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Have you ever gone through a breakup? Do you wish you had handled things differently? Whether you were the person leaving the relationship, or the one being left, rarely does anyone feel they were being their best self when the split happened. It can get messy, feelings can get hurt, and most people put the breakup crisis
on the memory shelf along with “some of the worst experiences that have ever happened to me.”
It is possible that at this time in history, with more information and deeper awareness than ever before, people have begun to realize their potential for having better relationships. Along with this insight comes the opportunity of being able to LEAVE someone… with more wisdom, care and dignity than in the past. What is the best way to handle saying goodbye? Start with:
People often make up false reasons for the breakup because they don’t think they can be honest without being cruel. Yes you can. If you are seeing someone, as soon as you know that your partner is not a match, stop the dating process. Hopefully, they will also recognize and acknowledge that it is unwise to keep seeing each other when it isn’t working. The point is: if it’s not working for one of you—it’s not working for EITHER of you. A person with healthy self-esteem would not want to stay in a relationship where the feelings are not mutual.
There are no set rules about whether to break up on the phone or in person when you are dating. If you have been on more than four or five dates, talking in person shows a measure of respect for the individual and for the time you spent together. (If you’re worried about your safety, however, never break up in person.) But do be clear about what you want to say. It is inappropriate and unnecessary to go on at length about why you’re saying goodbye. Get straight to the message. Set the stage by starting with what you both know to be true, as in, “As you know… X, Y, and Z has not been working for me…” Don’t blame or complain. Continue with, “Therefore, I’ve made the decision…” Don’t leave room for discussion or backtracking. Remember: this is your life. You get to do what’s right for you.
WHAT TO SAY
When you tell the person you want to stop seeing him or her, in their heart of hearts…they already know the truth. Do not go into details about what they did. If you accuse the other person of anything, they will defend and explain themselves. Here are some explanations that no one can argue about:
* The chemistry you hoped for in a relationship just isn’t there.
* You’ve found areas where you are not compatible.
* You don’t feel a romantic connection.
* You don’t feel that you are on the same page in life and you want to move on.
Never say anything judgmental, hurtful, or condemning. Keep your words to how the feelings or the commitment isn’t there for you and it’s no one’s fault.
THE MYTH OF REJECTION
Sooner or later, the world has got to catch up to this consciousness: you can’t be rejected. Relationships are meant to be MUTUAL. When they’re not, you don’t want to be there. So when you break up with someone, you are NOT throwing that person away. What you ARE doing is saying: “This isn’t working. We aren’t going to be in a relationship with each other anymore. We need to be free to make other decisions for ourselves.” The reality is, both of you will probably be dating several…or many…more people before you find the “who” and the “what” you want in life.
THE FRIEND FACTOR
No…you do not want to be friends. At least not yet. First, you have to get over the breakup. But one of the two of you may make this declaration that you’ll always be friends. The person breaking up may say it out of guilt; the person being left may say it to stay connected. Many times, the one who doesn’t want to break up will hang around, waiting for the one who left to have a vulnerable moment —and need the relationship again. Make a clean break. No voice mails, emails, or texts. Remember: if you can’t say “no” to what you don’t want, you won’t get the chance to say “yes” to what you do want.
The etiquette of breaking up
requires honesty, clarity, brevity, and kindness. If you’re going to date, you have to be brave enough to say goodbye when it’s over. Release your partner to go and find someone else—so you can find the perfect one for you.