Ending a relationship is perhaps the most anxiety-inducing conversation you’ll ever need to prepare for. It’s more difficult than preparing for a job interview or telling your mom you aren’t coming for the holidays because you’ve been invited on a ski vacation with friends. There’s no great way to have this sticky conversation, but here are some tips to help you avoid making a hard situation even worse. When you are ready to leave a relationship, you want to do it in the kindest way possible.
We’re all pretty familiar with the term ghosting, but for those who have not experienced this, to ghost someone is to cut off all communication without any explanation. Ending a relationship this way is very hurtful and cowardly. Essentially you are breaking up without having to face the person you are breaking up with or take any responsibility for the relationship ending. Do not ghost someone you are no longer interested in. No matter how bitter or annoyed you may feel, you owe the person you’ve been seeing a reason for why it isn’t working out. This is true even if you have only been dating a short time. You may think, if I don’t call back, they’ll get the picture. You are right of course, but they’ll also feel confused and in the long run, you will have caused more hurt and anger than if you’d had the courage to have just one awkward conversation. Be brave and acknowledge the break-up.
Any “it’s not you, it’s me” line, may feel like you’re letting someone down easy, but it’s rarely believable to the person receiving that speech. If it’s them, (really them, not just a list of your personal annoyances) they deserve to know. The feedback you provide could motivate the growth that will allow their next relationship to be a success.
While you should be honest, you don’t need to be cruel. You don’t have to name every flaw you see in the other person. Remember, you have faults too. You’re not trying to prove that no one would want to date your former crush- just that you no longer do.
Keep It Simple
There may not be a glaring defect to pin the break up on. Sometimes even the most passionate attractions fizzle out. If you are certain you cannot revive the thrill you once felt, it’s time to break up. It’s ok to simply say you lost the attraction you initially felt and have no interest in continuing to date. Yes, it really can be that simple.
It is incredibly hard to cause pain for another person and not want to fix it or make them feel better. The emotional angst of having the break-up conversation might tempt you to try breaking up in stages, but trying to ease into a break up incrementally will not work. Don’t agree to talk again later to see if your feelings have changed if you already know that you will not feel differently with time. If you waiver in your conviction to end the relationship, you aren’t being kind to yourself or the other person. Postponing the inevitable creates false hope, which leads to more bitterness when the relationship finally does end.
Ending a relationship isn’t easy, but the more transparent you can be the easier it will be for both of you in the long run. If you are in doubt of how to proceed just try to remember how you would want to be treated if you were the one being broken up with.
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