How to break up with someone?

November 12, 2012

How to break up with someone?

It’s time to move on. Here are some handy suggestions to smooth over the most fraught and turbulent of times.

The fire has gone out, the passion that was there has long gone. It’s now time to call it a day, end the relationship and move on.

But how do you get through this minefield without causing any more pain and anguish than you need to? First of all, remember that you have made the decision, get that decision to your boyfriend or girlfriend as soon as you can. That way there is no chance of them hearing it from other sources. And don’t hang around, it only adds to the stress that you are under and it will never get easier.

As with most things in life, someone else has been there before you. An etiquette on what to do, and more importantly, what not to do when breaking up has already developed. Knowing what to do and doing it properly is difficult, but it has to be done to allow both parties to move forwards with their lives.

There are things that you shouldn’t do during a breakup. First of all don’t end things by text or email. It’s cold and impersonal and will leave your partner feeling even worse. It’s just a decent thing to tell your boyfriend or girlfriend that it’s over face to face. Choose a private place and break the news as gently as possible and always remain calm. You have had time to prepare, your partner hasn’t.

Know why you are ending it. Things do change and so do feelings, be able to say why things must end and that it’s nobody’s fault. It’s reasonable to say that you just want to do other things or that things are getting too serious or just that your feelings have changed. Ensure that you get the message across clearly without misunderstandings but be kind and respectful too.

Annie Fox, MEd, author of The Teen Survival Guide to Dating and Relating says, “You really need to know why you’re doing this. Because if someone is breaking up with you, the first question you always ask is, ‘Why? Did I do something wrong?’”.

Texting or email, as Fox says, “just suck!”. She goes on to point out that, “It’s cold and it’s unnecessarily disrespectful”. This is not the way to avoid tears or emotional scenes. Whenever you are going through a breakup it is always a good idea to treat others in a way that you would like to be treated yourself. No one would like a text message like that.

However a recent survey has found that almost a third (30%) of teenagers aged 13 to 17 years admitted to being either on the receiving end of a text finishing things or had been the person sending it.

Never tell others before you have had a chance to talk to your partner. Think of how you would feel to be told by someone else that your relationship had finished. And don’t just change your status to single on Facebook or any other social network. Teen psychologist Jennifer Hartstein, PsyD highlights that on social networks if something is posted then, “everybody gets to comment, and you’re bringing everybody into your world”.

Be aware of the effect that your actions will produce and try to do the right thing. Your partner might hate you today but you don’t want them hating you for all of their life. You had great times together; it’s just that you were the first to realize that it’s time to move on.

Don’t Blame Yourself

Many people every day fall in and fall out of love. It’s a very ordinary occurrence – but not if it affects you! We’ve all been at the point where things start to change and then the realization hits home, this relationship is not for you. This isn’t a blame game, just accept it but always treat your ex kindly and let the both of you move on with your lives.

The Break Up

Understand that you are not entering a negotiation. You are telling someone how you feel and that things are now changing. Make it clear and ensure that they understand but remain kind and calm. If things do become emotional and there’s lots of tears stand your ground. Leave the meeting with both of you having your say and then leave.

You are going to enter this meeting knowing that you are going to really hurt the other person. There is no way to avoid it, you must live with it. Fox puts the feeling into words, “When you say, ‘I don’t want to be with you anymore,’ you know before you say it — if you have a heart — that you’re going to be hurting someone. You also know that you’d never want to be on the receiving end of what you’re about to dish out”.

Abusive, Aggressive or Violent Relationships

There are different rules to follow if you are trying to break away from a partner who has a history of abuse, aggression or violence. First of all do not talk in a private place, a quiet area in a public place with lots of people around is good. It is all the more important to just get your message across and then remove yourself from the situation.

If there is any likelihood that you might bump into your ex then ensure that you have friends with you. And do not let them email or text you and block them from any social networking sites you are on. Inform parents, teachers or any other responsible adults to ensure that you avoid any hidden dangers.

Everyone loses someone at some time and at that time things can be really difficult. You feel an inner pain and devastation that you are certain that only you can understand. How could anyone else understand the hurt you are feeling? Look to an older confidant to chat to, maybe a parent or older brother or sister, or teacher. And use the support that your friends can provide and things will get better over time.

Things can never be the same, the future will be different but it can also be better, whether you are in another relationship or just enjoying the freedom that being single and happy brings.

Being on the receiving end

When your loved one is finishing with you it can feel like the end of the world. If your relationship was good it should feel like the end of the world. However your partner didn’t feel all of the positives that you felt. So now you know that it is time to move on but not before your heart breaks. Fox says, “It’s OK to feel sad. It’s OK to cry”.

Time is a great healer and sooner or later we return to our old selves and come to life again and build more healthy relationships. And then you realized that you already had lots of strong relationships with family and friends.

Sadly, some people cannot overcome their feeling of melancholy without help. At times like these the aid of a counselor may be needed. Fox recommends parents, teachers or therapists when she says, “If you’re feeling really depressed — you cannot sleep, you’re not eating — talk to somebody you trust”.

Learn from it

Look back at the time and understand the dynamics of the situation and assess if you could have done anything better. What did you learn while in the relationship? Understand the positives from the time you were together. Treat the time as a learning opportunity and don’t dwell on things that were not as good as hoped.

It all adds to your experience of life and hopefully better prepares you to make a better choice in partner next time.

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