I'm Breaking Up With You
The hottest love has the coldest end.
Try as you might, you just can’t seem to make your relationship work. Though you never wanted to do this, you’ve decided that the only solution is to break things off. You’ve decided to sit them down (You contemplated text messaging them, but realized that that’s cowardly.) and to speak candidly with them. In the hopes of making this difficult situation go more smoothly, I give you the following tips on what to do (and not to do) when you’re breaking up with your significant other.
As tempted as you are to turn it into a song and dance, don’t. In order for things to go as planned (or as close as possible), you need to keep things brief. You need to speak your piece, let them speak theirs and then move on. No, you don’t want to be cold or rush things. However, wasting more of your former partner’s time critiquing your flawed relationship will just make the cuts deeper. If you need to experience that messy part of a breakup, wait until you both have had time to adjust.
You need to go in with your goals mapped out. The point of the conversation is to end things, not to give it another try, correct? You need to move the conversation in such a way that they have no doubts about what you’re doing. Planned correctly, this process may go so well that only a minimal amount of tears are cried. Planned incorrectly, you could end up going to therapy with a person you have no further interest in.
Don’t use any lines on them. Yes, they may be incredible and it was your inability to keep the relationship going that has brought about the end. Yes, you are grateful for the time you have shared together, but the time has come for you to grow in different directions or however that line goes. If your soon to be ex has any sense, they know these things already. Don’t waste your breath or make them feel inferior by spouting off these lines. Give your relationship the respect it deserves. Leave these lines for the movies and for unoriginal nitwits.
Though it’s hard to remember this in the heat of the moment, you should try to say only what you mean. You may be about to break up with one of the most incredible people you’ve ever known. (You still love them deeply, but in a platonic way.) Just because you’re afraid they’ll fight you on ending things doesn’t mean you can call them names or throw verbal garbage. If you want to remain friends with your partner after things have ended, you need to choose your words wisely. Even if you don’t intend on remaining friends, you still need to be polite. Truly incredible people don’t become less so just because we’ve stopped feeling butterflies for them.
On a connected note, don’t play the “blame game.” It doesn’t matter what happened or who did what. The point of the conversation is that things are ending. Even if your partner can’t take the high road and needs to point fingers, don’t lower yourself like that. Leave the relationship the phenomenal person you went in as.
You need to factor in the unexpected. You may sit your partner down to tell them that you’re ending things and they could surprise you by telling you that they’ve been putting off this conversation because they’ve been secretly seeing a cutie at work and they wanted to make sure that things would work out with so and so before ditching you. You didn’t expect them to end things with you before you had a chance to end things with them. As you coached yourself on how to break up with them, you had memorized how you would calm them down when they went into hysterics after you told them it was over. Now that you’re the one in hysterics, what are you to do? Shame on you for not planning for the unexpected.
On the off chance that you were living together, the time to move out is not now. You may feel that your partner needs some space to deal with the news. In that case, pack an overnight bag and book a hotel room (or a friend’s couch). If you feel that your partner may go on a rampage with their scissors, be sure to pack any belongings that are too important for you to lose to your lover’s wrath. Otherwise, leave the moving day for another day. Having a U-Haul parked outside the building that you’re breaking your partner’s heart in is not only suspicious, but also highly uncool.
Let’s say you’re leaving your partner for someone else. Now is not the time for this confession. Though the other person does factor in, they are not to blame. You decided to pursue other ventures long before they came into the picture. The relationship failed because quality communication ceased. If you had spoken up and told your partner things weren’t going well and that your needs weren’t being met, things could’ve changed. However, you decided to act first and talk second. Yes, you will have to let them know that someone else is in your life. Still, try not to mention their name right away. Your partner is already hurting because you’re leaving them. They don’t have to hurt more by putting a face and name on their pain.
Just because you’re breaking up with someone doesn’t mean you have to forget the good times you shared with them. You’re breaking up with this person because things aren’t working anymore. Don’t take the current state of things out on your memories.
Before calling it quits, you need to make sure that you can’t fix things. Is the problem the whole relationship? Or is it simply a pet peeve or one wrong move on their part that has inspired you to give up? Far too often relationships are ended for reasons that carry little weight. Beyond figuring out if things could be worked on, you need to decide if you’d be willing to put in the work. Decisions made during a lazy moment last as long as decisions made after much consideration. Will you be able to handle seeing them with someone else one day? If not, you need to figure out things now before you lose them.
Breaking up with someone you once adored is never easy. You wonder where things went wrong. You consider hanging in there for the sake of the people you once were. It is a difficult decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly. While life is too short and should not be spent with someone who doesn’t “light your fire” it also is too short to spend it pining over the person you just sent away. Save yourself some drama and think before you speak.
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