Every story is as unique as the survivor who lived it. We respect each individual's right to choose their relationship journey, but encourage you to utilize the resources provided and create a plan that puts your safety first.
Don't Ignore the Signs
Two major challenges in teen dating relationships include:
Coming to the realization that your relationship is unhealthy
Knowing how to leave an unhealthy or abusive dating relationship
Everyone deserves to be in healthy, respectful relationships and we encourage any teen who finds themselves in an unhealthy or abusive relationship to get the help they need to leave that relationship, if possible. Sometimes there are extreme circumstances in which leaving an abusive relationship might pose more risk than staying.
Whether you choose to stay in an unhealthy relationship or leave, you should seek the help of a professional to create a plan for your safety. Sometimes this plan involves steps to leaving an abusive relationship, and sometimes it involves a plan to help keep yourself as safe as possible if you choose to stay. Whatever the case, a safety plan is vital to putting your safety first.
Leaving an Unhealthy Relationship
Here are some guidelines that might help if you choose to leave an unhealthy dating relationship.
* Please note, these tips are for leaving an unhealthy or abusive relationship; they are not break-up tips for healthy relationships that just aren't working out
Make a personal goal to get out of the relationship and hold yourself accountable to that goal. It may be "I will give them until___date to get the help they have promised to get," etc.
Enlist the help of friends, family, teachers, school counselors, coaches, etc. to help you see your plan through.
MAKE A CLEAN BREAK
A clean break is often the ideal way to leave an unhealthy relationship.
Don't try to rescue your partner. It is up to them to get the help they need and change their behaviors. This is very important, and a concept that teens really struggle with. For healing to be genuine and lasting, your partner needs to find their own support system and seek the resources they need to change.
Don't try to stay friends. This may sound harsh, but you both need time to heal, separately. Maybe friendship can happen in the future, but holding on to that thread only adds to the pain and delays the healing process for both of you.
Fill your time with positive coping activities. Take up a new hobby, or rediscover activities you loved doing before the relationship.
Volunteer in your community, and spend time with friends and family.
Surround yourself with as many positive people and activities as you can while you heal and rediscover your identity without your partner.
Have resources handy for days that are emotionally difficult.