It’s just not working. It’s not you, it’s me.
Breaking up can be anxiety provoking and difficult, especially if you were in a long-term relationship with someone you cared about. Many people want the perfect solution to ending a relationship, but there isn’t one. Some people sleep with another person to get out of a relationship, some pick fights with their partner, and some communicate.
Some people stay in relationships, because it’s easier than breaking up. This is more likely if the couple lives together. The thought of splitting up the furniture and deciding who keeps the apartment is too draining. But it’s not good for your mental health to stay in a relationship that doesn’t make you happy. Be honest with yourself about your wants and needs.
Here are some tips for the breaking up process:
Don’t break up over e-mail, MySpace, Facebook, or text messaging. This is the coward’s way out of a relationship. If you care about the person that you’re breaking up with, give them the respect of speaking to them in person. Ask them to meet you for coffee or lunch. If you’re in a long-distance relationship and won’t be seeing the person for awhile, break up over the phone. This is only the second option if you can’t talk in person.
Be honest. Tell your partner the truth but avoid being cruel.
You could say something like, «I’m not happy in this relationship. It’s not your fault, but we both need to move on.» Know what you’re going to say to your partner before you begin the conversation. Remember to be respectful and treat the person like you would want to be treated.
Tell the person that you want them to be happy. Let the person know that you still care about him and want the best for him. But also be honest about the nature of your relationship going forward. Let him know that you can’t be friends or have a relationship at this point.
Here are some tips following a break up:
Take time apart. Many times during the break up conversation people will say, «Let’s continue to be friends.» However, this is not always the best idea. If the break up is mutual and you’ve only gone on a few dates, then you might be able to be friends. But you should always take some time apart.
Some experts suggest taking at least two months before speaking to your ex again. This time period should be longer if you were together for years and lived together. Breaking up is difficult to do and remaining friends usually prolongs the heartache. If one person is still in love, they will hold out hope that you’ll get back together if you stay friends and it will end up being harder for both parties.
Don’t jump into a new relationship. You need time to grieve and move on even if you were the one doing the breaking up. Take time for yourself before you start dating another person. It’s not healthy to start a new relationship right away and usually won’t hold up long-term. This isn’t fair to the other person who you begin dating.
Spend time thinking about what went wrong in the relationship. If you don’t want to repeat the aspects of your past relationship that made you move on, then you need to know what went wrong. Write about your relationship, the good and the bad.
Determine what you want in your next relationship.
If you couldn’t stand that your partner had to travel for his career on most weekends, decide that you won’t date anyone who has to travel for work more than twice a month. Protect yourself in the future and find fulfilling relationships by establishing a list of criteria for your next relationship. You can learn something from every relationship.
Put away mementos from the relationship. Put away the pictures and other remnants from the relationship. Place them in a box, tape up the box, and store it in a closet. You don’t need to reminisce about your relationship on a daily basis when you’re trying to move on.
Many people use alcohol, drugs, or sex to numb the feelings that are brought up after ending a relationship. If you feel that you need these things to move on, seek the help of friends or a therapist. Use healthy ways to release stress and improve yourself such as exercise, meditation, and hobbies.
When you realize that you need to end your relationship, continue to respect yourself and your partner by following the tips listed above. It’s not easy to break up with someone that you cared about, and realizing this is the first step in breaking up gracefully.