Healthy Relationships - Navigating Endings of Relationships

Lesson Plan and Materials

Navigating Endings in Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships

LESSON GOAL

Keep this in mind as you complete the activities below

Participants will consider the following essential questions:

How do you know when it’s time to end a relationship?

Why do people stay in unhealthy relationships?

LESSON OUTLINE

You may use some or all of the included activities:

  1. Opening
  2. 10 Signs Overview
  3. Activity #1: Breakups on Screen
  4. Activity #2: Breakups in Music
  5. Activity #3: Breaking it Up, Breaking it Down
  6. Wrap Up Reflection

ASSESSMENT

Think about the following as ways of tracking your students' learning during the lesson

Reflection: What is one thing that is going to stick with you from today’s conversation?

 

At the end of the lesson, please have participants use the following post-workshop survey link: http://www.joinonelove.org/feedback

TOOLS AND TIMING

Handouts and activities needed to complete this lesson plan

Tools: sticky notes, chart paper. One Love’s Breakup Planning Guide

 

Timing: 60 minutes

HEALTH EDUCATION STANDARDS

SEXUAL HEALTH (Healthy Relationships)

Identify ways to access accurate information and resources for survivors of sexual offenses (H3.Se5.HS)

 

SAFETY (Violence Prevention)

Explain how bystanders can help prevent, reduce, and avoid violence (H1.Sa3.8b)

Demonstrate effective peer resistance, negotiation, and collaboration skills to avoid potentially violent situations (H7.Sa3.HS)

Describe potential dangers of sharing personal information through electronic media (H1.Sa3.8c)

Analyze potential dangers of sharing personal information through electronic media (H1.Sa3.HS)

HEALTH EDUCATION STANDARDS (cont.)

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL HEALTH (Expressing Emotions)

Demonstrate ways to manage or resolve interpersonal conflict (H4.So4.8)

Advocate for ways to manage or resolve interpersonal conflict (H8.So4.HS)

LEAD FCS STANDARDS

INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS

Analyze functions and expectations of various types of relationships (13.1.1,3-5)

Analyze personal needs and characteristics and their effects on interpersonal relationships (13.2.1-3,5)

Demonstrate communication skills that contribute to positive relationships (13.3.1-5,7)

Evaluate effective conflict prevention and management techniques (13.4.1-6)

Demonstrate standards that guide behavior in interpersonal relationships (13.6.1-5)

WA SEL

STANDARDS

1A: Awareness and understanding of one’s own emotions and emotions’ influence on behavior

2B: Responsible decision making and problem solving skills

5B: Ability to identify and take steps to resolve interpersonal conflicts in constructive ways

 

 

Introductions and Check-In – 5 mins

Start with a check in prompt: Think about something you did to show someone love recently.

Facilitation Tip: You can ask students to share their responses, or keep it as a silent reflection time.

 

Share the questions of the day and the agenda:

How do you know when it’s time to end a relationship?

Why do people stay in unhealthy relationships?

 

Introduction to One Love and Content Warning – 5 mins

Share About The One Love Foundation

One Love is a national leader in educating young people about relationship health. We equip young people to identify and avoid abuse, and love better in all their relationships.

We believe that 100% of us are in relationships, 100% of us can improve our relationship health, and 100% of us deserve healthy relationships.

Set Group Expectations

Let students know that these conversations may get personal and bring up upsetting past experiences. Remind students that help is available that they can access now. Share national, local, and school-specific resources prior to starting the conversation

Say: “Talking about relationships can be challenging, but it’s important and it’s for everyone. This is big issue, and big issues can bring big emotions.”

Establish a set of norms and have participants commit to following those agreements throughout the course of this workshop (ex. “use ‘I’ statements when speaking, lessons leave but stories stay”). Encourage students to add their own norms, or use your pre-existing classroom norms instead.

Video – 3 mins: Watch 10 Signs Video (click here to access, also embedded in slides)

Start by introducing the 10 Signs of a Healthy and Unhealthy Relationship to your group. You should either print them out for participants or have them visible on a slide.

Teaching Points: These behaviors show up in all types of relationships – talking, dating, hooking-up, platonic, familial. Not one unhealthy behavior alone is indicative that a relationship is unhealthy, but when they’re done consistently, they can be really damaging for the person on the receiving end. At One Love, we work really hard to teach young people these behaviors so that we can change them if we’re the ones doing them, or leave a relationship before they turn into a potentially dangerous pattern. 

Vocabulary Note: Students usually have the most questions about sabotage, volatility, and comfortable pace. If no one asks about particular signs, you can say something like: “When I first saw these, I was curious about what volatility meant” and share some more examples

10 Signs Activity – 5 mins

Setup: Post chart paper; pass out sticky notes 

 Say, “What sign of a healthy relationship is most important to you?” 

Have a few students share their answers. Ask everyone to write their answers on a sticky note and put it on the chart paper in the front of the room. Note if there any patterns. 

Activity #1: Breakups on Screen – 15 -20 mins
Note from One Love: Please watch each clip prior to playing for your students to ensure that the content and language is appropriate for your specific group. All clips are linked in the show/movie titles. If none of these examples resonate with you, feel free to select your own examples and use the following as a template.

Schitt's Creek (Season 6, Episode 8): Ted and Alexis decide that despite how much they love each other, they can’t be together.

Set the scene: “Ted and Alexis have been dating long distance while he is on a once-in-a-lifetime research fellowship in the Galapagos, and her career is taking off at home. He returns home to visit for their anniversary, but they make the decision that staying together would hold them back from their dreams, and they don’t want to risk the potential resentment.”

Ask: “What are your initial reactions to Alexis and Ted’s break up?

Facilitator Tip: Write students’ reactions on the board to be able to refer back to them as you discuss the next few questions.

Ask: “What are some reasons that someone might end a healthy relationship?

Teaching Points: It can be tempting to “see where it all goes” instead of ending a relationship that we’re not sure about, but it’s not fair to either person to hope that you’ll end up in the same place. A clear conversation about ending things, if that is what either or both people need, would be healthy for them.

 

People break up, even in healthy relationships, for many reasons! Some include:

  • Moving away from each other or onto a new phase of life (moving away to college, moving to a new city after college, moving towns/schools in HS, moving for a job, etc.);
  • Growing apart from each other; no longer having the same interests;
  • Realizing you're not a good match or struggle to communicate your needs well;
  • Realizing that you're not ready for a relationship or are struggling with engaging in healthy relationship behaviors.

 

Upsides of breaking up with someone include:

  • Having more time to work on yourself (mentally, physically, find new hobbies you enjoy, etc.)
  • Spending more time with family and friends
  • Getting to do new things and meeting new people you may not have otherwise

 

It’s okay to discover you don’t want the same things from a relationship as the person you’ve started dating. It’s also important to be honest with yourself about what your needs and comfort levels are so that you can communicate effectively with your partner. This is one reason it’s important to move at an equally comfortable pace for both partners, so that each person has time to figure out if this is the right person and/or relationship for them right now.

 

Ask: “Why is it so hard to break up with someone?

Teaching Points: We don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. Despite knowing rejection is part of life, we are conditioned to avoid it. And in a way, that makes sense; rejection doesn’t feel good! But on the other hand, if we are just taught to avoid things we don’t want, we don’t learn how to actually deal with these tough moments. This can hurt ourselves and others even more.

 

It can make things awkward. If you share a friend group or are in the same class as someone, it can be really hard to reject them knowing that you’ll see them all the time. However, with things like this, the longer you wait, the worse the rejection usually is. Your future self will thank you for leaning into the awkward now and potentially saving the friendship because of it.

 

Say and Display:

  • Any reason is an okay reason to break up with someone! You are your own person and even if it’s something that seems small, your decision to stay in a relationship or break up is always up to you.
  • Despite knowing rejection is part of life, we are conditioned to avoid it. But if we are just taught to avoid things we don’t want, we don’t learn how to actually deal with these tough moments.

 

Friends (Season 3, Episodes 16 & 19): Ross and Rachel have two different understandings of what it means to be “on a break.”

Set the scene: “Last episode, Ross and Rachel got in a big fight on their anniversary and decide to “take a break” in their relationship. Ross interprets this as a breakup, and when he thinks she’s moved on with Mark, he moves on with Chloe, the girl from the copy store. Not knowing this, Rachel tries to repair their relationship, but later hears from Guenther at the coffee shop that Ross had cheated on her.”

Ask: “What are your initial reactions to Ross and Rachel’s break up?

Facilitation Tip: Write students’ reactions on the board to be able to refer back to them as you discuss the next few questions.

Ask: “What are some factors that you think led to Ross and Rachel not being on the same page about their relationship status?

Teaching Points: Especially in unhealthy relationships, spur-of-the-moment breakups are common. We often see relationships that are consistently on-and-off, which could be a sign the relationship is unhealthy. When a break-up decision is made suddenly, or in the midst of a fight, it’s often less likely to stick.

 

We should plan a breakup in an unhealthy relationship just as we would plan one in a healthy relationship. In a healthy relationship, usually a breakup happens for a specific reason and the person initiating the break up spends time planning what they are going to say and how. The same should be said for an unhealthy relationship; the more planned it is, the more likely it is to stick.

 

Ask: “At one point Pheobe asks, “should we do something?” Would you do something? What (if anything) would prompt you to come out of hiding to help a friend navigate their break up?

 

Teaching Points: Pay attention to the unhealthy behaviors that you’re hearing (or seeing) during a breakup. When possible, you want your friend to be able to navigate the breakup on their own, but their safety comes first. If you hear the situation escalating, and you feel safe stepping in, you should prioritize your friend’s safety and wellbeing over any potential awkwardness.

 

In each breakup, the role of friends will be different, as each person is going to need a different kind of support. All of these different variables can make it hard to talk about breakups, either conceptually or when someone we know is actually going through one! Normalizing that breakups are going to happen to most people, and the emotions that come along with them, will allow us to better support our friends when they’re working through breakups.


If you don’t feel safe stepping in, but you are worried about your friend, you can reach out to a professional resource for help. We often assume that experts are just for physically abusive or dangerous relationships. A domestic violence advocate can help someone talk through any issue they are facing in a relationship – even just a gut feeling that something isn’t right. Also, as a friend or family member of someone in an unhealthy relationship, you can reach out to an advocate on their behalf to learn about options and how to best support your loved one.

 

You can also ask for help before the breakup happens! Involving an expert can make the danger seem more real, and people often think, “it isn’t that bad.” However, statistics show that many people who haven’t been physically abusive in the past might be during or after a break-up. People are often concerned that a police officer, a counselor, or social worker may force someone to leave an unhealthy or abusive relationship. Domestic violence experts will not convince someone to leave a relationship if they’re not ready. Safety planning includes how to stay safe in a relationship before a break-up and these experts will provide options, not advice. We highly recommend working with your local domestic violence center for this reason.

 

Facilitation Tip: The police are not always a safe resource for everyone, especially for communities that are disproportionately affected by police violence. This is one option of many and may not be the best place to start. An advocate or counselor can help someone determine their best resources.

 

Set the Scene: “In this second clip, Rachel returns a box of Ross’ belongings a few weeks after their breakup.”

 

Ask: “When Rachel returns Ross’ stuff following their break-up, what does she do well?

 

Teaching Points: All things considered, Rachel handles the situation pretty well. Some things she does well include: staying relatively calm, waiting some time after the breakup to return Ross’ belongings, and acknowledging his feelings without matching his tone.

 

Ask: “What else could she do to ensure she stays safe?

 

Teaching Points: The most dangerous time in an abusive relationship is after a breakup. Even if a partner wasn’t physically violent during the relationship, it’s important to create a plan before leaving your partner.

 

Create a break-up plan before ending the relationship whether your relationship was healthy or unhealthy. We never know how someone is going to react during a break-up, so following these steps can help keep you safe. If you have any rea- son to think you might be in danger during a breakup, you need to move from a break-up plan to a safety plan.

 

A safety plan is a personalized strategy to remove yourself from a potentially dangerous situation or relationship. It should include advocates, community organizations, friends, and family. Everyone’s plan is different, and you should create a plan whether you plan to stay in the relationship or leave.

 

 

Tips for a healthy breakup:

  • Build a safety network. Let your friends and a trusted adult know that you plan to break up with your partner.
  • Always break up in a public space and arrange your own transportation (bring friends/family and have them hangout nearby). After the breakup, try not to be alone with that partner again.
  • Setting boundaries after the relationship is just as important as during it! Make sure you and your partner on the same page in terms of communication and more.
  • Consider taking a break from social media. Update your passwords and privacy settings. Reflect on how you are feeling and decide if you should mute or delete your former partner.
  • Focus on yourself. Break-ups are not easy. Use your newfound time to focus on things that build your confidence and help you regain emotional balance. Pick up old hobbies or reconnect with old friends. Many times, in an abusive relationship, someone has been isolated from friends and family, so it’s good to reconnect with them.

 

Ask: “What do you think about Ross’ reaction to Rachel returning his stuff? Why is it so hard to handle feeling rejected?

 

Teaching Points: Admitting you feel rejected can be an uncomfortable and vulnerable thing to do, whether you were cut from a sports team, didn't get the role you wanted in the school play, or found out your crush likes someone else. In fact, research shows that the same areas of our brain respond when we experience rejection as when we experience physical pain. However, it's not a "one size fits all" and will occur during many times in our lives.

 

You may feel overwhelming emotion in the wake of rejection - anger, disappointment, desire to retaliate. Remember that these feelings are valid, but how you behave in response to these emotions is key! Hurting someone else or acting volatile won't make those emotions go away, and you will likely regret it in the future.

 

For LGBTQ+ folks experiencing rejection, it’s important to remember you are not alone. There are amazing resources like those in our appendix that are available for LGBTQ+ folks, no matter where you live or how old you are. There are always advocates to call if you are feeling alone, sad, or isolated, and resources like The Trevor Project can connect you with others to remind you that there are so many people in the world who will embrace, relate to, and understand you.

 

Not every person is the right fit for you, both in romantic relationships and friendships. When we feel rejected, it makes sense that we might question ourselves, but it’s important to not assume that we are being rejected because we’re not good enough. Try spending time with others who care about you to remind yourself that you’re a great person, even if we’re not the right fit for someone else.

 

Lean on your friends and loved ones to process rejection and not let it overwhelm you. Our communities of support exist even in tough moments and can lead to building deeper bonds in those areas of our lives. Opening the door to talk about relationships in our lives helps them become stronger and healthier, with increased vulnerability and shared understanding.

 

Say and Display:

  • Admitting you feel rejected can be an uncomfortable and vulnerable thing to do
  • Not every person is the right fit for you, both in romantic relationships and friendships
  • Lean on your friends and loved ones to process rejection and not let it overwhelm you

 

Activity #2: Breakups in Music – 15-20 mins

Note from One Love: Please listen to each song prior to playing for your students to ensure that the content and language is appropriate for your specific group. You can just use the selected lyrics, or play the song on Spotify, Apple Music, or YouTube.  If neither of these examples resonate with you, feel free to select your own example and use the following as a template.

Choose 2-4 examples to discuss, ideally with at least one romantic and one friendship example

Ex Factor – Ms. Lauryn Hill: The singer struggles to move on from a breakup despite knowing the relationship isn’t good for her.

No matter how I think we grow
You always seem to let me know
It ain't working (It ain't working, no), it ain't working
And when I try to walk away
You'd hurt yourself to make me stay
This is crazy, this is crazy

I keep letting you back in (You back in)
How can I explain myself? (I don't understand why)
As painful as this thing has been
I just can't be with no one else

Ask: “Why is it so hard to leave a relationship that you know isn’t good for you?

Teaching Points: The Cycle of Abuse can be extremely difficult to break out of. Often, there are real feelings of love and affection felt for an unhealthy or abusive partner, and it can be a challenge to untangle those feelings from feelings of stress, anxiety or fear. It’s called the Cycle of Abuse because these relationships usually follow a pattern. 

Often, when someone does something abusive, it is followed by them doing or saying something nice to minimize the situation, and the cycle begins again. This is particularly common within the cycle of abuse. Remember that unhealthy and abusive relationships have good moments alongside the bad ones, which makes it much more challenging to walk away from a relationship. Often, those good moments are used as justification to stay (“see, it’s not all bad!”). But don’t expect that someone’s behavior will change. If a person is fantastic 95% of the time and controlling 5% of the time, that’s not good enough.

Need You Now – Lady A: The singer is reminiscing on a past relationship, debating whether she should reach out to her former partner.

Picture perfect memories
Scattered all around the floor
Reaching for the phone cause
I can't fight it anymore

And I wonder if I ever cross your mind
For me it happens all the time

It's a quarter after one
I'm all alone and I need you now
Said I wouldn't call, but I lost all control
And I need you now
And I don't know how I can do without
I just need you now

Ask: “What can you do to help you move on after ending an unhealthy relationship?

Teaching Points: Endings are challenging. Each person has different feelings about how a relationship ends, and these emotions can vary overtime as your friend processes an ending. For someone in that relationship, it can be hard to say goodbye to a person who has played a big role in their life. As a friend, we can often question what our role is supposed to be - do we offer a listening ear, try to distract our friend from their feelings, or give advice?

 

Any reason is an okay reason to break up with someone! You are your own person and even if it’s something that seems small, your decision to stay in a relationship or break up is always up to you.

 

Truth Hurts - Lizzo: The singer is trying to move on from her unhealthy relationship.

Why men great 'til they gotta be great? ('Til they gotta be great)
Don't text me, tell it straight to my face (Tell it straight to my face)
Best friend sat me down in the salon chair (Down in the salon chair)
Shampoo press, get you out of my hair
Fresh photos with the bomb lighting (With the bomb lighting)
New man on the Minnesota Vikings (Minnesota Vikings)
Truth hurts, needed something more exciting (Yee)

Ask: “How can you help a friend move on after ending an unhealthy relationship?

Teaching Points: In each breakup, the role of friends will be different, as each person is going to need a different kind of support. All of these different variables can make it hard to talk about breakups, either conceptually or when someone we know is actually going through one! Normalizing that breakups are going to happen to most people, and the emotions that come along with them, will allow us to better support our friends when they’re working through breakups.

Ensure they know the dangers, but put them in the driver’s seat. For some, thinking that they might be in danger after ending a relationship is difficult to accept, and often think that once an unhealthy relationship has been ended, the problem is solved. There’s a way to tell your friend you’re worried for their safety kindly, and by still leaving the decision up to them about what to do next once they know what all the options are.

Asking a few simple questions to make sure your friend is prepared to end a relationship is smart planning, even if that relationship is a healthy one and the relationship just isn’t right. Consider when and where they are going to end the relationship, which other friends or trusted people in your circle you're going to tell, and the reasons for doing so beforehand. If you later feel as if their safety is as risk, they can always add in additional steps or change your safety/breakup plan as needed.

Bad Blood – Taylor Swift: The singer reflects on a friendship that ended badly.

Did you have to do this?
I was thinking that you could be trusted
Did you have to ruin
What was shining? Now it's all rusted
Did you have to hit me
Where I'm weak? Baby, I couldn't breathe
And rub it in so deep
Salt in the wound like you're laughing right at me
Oh, it's so sad to think about the good times
You and I
'Cause baby, now we got bad blood

Ask: “Which unhealthy behaviors are being described here?

Teaching Points: These lyrics are an example of betrayal, belittling, and sabotage

 

Trust is really important in friendships, and when we feel like our trust has been broken, it can be hard to come back from that. When a friendship is damaged by one person’s actions, it can feel like the relationship has been sabotaged. Whether or not this is intentional, the impact is what we want to pay attention to. In this case, she is clearly hurt and feels like her friend isn’t taking that hurt seriously, which is an example of belittling.

Ask: “Why is it so hard to end an unhealthy friendship?

Teaching Points: Many of us are taught from a young age to treat others how we'd like to be treated. With that, we may not want to hurt someone's feelings or be the "bad guy." You may not be able to control how someone else feels or responds, but you can try your best to respect their time and energy by being honest and starting a conversation about your friendship. If you are part of the same community (friend group, teams, clubs, etc.) it's important to set a standard of keeping the conversation between the two of you. Sharing the information with other friends might cause additional harm or gossiping. It's natural to want to avoid being hurt again, but there are ways to build trust with new friends – try sharing things about yourself slowly over time and encourage them to share, as well. This might include worries you have about past or current friendships!

 

I Lost a Friend - FINNEAS: The singer mourns the end of a friendship.

 

I lost a friend
Like keys in a sofa
Like a wallet in the back seat
Like ice in the summer heat
I lost a friend
Like sleep on a red-eye
Like money on a bad bet
Like time worryin' about
Every bad thing that hasn't happened yet

I know I'll be alright
But I'm not tonight
I'll be lying awake
Countin' all the mistakes I've made
Replayin' fights
I know I'll be alright
But I'm not tonight
I lost a friend, I lost a friend

 

Ask: “Why is it so hard to admit you feel rejected by a friend?

Teaching Points: Whether you were cut from a sports team, didn't get the role you wanted in the school play, or found out your crush likes someone else, expressing that you feel rejected can be an uncomfortable thing to do. In fact, research shows that the same areas of our brain respond when we experience rejection as when we experience physical pain. Unfortunately, we will all face rejection many times in our lives, but there are ways to deal with it in a healthy way.

 

Social media can increase feelings of being left out or that you're not doing something as well as someone else. Remember that social media is a highlight reel and you're not the only one who feels this pressure. When you talk to your friends, you might discover that they are also experiencing the same feelings of rejection and insecurity. Give yourself time, lean on friends for support and distraction, and close your social media apps when you need time Away!

 

 

Real Friends – Camila Cabello: The singer has been betrayed by an old friend, and wonders what it feels like to have healthy friendships.

I thought that I could trust you, nevermind
Why all the switching sides?
Where do I draw the line?
I guess I'm too naive to read the signs

I'm just lookin' for some real friends
All they ever do is let me down
Every time I let somebody in
Then I find out what they're all about
I'm just lookin' for some real friends
Wonder where they're all hidin' out
I'm just lookin' for some real friends
Gotta get up out of this town (Oh, ooh)

Ask: “Why do people stay in unhealthy friendships?

Teaching Points: People stay in unhealthy friendships for many reasons. The feeling of belonging, even if it's not a healthy friendship, is powerful. Below are just a few reasons:

  • Someone may feel that their friend's behavior is normal
  • They may also feel embarrassed to admit that their friend is treating them poorly or believe that their friend will change
  • They may be part of a mutual friend group or being part of the same club
  • They may be afraid of being rejected from a friend group, being left off the group chat, or not being given a ride home from school can be incredibly powerful
  • There might be one or two people, or even a group, someone fears have control over their social status

Ask: “What are the qualities of a real friend?

Teaching Points: Each of us might have a different healthy behavior that stands out to us that we really value from a friend. For some, it might be the independence to have other friends or to not feel like you have to text all day long to show how important someone is to you. For another, it might be knowing that you can trust your friends with secrets or hard conversations and know that they won’t share what you said to anyone else.

 

Regardless of what each of us prioritize in our lives, it is important to recognize that what comes to the top of our list might not for someone else. Have a conversation with a friend about what you value and what they value, so you both know how to make sure the other is getting what they need from the friendship! Healthy behaviors build on each other to create healthy friendships. Looking at each of them individually and think about how they apply to your life to help recognize why some friendships are so meaningful to us.

 

Say and Display (if you haven’t covered these points already):

  • Every relationship is different, and every ending will likely be unique to that relationship.
  • Relationships that have patterns of unhealthy behaviors in them can improve, but only with a commitment from both people to put in the effort that it takes to get there.
  • Factors you may want to consider when ending a relationship include:
    •  Identify your support system
    •  Let your friends, parents, or a trusted adult know
    •  It’s normal to miss your partner after a breakup
    •  If you don’t feel safe, don’t break up in person
    •  Be mindful of lingering digital connections

Activity #3: Breaking it Up, Breaking it Down – 10-15 mins

Ask: “Who are some other couples in pop culture who are in unhealthy relationships?

In pairs/small groups:

  1. Select a pop culture couple you just brainstormed
  2. Review the tips for how to break up safely in the Breakup Planning Guide
  3. Imagine you are friends with one of the characters—create a plan to help them safely break up with their partner
  4. Consider the steps (before, during, and after), who else may need to be involved (3Ps) and any specific safety concerns that should be addressed
  5. Share! 

Facilitation Tip: Make sure students have a copy of the Breakup Planning Guide to help them with the activity

Ask: How do endings look in different types of relationships? What are some factors you should consider when ending an unhealthy relationship?

Teaching Points: Every relationship is different, and every ending will likely be unique to that relationship. A healthy ending is one where both people can understand and respect each other’s decision, whether or not they agree. An ending could be something as subtle as two people who slowly stop reaching out to each other over time, which is sometimes enough as long as both people feel respected. Others might feel they need a conversation to show respect to the other person.

Being honest and open about what you need - and willing to walk away from the relationship if the other person can't meet those needs - is crucial in a healthy relationship and crucial to end a relationship in a healthy way too. It takes vulnerability to do this, and it's definitely easier said than done!

Relationships that have patterns of unhealthy behaviors in them can improve, but only with a commitment from both people to put in the effort that it takes to get there. It takes work and honest conversation from both parties to have a relationship move from unhealthy to healthy.

Not all relationships are meant to last, and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean it won’t feel painful when an ending is happening. We can learn from past relationships, appreciate what felt good about them, and feel sad about the ending while still knowing they aren’t right for us any longer.

Say and Display (if you haven’t covered these points already):

  • Every person will have to consider different safety measures depending on their situation.
  • Spur of the moment breakups can lead to an unhealthy and potentially dangerous on-again, off-again pattern. 
  • Leaving an abusive relationship is very difficult and dangerous, and there are lots of reasons why someone who is in an abusive relationship might stay with their partner.
  • If you’re thinking of leaving a relationship, lean on the 3 Ps for help: Peers, Parents, and Professionals

Wrap-up Activity – 5 mins

Ask: What is one thing that is going to stick with you from today’s conversation?”