A couple of people sitting on top of a yellow table.

End a Relationship with Class & Style

Human relationships can be beautiful and transformative. They hold tremendous power in making the world a better place and improving people’s lives. Nevertheless, these relationships come with their own set of challenges, which can often lead to feelings of frustration and disappointment. Ultimately, all relationships must come to an end, be it through the death of a partner or the decision to part ways.

As a life coach for entrepreneurs, I have come to learn how you end a relationship is just as important as how you start one. Ending a relationship is a significant decision that should not be taken lightly. It should only be done when it’s the right thing to do.

In this article, we will examine the reasons why ending a relationship may be necessary and offer advice on how to do it in a compassionate and mutually respectful manner.

First, let’s talk about the seasons that everyone experiences within a relationship. This will give you insight into why you may feel excited or frustrated.

Relationships...they are not just for the other person, but for you. They are like a journey of self-discovery into the unknown and unfamiliar territories of your heart. Through the ups and downs, the joy and the pain, we learn more about ourselves than we ever thought possible.

The Four Seasons of Every Relationship

Regardless of whether your relationship is personal or professional, every relationship has its seasons. Below, we explain each one. Weak relationships, where one or both parties are unable to negotiate successfully, will perish during the wintertime.


Summer is fun time! Things are heating up between the two of you. Little to no faults can be found during this season. You both want to spend lots of time with one another.

It is the season of perfection where both of you are learning something new about each other and testing out new skills you may have learned from prior relationships.

If you are recovering from depression, unresolved trauma, or an addiction (and yes, that includes addiction to people), you may want to keep only summery relationships. Due to insecurities, low self-esteem, unrealistic expectations (among other issues), it is difficult to navigate beyond this stage. However, nothing of depth, meaning, and significance happens with only superficial knowledge of another person.


The thrill is kind of gone. During the previous season, you and the other person worked hard to hide your character defects, which usually occurs after 2-3 months in a relationship. 

Now, both of you are starting to show the real side of yourselves. This is the time when both of you can showcase your insecurities and vulnerabilities.

Observing Stress Management: The Jack-in-the-box

As a child, did you ever play with Jack-in-the-box? Enclosed in a whimsical box, there’s a little clown. If you turn the crank enough times, you can release the clown from the box. Inside all of us, there’s a not-so-nice version of ourselves, and yes, that includes me.

The person that may be snappy, judgmental, critical, among other unpleasant traits – you need to know them. And do you know why? You will never know a person unless you see them during moments of frustration, stress, or anxiety.

How do they handle stress?

Even better, how do they handle you when they don’t have a quick and easy way to escape from their pain-filled emotions?

You need the real Jack or Jackie to pop out before you fully commit to a relationship with them, and don’t ignore any serious red flags or personality traits. Understanding their shortcomings may save you from serious financial or emotional pain in the future.

A jester is holding his head down and smiling.


Winter is the time for negotiation. This is when both of you will need to negotiate time, space, money, and fun.

‘Time’ meaning how much time you will spend alone, together as a couple, and with others.

‘Money’ meaning your individual spending money and resources used for personal or professional purposes.

Lastly, how much time will you spend engaging in fun activities alone, together or with others.

Most relationships break down because each person assumes that the status quo or how things started in the summertime should continue indefinitely. But that’s not how life works.

People will change, often without reason. In other cases, one party may lack the emotional bandwidth to support another person during a difficult season. They may want to go back to the carefree days of the beginning of the relationship. That’s why this season will help you determine if the relationship is valuable to you, at least 51%, even during the worst moments of the relationship.


Spring is a time of rebirth, refreshment, and renewal. If you emerge successfully from the negotiation process of winter, you will be able to form a meaningful relationship with another person. 

You shouldn’t ignore the shortcomings in the relationship, everyone, including you and me, has them. Nevertheless, you should stay in the relationship because you know that there is more to gain than losing by staying committed to it. Marriages, partnerships, and other long-term commitments are solidified during this phase.

A picture of the seasons in a relationship.

Why Relationship Seasons Matter

Here is an important concept to understand regarding each season. You may find yourself in a relationship season for months or even years. It all depends on the spiritual and emotional maturity of each person.

For example, if you have a relationship in which one person is unwilling or unable to learn, the relationship may sizzle and die within a few years. Or, both people can stay perpetually stuck in the Fall or Winter seasons, where they live in a seething yet co-dependent relationship.

The movie “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton (which oddly mimics their real-life romance), perfectly punctuates this state of chaotic and dysfunctional yet loving partnership.

Reasons why you should or should not end a relationship

When you decide to end a relationship, it can feel really hard and sad. But sometimes, breaking up is the best thing for both people. It’s important to figure out why you want to end things because that can help you heal afterward. Here are some reasons why you might want to break up, and some reasons why you might want to stay together.

Why not to end a relationship 

Opening up to someone else can sometimes make you face difficult feelings from your past or things you’re going through right now. You might feel scared, embarrassed, or really down on yourself.

When someone shines a light on parts of you that you’d rather keep hidden, it can make you want to run away from the relationship. But to truly grow inside and out, you need to face those challenges head-on, not run from them.

If the person isn’t hurting you financially or causing you a lot of stress, try to see the relationship as a chance to grow. It can help you work through your problems and become stronger.

Regardless of whether you feel justified or not, ultimately, it is crucial to end a relationship for the right reasons to ensure emotional well-being and healthy future relationships. As humans, we are often given "make-up exams" if we end a relationship in a sloppy or disrespectful manner.

Why to end a relationship 

On the flip side, there are good reasons to end a relationship. These might include having different beliefs or priorities, not trusting each other, or one or both of you not being able to stick to your promises. For instance, if someone is always doing things that are against the law, not right, or just plain wrong, or if you feel like you need to call the cops, a doctor, or a lawyer to fix things, then it’s a clear sign that the relationship is toxic and it’s time to end it.

No matter how you feel about it, it’s really important to end a relationship for the right reasons. This helps you take care of your feelings and sets you up for better relationships in the future. Sometimes, if we handle a breakup badly, we might get another chance later on, but it’s better to do it the right way from the start.

Next, we’ll talk about how to end a relationship in a grown-up and healthy manner.

Although the relationship may be ending, it's essential to recognize the value that it brought to your life.

How to End a Relationship with Class & Style- Four Steps

Breaking up with someone can be really hard, especially if you’ve put a lot of time and effort into the relationship.

If you both can, it’s best to talk things out in person. But if that’s not possible, sending an email or letter can also work. Here are some steps to keep in mind:

Step 1: Highlight the positive 

Whether you’re talking face-to-face or writing a letter, make sure to talk about the good things in the relationship and show that you’re thankful for the time you had together. Even though it’s ending, it’s still important to see the good it brought into your life.

Step 2: Explain your needs

Also, it’s really important to think about what you need and tell your partner clearly about it. It’s also important to be honest about how you might have played a part in the relationship not working out. That way, you can move on in a good way.

three couples talking

Step 3: Own your part in the relationship

Telling the truth might be tough, but admitting your role in the breakup can show that you’re mature and help both of you move on.

Say how you could have acted better before and why it made things hard in the relationship. Being open about your mistakes might encourage the other person to do the same and talk about their own problems too.

Step 4: Manage expectations post breakup  

Lastly, it’s important to be clear about how much you’ll be in touch from now on. If you don’t want to keep talking all the time, say so. Be honest about how you feel and what you plan to do. Most importantly, be kind and understanding to the other person. They’re going through a tough time too.

A couple of people sitting on top of a yellow table.

Final Thoughts

Being in a relationship makes you face your fears, worries, and things you’re not good at. If you’re brave and end the relationship the right way, for the right reasons, you can have better relationships later on.

If you need help with relationships and talking about what you need, feel free to reach out to me.

To learn more, you can listen to an episode from my podcast about talking to yourself and others by clicking here, or just press play below.