of it knowing what aspects of yourself need work before jumping into another relationship—even if it seems like no one else will see them.
If there’s really nothing wrong with either party (i.e., toxic personalities or bad timing), reminding yourself that letting go can be healthy for everyone involved might help get over feelings of guilt or regret quickly
2. Go on some breakup dates
It might be tempting to ghost your former partner and jump into a rebound romance, but for your own mental health it’s best if you resist that urge and give yourself time to heal.
Going on a break with your ex is an easy way to do that, as it allows you both space and time apart without completely severing ties (which could make healing harder).
Breakup dates can take many forms: coffee dates, walks around town or even dinners out together where you can converse like friends instead of lovers.
3. Accept that saying goodbye means saying no:
No matter how hard it is, remember that parting ways is an opportunity for growth. Just because your relationship ended does not mean that you have failed at being a human being or cannot find love again.
You’ve simply found yourself unable to make your current relationship work, which happens all too often in real life.
Remembering why it didn’t work out will help take some of the sting out of rejection—it may even motivate you towards finding true happiness one day with another person down the road.
After all, if dating (and ultimately losing) someone was really what would make us happy then wouldn’t we want that feeling to last forever?
4. Remember that saying goodbye is not meant to be easy:
Relationships are never easy, so it’s no surprise that saying goodbye can be hard. We all know how difficult it is not to take rejection personally, especially when we’ve put so much effort into a relationship only for it not work out.
If you really cared about your ex or loved them deeply, letting go of any hope of reconciliation will likely feel like a punch in the gut at first—but taking things personally guarantees a poor ending.
There’s a reason why saying goodbye comes from goodbyes themselves… they were often final and certainly not tear-free affairs.
5. Don’t allow yourself to be taken advantage of:
Be sure that your decision is your own. Try to be as rational as possible to be in firm with your final decision.
If the person you love tries pressuring you into doing something that makes you uncomfortable, let them know you have been thoughtful and reconsidered this situation multiple times.
After all, they are unable to give you anything even close to what another person can provide if they cannot listen respectfully when it comes time for separation.
6. See yourself as separate from your relationship:
To make it easier on yourself emotionally, take a step back and remind yourself that saying goodbye does not mean losing a part of yourself.
Sure, saying no can feel like you are rejecting an essential part of who you are—but breaking up with anyone shouldn’t have to be all-or-nothing.
All relationships end at some point for one reason or another; while many remain close friends even after breaking up, others involve no contact whatsoever.
Your next partner will bring something new into your life—even if they don’t seem familiar in any way. No matter what happens between exes afterwards, nothing will ever erase their contributions to who we are today—even if they don’t see us in exactly the same light anymore.
Take comfort in knowing that our own identities extend beyond each partner we choose to embrace them with.
7. Decide what’s next:
Before saying goodbye, set your eyes on a few goals that feel right for where you are now and where you want to be in life as a whole.
Life moves on, and we can either come along for an exciting ride or let ourselves get left behind. Now is your chance to decide which one feels better—even if it takes some time.
After all, while some relationships may last forever in our hearts and memories, there’s absolutely no reason why we should expect them all to go beyond physical separation and even less of a reason why they should demand more than we want to give.
By moving forward into our futures with positive outlooks and open minds, we not only solidify who we will become; by allowing new experiences into our lives at every opportunity (and remembering that no two connections will ever end up exactly alike), each of us creates something unique with whoever comes into our lives later.
No matter how much these thoughts may make things worse in the short term; keeping busy has been proven beneficial for anyone experiencing grief.
8. Allow yourself to be proud of your growth:
You’ve grown in ways that were very meaningful to your relationship and may even feel like something was lost when things changed… but no matter what happens in life, we can always take pride in our progress.
That’s right—regardless of where any particular relationship takes us or how much it does or doesn’t change us along the way, we have all had meaningful experiences with each connection made! This means that every heartbreak is a gift from life.
Even if your current ex can no longer appreciate these gifts, find a way to celebrate them on your own! Don’t allow anyone to convince you that their feelings about you are more important than yours about yourself.
9. Know that your strength is never measured in how well you were loved:
Too often, we measure our worth based on how many partners decide to come into or leave our lives—but whether or not anyone chooses us has nothing to do with whether or not we deserve happiness.
Each and every one of us deserves a healthy and happy relationship, no matter what. And we must recognize that we all have value simply because we exist; remember, it’s important for everyone else in our lives to recognize these facts about us, too.
Only when both parties in a connection feel like their needs are met does a bond ever really become meaningful.
10. Move on when you’re ready:
No one can tell you when it’s time to move on or whether your heart will heal in time—only you know that! When your head and heart are in agreement, let go of any lingering attachments and leave your relationship with grace.
Remember, there is no set length of time when it comes to healing from a breakup or loss—each person moves through their grief at their own pace. If something or someone really hurts, remember that nothing has been lost until nothing remains.