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Tolu Falode: How to Walk Away



When you are in a relationship and you have come to the mental conclusion it is time to walk away for your personal reasons, how do you begin the process of detachment?

Well, for every single person there is a different degree of response that takes place from within, and hence there is a different stage and step and process that will occupy your steps to freedom from the dead weight of what used to be a relationship.

It is important to highlight, before I begin, that these are just some steps that I believe will benefit you as you move towards that direction once you have reached the conclusion to walk away.

You must conclude that you are comfortable with for yourself
This is a crucial stage. It is important that you admit to yourself that you have acknowledged the fact that the relationship is no longer to your benefit. It is crucial you reach this conclusion for your own reasons, because it will aid you in standing behind your decision. It is also important because it will aid you into understanding, and not regretting, this decision. Once you have run through, thought about, analysed and debated the reasons behind your decision, you have become more comfortable with it, and hence have acknowledged it.

You realize walking away is not a defeat it is a decision
When you have stepped into a relationship that no longer provides you with emotional nourishment but has graduated into a physical burden, you have fulfilled your commitment to try. And try you have.
There is nothing wrong with trying and failing to resuscitate a relationship that does not provide emotional strength anymore. You have put in your best and now it is time to leave the rest. Once you have come to this conclusion you have to realize it is a decision not a defeat.
Given the different dynamics of a relationship and the different levels and stages of commitment involved, this is once more, a broad guideline for aiding your decision. Defeat is walking away without trying; a decision is facing the fact that there is nothing left to fight for. This conclusion can be reached after as stated above, analyzing the different dynamics of the relationship and how it has become draining rather than fulfilling. The choice is ultimate yours and once it is made-it is a decision, not a defeat.

Make the other party aware of your decision
This is where you can do your future ex the courtesy of highlighting the reasons behind your decision to walk away and clarifying your position. This is important to prevent any future backlash or confusion. It is crucial at this stage, to discuss any issues or thoughts that could be on the minds of either yourself or the other party.

This is how you walk away. At this stage it is important to allow space to grow between you and your ex. It will definitely be an emotional struggle to get past the reality that there is now you and you alone. But this is when you remind yourself of the reasons behind your decision. This is when you allow yourself to process the actions that produced your choice to walk away. Allow yourself to reflect on these reasons as opposed to the emptiness of a fading emotional support that was ultimately disabled, you will find the strength to press forward. Cut off all and every communication to give yourself room to heal from the fresh wound of an emotional release. Allowing yourself room to grow apart from their presence, will produce the resilience to move forward. This will allow you to step into your new self… to discover who you have become.

Beginning to heal
Now you should begin to explore who you have become as a person. How? Now, you are different. You are no longer the same person that walked into a relationship because just like any organic process, the experience has changed you as a person, a personality, and has affected your perspective. Use these as weapons for your growth and not for your own destruction. This is achieved when you allow yourself to explore new adventures through spending time with friends, socializing and mixing, and learning how to be alone without being lonely. In other words, finding your new identity.

When these steps have begun and are allowed to mature, you will discover you have indeed walked away-not only physically, but mentally and emotionally because you have allowed yourself to grow from the process. And in growing, you have shed who you once were and have embraced who you have become.

You walk away from your past by walking into your new identity in the present and facing the limitless possibilities of your future.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Mimagephotography

Tolu Falode is a Relationship Counselor with over 6 years experience counseling couples and singles on having an amazing marriage. She shares dating tips on Instagram: @fantheflame and YouTube: Tolu Falode. Email: [email protected]


  1. nnenna

    August 13, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    I sent you an email but you never replied.

  2. Concerned

    August 13, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    Your articles titles are very catchy. They make you want to click and enter and read a possibly enlightening discourse…

    However. I am always underwhelmed and your article doesn’t live up to the potential. They always come off as cliched and pedestrian. You are a talented writer, but you need to inject more personality and insight into your essays. My two cents. I was tempted to jump and pass but I felt I had to give you some harsh yet well-meaning advice. Wish you all the best

    • Tolu Falode

      August 14, 2015 at 12:56 am

      Hey Concerned. I appreciate constructive criticism and am always open to hearing from my readers; as a writer its always good to hear from those that enable you to groom and nurture your craft. I appreciate your concern! Thanks!

    • Sue

      August 14, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      @concerned! Your comment is extremely empty and very poor! Nothing to substantiate your criticism… If you dont appreciate her writings then pass, not every writing is meant to interest all. You should maybe suggest what would satisfy or over whelm you next time.or live up to your expectation! @Tolu, I think your article captures the necessary steps to walking away from a relationship very well and I can relate. Thank you.

    • Folake

      August 17, 2015 at 10:24 am

      I don’t agree with you. I thought exactly the same thing as @concerned when I read the piece. As a writer myself, I know that writers need to get feedback in order to improve their writing. Also, you should never stop someone from presenting their opinion (as long as it’s politely presented), even if you don’t agree with it.

  3. florae

    August 13, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    But what about the one who has been walked away from?
    I am so devastated. I need to love myself and understand it’s not my fault he walked away. How do I do this please? I keep telling myself these things. I am tired of crying.

    • Shalsl

      August 14, 2015 at 12:07 am

      At this point you need to learn how to love yourself more, its easier said than done but it is the best opportunity for self dicovery. Engage yourself in enlightening activities that make you happy amd find people who encourage you. Dont jusmp into another relationship.
      You need to constantly tell yourself that you deserve the best and someone who sees the best in you. Focus on you and the people who love you, channel your energy into something, get a pet if you have to (thats what I did and it was a great learning process and distraction for me). You will only get better from here. Much love.

    • Tolu Falode

      August 14, 2015 at 1:08 am

      Hey! I’m glad you have begun the conversation with yourself that you are beautiful because this means you have started accepting the fact that your worth is not tied to his opinion of you. Keep saying this to yourself and practice your words as much as possible-soon you’ll move past how he hurt you-and you’ll realise he was not worth it in the first place. The important thing is you’ve started. So continue telling yourself this truth. You’ll believe it only if you say it 🙂 Sending lots of love your way!

    • VeryAngryNigerian

      August 14, 2015 at 1:25 am

      Cry baby, cry, just cry it all out. don’t fight the tears it’s your body’s way of cleansing your mind. And if you are a Christian , it’s prayers without saying words. Grieve. It doesn’t matter whose fault it was. He is not yours, if he is, he’ll be back. This could be a growth opportunity for you and him. Maybe he needed to go so he can learn a lesson or two. Maybe you need to learn a lesson too. Forgive, with time you will forget. Try again, yes you can love again, if you meet someone you genuinely have feelings for during this dark moment, give love a chance. There are no rules, filling the void helps but only when the person is right. Be careful not to use ppl just to get over your pain, Karma is a bitch. You will ALWAYS get over heartbreak, no matter how long it takes. If all of this don’t help, just remember we are all going to die, and nothing of the world will matter anymore, it’s important you value the time you have. Tomorrow is never promised.

    • Tunmi

      August 14, 2015 at 2:23 pm

      Yes crying is great therapy!!!

    • ceece

      August 14, 2015 at 9:03 am

      i am a believer of tough love….but know it’s love.
      breakups are very difficult and even more difficult if you are not the one initiating it. a good place to start from is to assess what went wrong….genuinely. it doesn’t mean you were definitely at fault. maybe he just wanted to bounce because he’s overwhelmed by your goodness 🙂 or maybe your personalities just clashed. but maybe there are a few things you can tweak about yourself moving forward, to have a better more fulfilling relationship, for yourself and your partner. in whatever you do that doesn’t “succeed” (for luck of a better word) it is always good to take a lesson or two and see what you can do better the next time around. and if you genuinely realise you were the best you could be then sod it, you are better of without that dog 😀

    • faith

      August 14, 2015 at 11:08 am

      u just had to spoil the whole comment with ‘dog’………smh…………walksaway

    • Obi Ikechukwu

      August 14, 2015 at 10:37 am

      You have to cry,grieve and mourn your loss.Don’t fool yourself into thinking its good riddance to bad rubbish,after all you were in that relationship. The next best thing to do is to embrace Family, friends and aquaintances.Cherish those relationships and find yourself darling. I promise you with time you would have forgotten and become a better person.

  4. lanya

    August 13, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    how to walk away? by walking away….with your legs.

    • The real D

      August 14, 2015 at 5:41 am

      I try not to respond in a shallow way but really when i read the title, that was my exact response and I was like there is now and how to for everything…

  5. Ada

    August 14, 2015 at 5:06 am

    Nice article

  6. cuteeyes

    August 14, 2015 at 6:38 am

    It can be hard u know!

  7. Dj

    August 14, 2015 at 7:40 am

    How come articles like this only talk about how to get over a partner when the relationship broke up because one person hurt the other? I’d love to read an article on how people can get over someone they love so much but had to leave cos of something like say genotype. I’m in this situation right now. We love each other so much but had to pack things up when we discovered our genotypes dont match. How does one get over such person? Ideas anyone?

    • Meh

      August 14, 2015 at 9:10 am

      Your pain will be great, own it, don’t feel like you have to ‘get over it’ quickly because sometimes you just can. Your only solace may be in remembering why you are doing it (walking away), I have watched people bury their little children, watch them suffer in pain and some get away with it so to speak. So you need to decide if you can both live with your decision to continue.

    • Babytohcute

      August 14, 2015 at 11:22 am

      So I’m no winner at this love thing but this what I have to offer; now I don’t know if you’re a religious person but if you are and you both love each other like you wrote, there is nothing God can not do. Take your worries to God, He can change your or his genotype. And if he is not the one for you, ask God to bring that man for you and the woman for the one you love presently.
      Some people say love conquers everything. But let not your love bring pain to another (the child/ren that may come forth from the relationship due the genotype thing).

      So my dear, if you’re a religious person, pray until that mountain moves. And remember you’re stronger than you know. I pray you overcome this.

    • Tunmi

      August 14, 2015 at 2:26 pm

      I just have to thank you for including that “if you are religious thing”. I’m not and so are several others that are on BN. But I speak for myself when I say it helps me better digest your words because you realize that there is diversity in belief or non-belief. So thank you.

  8. Ati

    August 14, 2015 at 7:44 am

    its easier said than done . My boyfriend of 8 months has been acting up strangely . No communication, nothing for over 2 weeks. Have cried and cried and explained. Yet, nothing. Maybe he is tired? I’m at the verge of breaking up . God help us

    • blueberry

      August 14, 2015 at 9:48 am

      Well call him and find out if anything is wrong with him. He might be having some issues. If he does not give a valid reason for his behavior, give him some space. Say one month or more. Let him come to you on his own. If in a month or two he does not contact you, call it quits and move on…and with that I mean just walk.

  9. ify

    August 14, 2015 at 8:53 am

    @DJ its same thing with me but have hope, God will do it for us amen

  10. Tkum

    August 14, 2015 at 10:12 am


  11. mia

    August 14, 2015 at 11:23 am

    @DJ, i was in that situation, twice. I’ll tell you what i did to get over them.
    1. remind yourself that you were wise, infact very smart to walk away from the relationship
    2. create a reasonable space between you, if you remain close, you will continue the relationship and you will invariably hurt each other in the long run, so just move away.
    3. get busy with your life. learn something new, join that group you’ve always wanted and do something that makes you while away time.
    4. i have found that the best way to overcome an addiction/obsession is another addiction/obsession. Develop a relationship with Jesus, He is the best lover ever, He will heal your heart, bring you fresh joy and bring to you another special someone that will complete you.

    I must confess this time is tough, but like every situation, it shall pass.

  12. Brenda

    August 14, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Hi, guys…
    My boyfriend of over two years came over to see me recently (we are in a distant relationship) and told me that he isn’t feeling the relationship anymore because whenever we are apart he doesn’t miss me and have the urge to see me but whenever he comes around (for business meetings) he gets carried away and realizes why he fell in love with me.

    I asked what he wanted and he didn’t say anything, i suggested breaking up (although it hurt me so much) and he said he doesn’t want to hurt me. I still love him so much and i know that if i am still in contact with him i cant move on and meet other people. Please guys what do you suggest? should i keep up with the relationship and hope things get back to the way they used to or should i just forget him and move on? Truth is i love him so much to move on, and don’t think i can do that easily…
    I’m so confused and depressed…

    • Ada_ugo

      August 14, 2015 at 1:15 pm

      ur in a distance relationship with a man that tells you he does not miss you when you are apart… and ur asking what to do?
      you cry, do what you have to do, and you WALK AWAY. he’s not even averse to breaking up with you, but says he doesn’t want to hurt you. do you want to be in a relationship out of pity? it’s gonna hurt right now, but you’re doing yourself a favour by dusting your slippers and walking away.

  13. concerned heart

    August 14, 2015 at 11:47 am

    What if u r in a rship for over three years and your boo keeps going bk to his ex everytime there is a small hitch (there have never stopped being friends all through the 3 years o) but he keeps saying she is family. I want to walk away bc i realize he is still in love with her. Am tired of playing second fiddle but i love him so much. trying to walk away but not easy. I am ranting i know…….

    • Tunmi

      August 14, 2015 at 2:33 pm

      Ooohhh that is painful. It will be painful but you have to put yourself first. You have to be selfish and love yourself FIRST!!! I don’t know how you would do that. I guess, focus in you and what you want

    • Hmmm

      August 14, 2015 at 3:38 pm

      Sweetheart just leave.
      I’m not even going to start by telling you about all the guys out there that would NOT do that to you. You should know for yourself that your boo isn’t well by now; if he keeps going back to his ex, he’s gradually making you ‘the other woman’ in the picture. You deserve better jor. Please wish them well and move on.

    • gurl_wendy

      August 15, 2015 at 12:40 am

      Please leave is that what he’ll do to you when you get married and have a slight argument?, leave for his ex?, sorry your boyfriend isn’t mature enough to be in a commited relationship, if he is he’d stay with you and try and solve the problems between the two of you not runaway at the slightest hitch. The essence of a commited relationship is mature problem solving. Think, is this what he will do when you get married, runaway?? Pick yourself up and leave don’t let anyone make you feel less than you are and devalue you, if he enjoys being with his ex so much why doesn’t he just go be with her instead of torturing you, leave, God will provide someone far better who will value you at your true worth, don’t be afraid to back out, they all say the ex is just a friend, family till she ends up pregnant.

  14. Seun

    August 14, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    Hi,i have known my boyfriend for 4yrs now bt we became official last yr nov, am based in uk, es bases in naija,es alwys on me assin on my p,e claims e loves me,misses me n all, i went to naija recently e was all over me, i even got introduced to his family as his gf, that his friend even jabod that he wld b proposing later this year. Story short, he came to uk recently and has totally changed, the sweet , loving , caring dude i fell in love with jst disappeared. I have called him and asked severally what the problem is but my guy kips saying thers nthng wrng,that he dosnt see a problem btw us…. Am so confused , cos the whole thing feels 1sided now….what dyu think??!

    • lala

      August 17, 2015 at 5:52 pm

      yeah that was the same thing my ex bf did. next thing I receive a phone call from him that long distance isn’t working for him anymore. My advice to you is get him to give you a concrete answer and follow your intuition. if not break it off. I continuously asked my ex if anything was wrong as when he came to visit me he was cold and not as loving (like yours was behaving) and he kept insisting that all was well and in his own words “If I am not feeling a connection between us anymore I’ll let you know” lmao! as if to say, my fears were not concrete unless he was done with the relationship. well it just so happened that a few months after that he decided he wasn’t feeling it anymore after months of me prodding him for how to fix our relationship. My advice to you is find a way to relocate back to naija n if that’s out of the question forget him. men will always want to have someone new walking through the door and many options before ending it with the new one. Til then he will say all is well. unless u wanna proceed with finding ur own options, getting a concrete answer for him or moving back then I suggest walking away.

  15. Ogechukwu

    August 14, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    You definitely need to move on. Another thing that works for me is the use of my instinct. It works like magic. When are you not feeling it, just move on sweet.

  16. Sue

    August 14, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    @concerned! Your comment is extremely empty and very poor! Nothing to substantiate your criticism… If you dont appreciate her writings then pass, not every writing is meant to interest all. You should maybe suggest what would satisfy or over whelm you next time.or live up to your expectation! @Tolu, I think your article captures the necessary steps to walking away from a relationship very well and I can relate. Thank you.

  17. Papacy

    August 15, 2015 at 2:18 am

    To all the ladies complaining that their men are having “mood swings”, I hope you know most men will not tell you ” let’s end this”? He will exhibit those signs y’all are mentioning till you, the lady, initiates the break up. So I suggest you give him his space. If he doesn’t come back just jejely walk away. Unless you need closure…

    • lala

      August 17, 2015 at 5:54 pm

      yep! men are selfish. they will wait until a new girl is in the picture to actually make a move of ending the relationship. til then it’s “lemme play these games and hopefully she will get the point AND LEAVE.’ can u tell i’m bitter? because I AM!

  18. Happy.A.

    October 3, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    I so much enjoy your speech..pls i need a help,i have a boyfriend who i alwaz travel all d way from owerri to portharcort to visit and assist him in domestic work and so..i do d work a wife should do at home..i so much love this guy but i have doubt that he doesnot love cut it short last month i went to see him because am done with school and back to portharcourt,i spent a night at his place olny to find out that their is a particular girl he saved her name with priceless that always call him,when i complained and cried the whole night because loosing him was what i never wanted,he told me that he can never hurt me that heaven be his witness..but this guy dont even like calling me and if i complain he will say alot in his mind.since we had that issue,i left he just chat me on whatsapp and anoda day said he tried reaching me but my number didnt go through..since then i have not heard from him..i only sent a message that God will reward really in bitterness,i tried walking away,that i had to block him on chat but his still on my mind that i want to end up with him,what do i do

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