How To Walk Away From An Unhappy Relationship

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Our relationship expert, Dr Pam Spurr (@drpamspurr on Instagram and Twitter) talks us through the steps on how to move on from a relationship you no longer want to be in.

It’s hard to walk away from something you’re used to but ultimately save your future self some heartbreak if you already know that a relationship isn’t going to work out.

Here are the steps to successfully walk away from an unhappy relationship:

Step 1 to Walking Away: Damage Limitation

You can end it with some of your dignity intact or you can create plenty of dramas as you leave. The choice is yours! But if you want to limit the damage to you emotionally and psychologically [and to your ex] look at leaving them as a life-phase to be managed as best as possible. Never forget that self-respect rocks.

Step 2 to Walking Away: Shoulders to Lean On

Don't let pride get in the way of getting help. When people choose to walk away often they feel they can't ask for help. This is particularly true if they know from the outside their relationship didn't seem that bad to others. Definitely lean on the shoulders of trusted friends and family when you need support.

Step 3 to Walking Away: Let time do its thing

Even when you choose to leave there’ll be good and bad days. Tell yourself now you can get through it. And when the bad days hit you'll do everything you can to pick yourself up. Mental preparation makes walking away a smoother journey.

Step 4 to WalkingAway: Analyse This...Later

You don't breakup with someone overnight and you've obviously thought through your reasons. But one big problem people face when they've walked away is starting to over-think everything: Did I do the right thing? Did I give it enough time? Should I go back? Should I have left sooner? Leave a few weeks between the breakup and this kind of analysis.

Step 5 to Walking Away: Midnight Misery

We all know the middle of the night is the hardest time when you're trying to move on. You’re tearful, lonely and you consider making that call - don't! Resist ringing your ex as you should never make a decision to go back with them - or even lean on them - when you're feeling at your lowest.

Step 6 to Walking Away: Revel in Something New

If you two were together for any length of time there'll definitely have been opportunities, you passed up because it would've "put them out". Now's the time to go to Greece with your friends, go skydiving, etc., whatever it is that you never got around to with them. Research shows doing those things you wanted to help move you on quicker.

Step 7 to Walking Away: Don't Turn It into a Bitch-Fest

Your friends rally around and they want to take you out - that's fantastic - go have fun! But it's easy to slip into a bitch-fest with your friends about your ex. It's one thing to share your feelings and toss around the reasons for why you moved on. It's quite another to surround yourself with negativity - it doesn't help that process.

Step 8 to Walking Away: Single Satisfaction Guaranteed

Embrace your time as a single! You don't have to buy into the romantic myth that you must be part of a couple. Spoil yourself with evenings in, face-mask on, watching your favourite chick flick. Luxuriate in long baths, eat your favourite foods, do things in your own time... you're the only one who counts right now.

Step 9 to Walking Away: Date Slowly

Despite being the one who walked away it doesn't mean you're ready to date properly. Yes get out and have fun - and flirt. But don't look for love immediately. Even if you left, you're still at risk of plunging into a rebound relationship.

Step 10 to Walking Away: Mind the ‘Breakup Bore’

Time's moved on but you catch yourself still debating with family and friends if you made the right decision. Now's the time to stop yourself becoming a "breakup bore"! Be aware when you start bringing your ex’s name up unless it's for something necessary.

Finally if your ex appears to have moved on more quickly - e.g., getting a new partner - keep a few things in mind: who knows if they're happy with their new partner? Who knows if they're doing it just to get back at you because they're still hung up on you? Who knows if they're doing it because they're lonely and not because they've really found love?

And quite frankly who cares? Stop focusing on them and focus on you and getting happier and moving on.

Originally posted on Dr Pam’s blog

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