Ending Relationships Honestly With Love
Most of the stories I heard about relationships ending were like poorly written novels. Who would want to begin relationships if they ended that badly? When I would hear (mostly women) tell me about the "crappy way he left me," I would ask them: "Did you tell him how you wanted him to leave you? Did you ever discuss what a good ending would look like to both of you?" Many relationships should not last. It's good that they end. The problem comes when two people have very different ideas about what honor, respect and dignity and closure look like. 
 
It seemed to me that there was only one way to determine if a relationship had a reasonable chance of ending well. I also did the math (in case you have not) and discovered that 90% of all relationships will end for reasons other than death. In other words, that relationship with X person has a 90% chance of ending before one of you die. And without adequate preparation it has a very low chance of that ending the way both people want. 
 
There is only one way to sort this out: On a first or second date, if I like someone, I ask them: "Let's say we have a great relationship and a few years from now your or I decide to end it. How would you like it to end? I don't mean that I want it to end or that I'm suggesting you feel that way now. I'm saying that 90% of the time relationships do end. And when they do there's usually at least one unhappy person. And if you were to script an ending that insured that you would not be that unhappy person, what would that look like in detail?"
 
I find that this has two useful purposes. Because this is when women divide into two groups. Older, more experienced women say: "Thank you so much for directly and kindly dealing with such a difficult topic. That's a great question." Younger or more unrealistic women freeze up and cannot face the prospect of an ending or talk about it. This is useful to know. I do not want to begin any relationship unless it has a reasonable chance of ending well. I simply don't enjoy hurting or being hurt by people who will not look difficult probabilities in the face head on and partner to be kind. 
 
I tend to connect best with the first group, so it's good to know who they are by having this conversation. The second purpose is that I like to form an ending agreement: "In the event that you decide to end this relationship for good reasons (not that you found me sleeping with your best friend, but perhaps because you don't like my rapid pace of growth or you want to travel) you will do so as follows...." In the event I decide to end this relationship with you for good reasons (not because you stole my money etc.) I agree to end this relationship as follows..." 
 
I have had some of the most honest, loving and healthy endings with people in my life who follow this protocol, embrace it and honor it. It works!