#229 – Breaking up is hard to do!
That’s the title of a song made famous by Neil Sedaka back in 1966. It’s also a reality about dating.
Have you ever recognized that your relationship wasn’t a good fit, but couldn’t really bring yourself to end it? Have you ever avoided making the decision to break up by trying to make the relationship so unpleasant that your partner would make the decision and do the dirty work for you?
These are a couple of signs of emotional immaturity and not a good way to end a relationship. As uncomfortable as some things are, you have to be an adult and eventually take action.
Yeah, breaking up is hard to do and there’s no good time to do it. Someone is always going to feel hurt. And the longer you wait, the harder it gets. Today’s perspective is from the one that is initiating the breakup.
Even if you’ve only be dating for a few weeks, breaking up with someone is rough. Generally, we’re programmed to care about other’s feelings. However, this is a time when you have to think of your best interest regardless of what others might feel.
There are a lot of emotions involved on both sides and I wish there was a way I could make this process a lot easier. But, I can’t.
The best and most honorable way to do it is in person. If you can’t be there in person, then pick up the phone and call. After that by text. Although, I think texting your way out of a relationship is a cowardly way, it may be your only option at times.
What do you say?
First and foremost, be honest. If you lie, you’ll eventually be found out.
Explain why the relationship isn’t right for you. You don’t have to be accusatory and try to make them look like a bad person.
You can say something like; “After our conversation this morning, I realized that we are two very different people. Even though we have certain things in common, there are things that are Deal Breakers for me. These things make me feel like I have to watch everything I say.
I don’t want to live like that. I don’t want to have to hide my thoughts or feelings because they may upset you or cause a fight. Life is to short to live like that.”
You can insert whatever your reasons are. In a conversation like this, you bear the responsibility for ending the relationship because you’re sharing your feelings, wants, and needs.
Be crystal clear.
Make sure your partner understands that the relationship is over. Make sure you convey that any future plans you had are now non-existent or are being cancelled. There can be no ambiguity. If there is, you’ll leave the door open for them to attempt to try to change your mind.
Never say something stupid like “It’s not you, it’s me. I just need some space.” Or “I just need some time to think things out.” No BS stories! Everyone can see right through that and you’re not being honest.
Never be accusatory.
Always share how the situation makes you feel. For example, “I’m feeling high anxiety or very frustrated because of…this.” List the problems that you see with the relationship that cause you discomfort or anxiety.
Don’t point fingers and say something like “You make me feel…” You have to own your feelings and not place the blame on anyone else. If you don’t, it will only escalate an already difficult time into a full-blown argument.
Turning a breakup into an argument never really resolves anything. It may certainly end the relationship, but it also creates anger and animosity that doesn’t necessarily need to be there.
Be prepared for blow back.
Expect pushback especially if your mate really feels connected to you. They may try to convince you that you’re wrong and that the two of you can somehow make things work.
If they’re feeling blindsided, they may initially get vengeful and say hateful things. As they take time to process their thoughts, they will more than likely follow up through additional phone calls, texts, or other instant messaging. This is all normal.
It becomes a problem when they send you continuous updates of their thoughts and feelings. Remember, once it’s over, it’s over. Each time you replay to any of their calls or texts, you open the door to additional communication.
Following up on your ex’s texts or phone calls can be very tempting because, after all, you want to set the record straight. This can be difficult to avoid especially if you are used to having them in your life. You’ve developed an attachment (which I’ll cover in a couple of weeks) and initially it feels unnatural to not talk to them.
I’ll say this again. Once it’s over, it needs to be over. Close the door on all further communication! There are two things that additional contact will do; it keeps you from your emotional healing (depending on how long you were in the relationship) and it increases the probability that the two of you will end up back together only to break up again later.
What’s not normal is if they get violently angry, hostile, or physically threatening. This is when you need to be very careful and seek help from others around you or even involve the police.
You broke up for a reason!
When you break up, stay that way! You left for a reason. Odds are, the reasons you left in the first place haven’t changed when you go back a second, third, or fourth time.
Avoid the heartache of repeating the same pattern…and mistakes, over and over again. It’s always easier to break up once than it is to do it multiple times with the same person.
And each time you break up with the same person, you have to start the emotional healing all over again.
It’s hard to walk away from any relationship regardless of how good or bad it was. If it wasn’t the right relationship for you, it will never be right. No amount of effort you put in will make that any different.
Choose to be an adult. Have the adult conversation and move on.
Next week I’ll share some thoughts about a breakup from the perspective of the one being broken up with.
If you have problems with choosing a good relationship check out my blog post #220 – The 8 Key Elements of an Extraordinary Relationship and request your copy of The 5 Biggest Dating and Relationship Mistakes and How to Avoid Them.