Because we know our value and choose to trust our gut, we will leave relationships that may be unsafe or do not meet our needs. Whether you’ve only had a conversation or whether you engaged in an intimate relationship it’s your right – and responsibility – to walk away. You are allowed to change your mind at any time and for any reason– or no reason at all. If you are unsure about whether or not you want to continue, that’s a different matter, and not covered in this article. These are the suggestions on how to leave carefully when you are ready to go.
Say It Clearly
Once you have made a resolute decision to stop investing in a person, tell them – simply, directly and plainly. Clearly let them know you do not want a relationship with them. Attempts at softening the blow often lead to miscommunication and make things worse. You do not owe an explanation. It’s a plain and simple fact that you are moving on. Let them know.
Do Not Negotiate
Anything after a clear statement of fact that you are no longer pursuing or interested in contact or a relationship may be seen as negotiation. If you engage and change your mind and continue with this person, if and when you ever do decide to actually leave – it will likely take more time, more effort and be more of a problem – as you’ve shown them you weren’t serious before.
Do Not Respond
Our culture unfortunately encourages us to play “hard to get” and shows that “persistence pays off”. After I have already made myself clear, that’s it. If someone reaches out repeatedly, ignore it. If their messages request closure or one last conversation or they just want to give something back– don’t give in. It will not be what they promised. As long as you give your time and attention it will continue.
You are responsible to both you and your community for reporting crime. Crime includes: stalking, death threats and threats of violence– even if only joking. If an unwanted visitor shows up to your work and you don’t want it – speak up. Like with any job, some police officers may not be helpful, but it is your right and their job to take a report. Insist a report is taken, even if you request the help of another officer or a supervisor.
Getting a PPO or Restraining Order
Go with your gut! Sometimes a PPO is all that is needed for a person to get it through their head that you’re serious. Other times, it can increase the danger of the situation. There is no concrete answer as to if it’s appropriate and/or when it’s appropriate. Go with your gut. Do not listen to well meaning friends or family. Trust your own gut on this one and follow through.
Carrie Conrad is a single mom and self defense specialist in Detroit. To support her daughter and her special needs she took her decades of martial arts training and lifetime of experience with violence to begin an evolving journey with Beating Disaster, a business offering specialized self defense training. From Basic Self Defense to coaching for parents with violent children, she invests her time in high level training in order to provide relatable guidance to women and children. You can find out more at or follow for safety tips and tricks at www.facebook.com/BeatingDisaster