Does your to-do list look something like this?
- Walk dog
- Water plants
- Break up with significant other
Okay, while ending a relationship is hardly at the top of anybody’s calendar, the fact is that when a relationship has gone sour, someone has to make the move to end it. The truth is that many relationships last long beyond the “expire by” date just because breaking up is hard to do. Sometimes a break up happens in dramatic fashion with clothes being thrown out of a second story window. Other times, the relationship just peters out until someone says “its caput.”
How do you go about ending a relationship so that neither party gets hurt?
You need to get clear on why you want to terminate the romance. The immediate reason that jumps into your mind may not be the real reason. Once you get clear, the next step in ending a relationship is to get honest. That means that in your discussion with your partner that you are true to yourself and to them. Schedule a mutually convenient time for the break-up. In general, it is better to do it in person rather than over the phone, but if distance is an issue in the relationship, you should do it sooner than wait for a time you can get together. Get into a state of compassion when ending the relationship. If you want to stay friends after the break up, you need to conclude the romantic ties with love and compassion. Don’t put your partner on the defensive. Talk about the things you’ve learned and the memories you will cherish that have come from your love. Be present during the break up. Your partner may become very emotional during this time. You need to respond to their needs. Don’t take anything personally when ending a relationship. Your partner may say things they don’t really mean. Let these words roll off of your back. Your partner may need to meet with you more than once to conclude the relationship. Or, they may need space. Give your ex what they need to get through the transition time. But don’t let them make you feel guilty. You’re ready to begin a new phase in your life and it will not include a romantic relationship with your ex. It is best if you retain a positive relationship of some sort with them, but if you are ending the relationship for the right reasons, it is best for both of you. Should you ever consider reconnecting? Does ending a relationship always mean “the end, close the book?” That is something you have to decide. Virtually all relationships can be saved if certain conditions are met. If you have the time and are willing to make the effort, you can get through this period as an even stronger couple. However, if you are determined to walk away, it’s best to end a relationship with a clean break and move on.