How to Let Go of a Bad Relationship

Letting go of a bad relationship can be heartbreaking.
Letting go of a bad relationship can be heartbreaking. (Image: Goodshoot RF/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Bad relationships can be difficult to leave. You may feel betrayed and heartbroken, as if you can never love anyone else again. If you've already ended the relationship, your friends will tell you to just move on, but part of you is still hurt, which makes letting go very difficult. Some people also stay in bad relationships in which they are abused or neglected because letting go is too much for them. However, letting go and leaving is the best thing for your emotional and physical health.

Write a list of all of the things you like about the relationship. Take stock of all of the good things about the other person. Next, write a list of all of the negatives in the relationship. List all the things that make you feel frightened, betrayed or hurt. Allow yourself time to grieve for the good things, but also recognize all the bad things that you are escaping, too.

Don't wait around for the other person to change. You cannot force a person to change, and past behavior is an indicator of how things will likely be for the remainder of your relationship.

Picture yourself after the relationship has ended. Create a positive picture, imagining putting your life back together and setting some goals, which will make letting go much easier.

Allow yourself time to grieve, since the end of a relationship is similar to a death. Learn about the different stages of grief, from shock to denial to anger to pain. Recognize the different stages, and be gentle with yourself. Allow yourself to release your emotions at the end of the cycle of grief.

Recognize that no relationship is perfect. Waiting for the perfect person to come along will make letting go more difficult. Enter the next relationship knowing there will be issues, but take stock and see if they are issues with which you can live.

Allow yourself to trust again by trusting yourself first. Take a risk and put yourself out there again, but this time have enough trust that you know you will leave if the situation is not the one for you.

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