Don’t Be Afraid to Break Up With Someone

By Marina Pearson for

Are you one of the many people ready to leave a relationship but either afraid of what the future will hold for you if you do leave, or guilty over leaving your partner? What would it be like if you could leave without the guilt and fear? How do you think you would feel?

Having worked with clients who found themselves in this predicament, I can tell you that when they are able to leave a relationship without guilt or fear of the future, it’s because they have had the following 5 realizations:

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1. That your fear is based on a future that doesn’t exist. When you find yourself worrying about the future, remember that these feelings just indicate that you are not fully in the present — not that you actually have anything to fear. Recently, I attended a seminar where I was told to go to a store and ask for an item that they definitely did not carry. I became very nervous and my hands started to get clammy as I imagined how awful the experience would be. And I hadn’t even left the room! It then occurred to me that my thoughts were creating these feelings of fear. In the end, I was able to accomplish the challenge and enjoy it. We are really not very good predictors of the future and so it’s best to let go of our fears about what is going to happen — and focus on what is happening right now.

2. That you are not responsible for how others will feel. When you feel guilty about leaving a relationship, it’s really just fear that you are going to hurt the other person. But it’s a common mistake to think we know how others will feel, which we base almost entirely on how we would feel in a similar situation. The truth is, feelings come from our own thoughts — not from other people’s actions. No one can make you feel anything and you cannot make anyone feel anything. Once my clients realize that they are not responsible for how others think, they suddenly feel free to make the right decision for themselves.

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3. That your peace and happiness is not dependent on anything or anyone outside of you. All too often, I see people worry if they are making the right decision about leaving a relationship. They believe — incorrectly — that their security, well-being and happiness depends on how someone else feels. But your happiness and peace depends on your own thoughts in the moment and NOT on any external factors. Once you realize that, you will suddenly feel free to leave a relationship with no strings attached.

4. That your actions say nothing about who you are. Many people are afraid to leave relationships because they think that it makes them a bad person. They stay because they are afraid of being criticized or labeled as selfish or uncaring. Do not have these fears; just because you leave a relationship, it does not say anything about you as a person. In fact, leaving a relationship with someone who you believe is not right for you is a very self-less thing to do. Instead of hanging on to a person whom you don’t want to be with, you are letting him or her free to find another partner who does.

More from YourTango: Help! My Last Breakup Scarred Me For Life

To let go of your fears and guilt, lets have a chat to see if we are good fit by emailing me at

This article originally appeared on Just Do It: How To Stop Being Afraid Of Breaking Up.


Hanna S.
Hanna S.3 years ago

I don't want to because I love how it feels when it's good. I'm trying to stay focused and make the right decision. The part about letting them free to find someone else almost made me feel possesive over what I feel should be mine...But it's true. If the love isn't for me they deserve happiness too. I told my partner that I just want them to be happy and I'm not sure if they understand fully what I mean but I meant they should be like my best friend and they mine. If we are just dating to get away from loneliness we turn a blind eye with what seems like unconditional love. But leaving would be a favor

Marija Mohoric
Marija Mohoric3 years ago

dont be afraid

John W.
.3 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Margaret B.
Margaret B3 years ago

I got out of a relationship when I admitted realized that "if I have to spend the rest of my life alone, it would be better than this"
I didn't spend the rest of my life alone. I was free to find my soul mate, and we had 31 wonderful years together.

Donna F.
Donna F3 years ago

hindsight is 20/20--I wish I'd known when I was younger that it's better to leave sometimes

Charlotte S.
Charlotte S3 years ago

Interesting but many people who stay in relationships may not be getting what they bargained for but are too afraid of being alone to leave. Many think that any person is better then being alone. They jump from relationship to relationship without understanding what they need or want to be happy. After my divorce I swore I'd never get married again. I went into counseling so I could figure out why I kept getting in the same relationships with the same type of person. Eventually I figured things out and was ready for a healthy relationship. One in which we both got what we needed and wanted, a positive relationship based on love.

Rosa Caldwell
Rosa Caldwell3 years ago

Breaking up can be so very difficult to do.

Amy L.
Amy L3 years ago

Barbara L. if I could give you a million stars I would - you're always the voice of reason!;)

Sue Matheson
Sue Matheson3 years ago