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Breaking Up With a Dating Partner or Friend

Ending a relationship in a healthy way is a green flag.

Friendships and romantic relationships end for a lot of different reasons. Maybe you’re looking for a healthier, more positive relationship. You might be ready to move on to different things or places. Perhaps you want to be single and focus on school, work, friends, or family. Sometimes, the breakup isn’t your choice and that can be painful.

The most important thing to consider in a breakup is your safety.

If You Feel Safe

About 3 of out 4 teens believe that telling someone in person is the best way to break up. If this feels safe and both partners have shown green flags in the relationship, find a private place where you both feel comfortable and tell a friend or trusted adult about your plans ahead of time.


In breakups, clear is kind. You can be direct and respectful.  


Things to say to end a relationship in a healthy way: 

  • I appreciate the time we’ve spent together. It is best if we end our relationship. 
  • It’s important that we both have space to grow. I don’t want to continue our relationship. 
  • As I think about the future, I don’t think we are the right match.  
  • I want to work on myself so it’s the best plan to stop seeing each other. 

If You Don't Feel Safe

If you don’t feel safe breaking up with a friend or dating partner, it’s important to make a safety plan. A safety plan is a set of actions, strategies, and resources to support your safety.

Things to Consider

  • YOU are the expert of your relationship. Talking with a trusted adult, or a Green Flags pro
  • Breakups can be emotional and stressful. It’s not your fault if a dating partner or friend is showing signs of depression or self-harm. It is important to acknowledge the signs, show that you care, and tell a trusted adult.


If you are worried about self-harm right now, call 9-8-8 or the Franklin County Youth Psychiatric Crisis Line, available 24/7, Ages 17 and under, call (614) 722-1800, Ages 18 and older, call (614) 276-2273 

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