How To Break Up With Your Boyfriend/Girlfriend - Things To Consider
One: Do You Really Want To Break Up?
Break ups are never easy regardless of how long a couple have been together or how much is shared by the couple.
Most people who are unhappy in their relationship decide not to end it, or waver for a long time weighing up pros and cons before they make their final decision. Some people would over-simplify a relationship (friends are particularly good at doing this), "well if you're unhappy - leave!" As if it is ever that simple!
Breaking up with your partner requires no small amount of consideration and the very first thing to do is get a pen and paper (sounds very strange, but I promise you this always helps!) Try to clear your head, make a cup of tea or a favourite beverage so you are relaxed and list the following:
- Thinking about your over all happiness, write down the percentage of your time with your partner where you feel happy and the percentage of time you feel unhappy.
- write down everything that upsets you or stresses you about your partner - this could be big relationship issues like 's/he cheated on me' or 'has a gambling addiction' to the more minor things like 'never buys me flowers anymore'.
- once you have made this list you can clearly see how many things are irritating and upsetting you about your partner and you can then begin to work out which of these things are just part of their personality and which things you think really can change.
- write down how long you have been unhappy (just roughly is fine)
Take into consideration any life events that may be stressing your partner out. It isn't fair, but when we are under a lot of pressure or feeling down we can often end up hurting the ones who are closest to us. If there has been a recent pattern of behaviours which have left you feeling like you aren't wanted or needed any more, try gently talking to your partner about how you feel.
If he doesn't listen, or you have tried talking multiple times in the past and there's still no long-term change then your partner may well just have gotten too comfortable knowing you will be there regardless of their behaviour. Sometimes a wake-up call is needed big time!
If You Live Together
If you have lived together for some time and have both been paying rent or paying into a mortgage there is a lot to sort out and think about. When things get rough with a partner it is difficult anyway, but when you share almost everything you have it becomes a whole lot more tricky.
Ideally, if you do end up breaking up, your partner will be mature and level-headed, but there is every chance s/he will dig their heels into the ground to make it more difficult for you to leave. This has happened to a very dear friend of mine, who left her boyfriend after an argument making it clear she didn't want to be with him anymore. She came back to find he had pawned a lot of her jewellery (thankfully she managed to get it back!) out of spite.
It's incredibly sad how the worst of people often gets exposed when a break-up is going on, but you have to protect yourself, know your rights in terms of the house or your rented accommodation and consider places where you could stay if things did get very difficult.
Legal advice can be found free at local citizen advice centres and very often lawyers will hold a free one-hour meeting to see if you have a case in certain circumstances. Remember you are never on your own and there is plenty of advice and help out there for you, whatever your situation is.
Avoiding a break up because of assets and because you are unsure of the future is not a reason to stay with someone who makes you unhappy. Yes it is extremely hard in some cases to break up with your partner, but it makes the future a whole lot easier.
How To End On Good Terms
- Be open and honest but also sensitive to your partner's questions
- Listen to his or her questions and respond calmly
- Try not to get into a heated argument
- Ensure they understand the break up isn't happening for another man or woman - only because you feel as a couple you have disconnected.
Do You Have Children Together?
Children are one of the most common reasons couples stay together when they have fallen out of love. Remember that children are unbelievably perceptive of what is going on around them and knowing that something is wrong between their mom and dad is not going to make them happy - in fact it will do the opposite,
No child wants their mom and dad to split up, but it is more the fear of the unknown than anything. If you have children and you are deciding to divorce or separate from their father then be straight and honest with your children, especially older children who will know what is happening.
Explain that even though you and your partner have been arguing lots with one another or don't love each other anymore doesn't mean that the children are anything less than adored by both of you. Never use your children as emotional weapons or say you are going to take them away etc... Unless you have a genuine reason to believe that your children are at risk with their mother or father it would be cruel (to the children, not just your partner), to take them away.
Obviously in most cases the courts heavily favour the mother for custody, but usually once the children are five they can stay overnight and/or spend weekends with their father. Try to sort out what you are both happy with in a mediation meeting and never ever bring the children into arguments when they are around - it will make them feel very upset.
A Quick Poll
Are You Happy With Your Partner?
Telling Friends And Family
Friends and family are often one of the main things that become shared in a relationship - and the longer you are together, the more your friends will become 'mutual friends'. Generally speaking, the families may be sad that you have broken up but will give each of you unlimited support.
Although it can be tempting in some cases, don't try to make your family a jury. Don't ask them to 'pick sides', as it will only cause problems in the long run. Your family should be on your side without having to say they are, because that is what family is for. If you were close with your partner's family you could try talking to your partner and say that you would like to contact them just to say good bye (or even to stay in touch, but you should respect your partner's wishes on this).
Generally what happens with friends is naturally some remain friends with both of you, some are only your friends and some are only your partner's friends. Whatever happens immediately after the break-up probably won't be permanent and please try not to be hurt if some of the nearest and dearest to you still want to see your partner. In the long run, it doesn't really matter as you can gain all the support you need from other friends. Again, don't ask your friends to become a jury. It is an extremely awkward feeling for the, if they are trying to do the decent thing by staying in touch with both of you.
If there is any 'behind the back' talk from your partner to mutual friends, which then is brought back to you by those friends, just say to them would they please respect that this is a difficult time and things are going to get said in hurt and anger. It is not a drama. It is a very real and very painful part of your life and you would like it to be dealt with respectfully and as pain-free as it possibly can be.
Giving Yourself Time And TLC
Even if you feel like you have been wanting to split from your partner for a long time, when it actually happens there is a huge adjustment to make to your every day life.
It will hurt, of course it will. But it will also get a little better and a little easier with every passing day. Focus on hobbies - go out with friends, read a novel and learn how to cook delicious food that you will enjoy. Often after splitting up, people don't take care of themselves and this makes them prone to depression.
Stay positive - remember that you broke up for one or more very good reasons and it is one of those nonsensical emotional facts that after you have actually officially ended the relationship you begin thinking about all the good times and how much you miss them. This is a phase that will pass.
Remember you aren't going to be alone for the rest of your life. Say aloud that you will meet someone who will make you happy and love you as you deserve to be loved. There are so many people out there wanting a partner - it doesn't matter if you are 20, 50 or 100 years old, there is someone it there who is perfect for you. You may not believe this or you may think you are too busy for dating, even though you want to.
You can always make time for one date a week, and there are now wonderful online dating sites where you can meet genuine individuals in your area who are matched to you to see if you are compatible. Make sure you tell yourself that when you are ready (weeks or months or even years from now), you won't be short of individuals who want to meet you, regardless of age, looks or circumstances.