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How to Gracefully End a Relationship With a Man That Doesn't Love You

by Kathryn Rateliff Barr, studioD

A relationship doesn’t have to end in a blaze of fireworks. Ending a relationship with a partner you realize has no love for you can free both of you to find fulfilling and loving relationships with others who can meet your need for love, affection and happiness. Ending the relationship gracefully doesn’t mean that there will be no pain, however it might allow the two of you to remain friends.

No Blame Required

When you decide to end it, you don’t have to accept or cast blame for a failed relationship, according to Dr. Margaret Paul, who has a Ph.D. in psychology. Sometimes the loving feelings you hoped to build never materialized or didn’t create that deep emotional bond that stands the test of time. If you are motivated to end the relationship so you both can find love or because one or both of you are unhappy, that could be the most loving response you can make.

Honest Communication

Talk to your partner about the way you feel and why you want to end the relationship. He might feel the same way, or he could feel love you just don’t see because it isn’t expressed in a way that’s meaningful to you. Ask him if he wants to remain in the relationship, and if so, why. Get input on what you will do when the relationship ends, especially if you share living space or have children together. It’s best if you both believe the relationship should end, but you can still leave if you believe there is no way to make the relationship fulfilling and healthy for both of you.

Planning Your Exit

Create a plan together that includes an exit date, suggests Marcia Reynolds, Psy.D., who has a degree in organizational psychology, in the article titled, “End Your Relationship With Dignity” for Psychology Today. Take responsibility for your choice to leave the relationship. If your leaving will cause him pain, you can apologize for the pain, but don’t apologize for your decision to leave, advises Reynolds. You have to do what you believe is the best option for both of you.

Lessons Learned

Take time to evaluate the relationship and the lessons you learned while in it. They can help you prepare for a new relationship after you have had time to grieve this one. You can journal them or work through them with a therapist so you are in a better place when you feel ready to open your heart to new possibilities. Forgive yourself and your partner for not creating the type of relationship you hoped for and appreciate the good times you enjoyed together, suggests Reynolds.

About the Author

Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.

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