Breaking up with your partner is never easy, but sometimes you have to do it. Sometimes we stay in unhappy relationships because making a tough decision about ending it will cause a lot of inconvenience. So if you’re putting it off even though you feel it’s the right thing to do, you’re in the same boat as many other people.
WHEN IS IT TIME TO BREAK UP?
It’s tough to know if it really is time to break up with your partner. Here are a few signs to help you decide that it’s time to break up and move on:
- You are in an abusive or controlling relationship
- You cheated on your partner or your partner cheated on you
- You have lost interest in spending time with your partner
- Your relationship has changed a lot since you first started being together. You are finding the change unpleasant or are unable to cope with it.
- You fight a lot with your partner. These fights keep happening even though you’ve tried talking out the underlying problems properly.
- You find it tough just to be yourself in the relationship.
- You find it difficult to talk to your partner.
- You have begun keeping secrets from your partner or have discovered that your partner is keeping secrets from you.
- You and your partner find yourselves having to say “sorry” too often.
- It has been a long time since you said ‘I love you’ to each other.
- You haven’t had sex in a long time.
- You lack the energy, drive or motivation to make up to your partner.
These are just a few indicators. The strongest of them all is that you feel there’s something wrong with your relationship.
Relationships always have their ups and downs. It can be worth working hard with your partner to try to improve the situation. Sometimes the problems aren’t really about you and your partner, but about the outside circumstances of your life that are straining your relationship – things like money worries, trouble at work, a lost job or arguments with family. Yes, you can come out of the other side of a bad patch feeling closer than ever.
But that doesn’t mean you and/or your partner should spend years of your life feeling unhappy all the time. So sometimes a break-up is the best option.
HOW TO BREAK UP?
- Do your homework. Know the reasons why you’re breaking up, because if you’re partner isn’t expecting this piece of bad news from you, you’ll end up doing a lot of explaining. So it’s good to go well-prepared. It also gives you an opportunity to reflect on your thoughts and see if a break up is what you really, really want.
- Do it in person. Do not break up over email or SMS or telephone or Skype unless the situation demands it. Meeting someone for the last time before the relationship ends can offer a good way of closure, which is psychologically important to move on.
- Do it in a place that’s comfortable for your partner. A crowded restaurant with a lot of strangers around might be intimidating. Pick a place that makes them feel safe enough to express their emotions.
- Be honest. Don’t lie to your partner when you’re about to end the relationship. Tell them exactly what you felt was wrong in the relationship. This might be harsh on them but equally important for them to learn. At least they’d know where it all went wrong.
- Don’t be cruel. Break-ups are terrible any way. So don’t go out of your way to make it more hurtful. Remember that you were once in love with this person. Being honest doesn’t mean you have to be vindictive and cruel. Try to deliver your truthful words in a nice package.
- Don’t be ambiguous. Don’t leave your partner in doubt. If you don’t mean it, don’t tell them something like, “It’s not working out now, but it might work out another time.” That would wrongly make them hopeful.
- Be prepared for the worst reaction. Being dumped is perhaps one of the worst things that can happen to anyone. So don’t be surprised if your partner starts shouting or cries or argues or just storms out on you. Be calm.
- Don’t waver. Once you’ve made up your mind about breaking up, don’t change it. Your partner might convince you to give it “one last chance” but unless there’s any real reason why you should buy that argument, don’t fall for it. Stick to your guns.