“Breaking up is hard to do.”
~ Neil Sedaka
Every now and then we may find ourselves in a relationship that has just run its course.
Whether it’s a result of a relationship that never should have been or two people growing apart, ending a relationship often can be hard. Before making the leap to the “big breakup,” there are a few things to consider.
It is important to know why you are making the decision that you are making. It is also important to know that you are comfortable with the decision you are making.
In order to do this, you may need to separate yourself from the situation. Ask your partner for some alone time in order to reflect and really think about how you feel.
In order to make a clear decision, you may want to list the pros and cons of staying in the relationship as well as the pros and cons of leaving it. While you may wish to confide in friends or family, this is not always wise. Generally you have your friends and who do not wish to see your relationship end and those who cannot wait. Both parties may be able to provide feedback and logical reasons for both of their cases. However, this often can become more confusing. Remember, a relationship is about the two people involved, not everyone else. At the end of it all you have to live with your decision, so make sure it is your decision.
It is also important to be honest with yourself. Only you know what you are looking for or what you desire in your partner. Take some time to ask yourself if your expectations for your relationship are realistic. Evaluate if you are giving everything you are asking for in return. Ask yourself what you really want and what will really make you happy. Examine if you are actually in love with your partner or if you are in love with the idea of being in love. It is easy to mistake love for other emotions. Only you can give yourself honest answers.
After evaluating your feelings, if you make the decision to end the relationship, it doesn’t have to be that difficult. Here are some tips for making the breaking a little less aching.
If you are concerned about the feelings of your partner, go into your conversation with compassion. Breakups do not have to be nasty. We set the tone and determine how the conversation goes. It doesn’t have to be a bashing session of what the other person did wrong or what went wrong in the relationship. Simply state your case for why the relationship is no longer working for you.
Do not engage in blaming your partner. Blaming usually leads to defensiveness and defensiveness leads to arguments. You may want to end the conversation on a positive note by expressing gratitude for all the positive things that took place in your relationship.
Don’t be afraid fully to express your emotions. Expressing your emotions leaves you free from emotional baggage and mess. Most important, make sure your emotions are being expressed in a rational and safe manner. It may be appropriate to cry or to become frustrated, but it is never okay to become aggressive or violent. If you do not feel you can meet with your partner and express your emotions in an appropriate way, it may be appropriate to meet with a counselor to prepare for and aid in this process.
Last, but not least, do not allow guilt to consume you. If you have fully evaluated the decision you’ve made, made it on your own, and for the right reasons, you have nothing to feel guilty about. Feel good about your decision, knowing it was for the best and that you will lead a healthier and happier life as a result – leaving yourself open to new possibilities and new relationships.
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Jun 2013
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
White, D. (2013). Relationships: Breaking Up Without the Pain. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 21, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/06/14/relationships-breaking-up-without-the-pain/