The act of separation is difficult, no matter the circumstances. But if you think breaking up is probably the right decision, you can do it positively and healthily by keeping a few things in mind.
The thought was on your mind for the longest time. This bothers you, making its way into your consciousness at the most bizarre moment. He behaves like an unwanted and unwelcome house guest.
The message is always the same. “Maybe I should just admit that our relationship is a shipwreck? It will never work. I need to stop kidding myself and end this thing so we can move on… but how?”
I hear you. Almost everyone has been there at some point in their dating life.
One of the things that can make us stay in a relationship longer than it is healthy is not knowing how to end a relationship once we know it’s over. It’s a challenge knowing how to break up without hurting the person we loved and still care about.
Paralyzed by this confusion, the person remains silent, and the relationship falters with the constancy of a young boy coming home from a drum party. The relationship has no clear direction. The joy and passion that were present every day have become a thing of the past.
This, my friend, is not only a miserable way to live but a recipe for a bad ending to a romance. If you’ve done your best to make the relationship work and there is still chaos, it’s time to say goodbye. Farewell. Sayonara. You get the point.
Tough love for sure, but in the end, this will work out to be the best for you and your former love interest. But how is it? How do you end things respectfully and convey goodwill and not hurt the other person?
Here is the answer. You can’t. You can have two out of three, but not the whole enchiladas. Respect and goodwill? Well, sure, it can (and usually should) be expressed when you end the relationship.
Lack of pain? will not happen.
The separation hurts. There is loss, sadness, and sometimes self-doubt. You cannot avoid these feelings, but you can reduce them.
Moreover, you can break up in a way that is likely to make you and your partner eventually view the relationship with interest rather than bitter regret. This is a big win in the long run.
Now that I’ve told you the bad news, let’s turn to the good news and examine three principles, or tips, that make a breakup successful.
3 Tips For Breaking Up Without Breaking Down
Tip #1: Timing Matters.
Choose an appropriate time to tell your partner that the relationship is over. This is an important conversation that deserves a little planning.
Many people get cold feet and then delay having that hard talk. What happens next is that pressure builds up until they can no longer hold it. This makes the timing bad.
Instead, find a moment where you are not in a hurry or interrupted. Turn off the phones, TV, and microwave (okay, you can leave the microwave on, but the others have to go).
Relying on this took some time. Count on it taking longer than you expect. Also, don’t let the conversation become one in which you are compromising, belittling or pleading with you. No matter what your boyfriend or girlfriend might say, don’t get caught up in a verbal conflict. Your goal is to be clear about your intentions and answer their questions as kindly and honestly as possible. end of story.
Tip #2: End On A High Note.
You’re closing a class, so do your best to come up with something positive.
The easiest way to do this is to include an expression of appreciation for your soon-to-be romantic partner. Bring one or two of the qualities they brought into the relationship that have impacted your life. (Pro tip: If you honestly can’t find one thing you appreciate, go ahead and move on to the next tip…also tell me what took you so long to break up. Geeze Louis).
By showing appreciation and honesty, you do two things. The first is to give the other person a gift. Of course, they may not realize it the moment their heart feels broken. But over time, they will find that your expression of gratitude has helped them see the breakup with less hurt or resentment.
The other thing this does is allow you to take a high place. You avoid drifting in the quicksand of mutual accusations.
Furthermore, you are also more likely to walk away with a positive perspective on your future. After all, if you are grateful for what this person has brought into your life, anyone who has not succeeded, imagine the joy that awaits you when you find the right person?
Tip #3: Have A Plan For Untangling The Practical
After relaying the news to your now new ex, you need to take care of some practical details. That is, you need to untangle your life from the life of your boyfriend or ex-girlfriend.
Have you subscribed to an apartment? Bank account or credit card? You might have given each other passwords to your social media email accounts (really, what were you thinking?). If you live separately, have you left clothes or other items in each other’s homes?
This all needs to be sorted out and the best time to start planning is before the news comes out that the relationship is over. If you wait to find out after the breakup, it will most likely get messy. Planning makes this much easier, and it will defuse what can become a very tense source of conflict.
Of course, your ex may have different ideas about how to undo this part of your life. Wonderful. Listen and settle where possible. But you have a plan ahead of time.
Bonus Tip :
If you and your romantic partner have a cat, don’t insist on being the one to keep this little predator out. Do you doubt me about this? Let me explain.
Every time you change the litter box, you’ll think of your ex, wondering if the litter box is a metaphor for your love life. Yes?
Moreover, cats do not like change. Your cunning friend will think you are tough to break pride. This miniature African plains lion will think of you as a villain in this play, while your ex-lover becomes the hero.
If she is upset, your cat will start to taunt you with a “half-closed eyes” expression. Before long, you won’t be able to fall asleep knowing that a scary kitten lurking in the corner is giving you a stare.
Nobody needs that… Leave the cat to your ex as a goodwill gesture, and save yourself a few dollars a month on cat litter.
Now this will make you smile.