There is always bliss at the beginning of every relationship and for those who have an ultimate end, it feels like doom lurks at the end. While it may seem like there is light at the end of the tunnel, ending a relationship is not all a hitch-free ride.
According to ChenHelen Chen’s Love Seminar: The Missing Manual that will Make Your Relationship Last Review, over 85% of dating relationships end in breakups; and out of the rest that survives into marriage, almost half of them end up in divorce or separation in the United States.
Perhaps you are seeing a dead-end for your relationship already, and I must admit, it is not easy to call off a relationship with someone whom you have shared a lot of things with. However, it turns out that breaking up with your significant other (BF/GF) is sometimes the best thing to do.
Whereas breaking up with your partner might feel like the best thing to do at certain times, the process can be excruciatingly hard as painful as its outcome might be. Despite strong convictions to call it a break, actually doing so might prove very difficult.
Why Do Breakups Occur?
Breakups occur for several reasons. Here are a few:
- Growing apart: Whereas some couples get even closer as the relationship grows, several other relationship partners begin to discover their gross incompatibilities.
- Not carefully deciding to enter the relationship in the first place: Relationships which end within the first 6-8 months of their life have one thing in common – either or both of the partners were not thorough in the decision to be together from the very beginning.
- Declining interests in the relationship: Two things are possible here; it’s possible your interests have shifted for someone else. Or perhaps, you just discovered that you are not interested in having a serious relationship at this time.
- Unmet needs: Everyone in a relationship have specific needs and if these are not attended to, it might lead to a breakup eventually. Could be emotional, financial or otherwise.
- Unpardonable offences, cheating or visible signs of potential spousal abuse.
- Rarely, negative external influence can be a reason for breakups.
For any reason whatsoever, breaking up with your boyfriend or girlfriend can be one of the hardest things you’d do within the past few months. But why exactly is breaking up with your GF/BF such a hard thing?
Why Breaking Up With Your BF/GF Can Be So Hard
One of the main reasons why breaking up with your partner can be so hard is, that you don’t want to cause them any pain as much as you want to leave them. You are simply deciding to break up with the doting fellow who never did anything wrong, except that you are no longer interested in them.
Even when there are serious issues leading to the breakup, you may still have mixed feelings about it. You might be wondering; “Will things get better?”, “We have gone through a lot together. Should I give it another chance?”. Other times, you are just not sure if you are making the right decision or not.
Even if you feel sure about your decision, or if there are valid reasons to do so, starting the “terminator” conversation can be a very awkward or difficult experience. Your soon-to-be ex-partner might feel very hurt, sad or disappointed, hence, you want to break up in the most respectful and sensitive way possible.
To circumvent that, most people are often faced with one of two easy options: – avoid the breakup altogether or just get it over with. But of course, the easier option is not always the best. In fact, neither of the two options above is good enough.
Avoiding the breakup will only delay it to a later period and you may end up hurting the other person even more. The pain of pain you will get will also increase when the breakup eventually occurs. On the other hand, when you just carelessly get it over with without thinking it through, you may say or do things you will regret later. So what is the best way to have the most respectful and sensitive break-up with your partner?
Steps to Break Up With Your Partner in the Most Respectful Manner
You’ve made your decision to break up with your BF/GF. Now, here are some great ways to approach it.
Step 1: Internalize your reasons for breaking up
Think about the reasons why you want to break up with your soon-to-be-ex. Are they things you can handle without a breakup? Oftentimes, when it gets to the point of breaking up, the reasons would definitely lead to a break up no matter how long you delay it.
Step 2: figure out how you can express yourself mildly
After internalizing your reasons for the breakup and ascertaining that nothing else can be done to make things right, you need to find out how to express yourself in a conversation with your soon-to-be ex-BF/GF in the mildest possible way. Below is a helpful guide;
- Start off by telling them you want to discuss something important with them. – For example: “There is something important I want to discuss with you”.
- Mention things you like about them – “The time I have spent with you so far has been the best 7 months of my life. I love the way you care for me and make me feel special”.
- State your reasons gently – “I have really come to like you a lot but I don’t feel anything anymore in the relationship. I don’t think I can deal with the incessant quarrels”.
- Then state clearly your intention to break up – “So, I want to take a break. We could still be friends but I am not interested in this relationship anymore”.
- Then tender an apology for how they might feel – “I am sorry if this hurts you. I do not intend to make it so but I just had to do it”.
- Finally, give them some hope for the future – “I know you will find someone else who would love you, and we can stay as normal friends”.
Step 3: Listen to them attentively
After you have told them about your decision to break up with them, give them time to speak while you listen to what they have to say. They may make attempt to restore the failing relationship but you should reaffirm your decision to quit. Don’t act surprised if the other person acts upset or unhappy about what you’ve just said. It’s normal.
In a few situations, you will find the other person agreeing to everything you have said and will consent to the breakup without hesitation. It is possible they are also no longer interested in the relationship. It is also possible they just want to act strong about the situation. This is a defensive mechanism and it’s also normal.
Step 4: Give them ample space
Finally, you should give them some space to internalize everything and gradually move on with their lives. During this period, you want to get rid of objects or physical contacts that make the moving on process difficult for your ex-partner.
Even if you are the one who called off the relationship, you would still feel some pain from the breakup. You will sometimes miss your ex or remember some of the good times you had together. Giving enough space and distance will help you heal too.
You should prepare for those awkward moments when you would wish they are back into your life, by thinking more critically about what you truly want and going for it in your next relationship.
Precautions to Observe When Breaking up With Your Partner
In order to achieve a breakup that is safest for you and your soon-to-be ex-partner, you should observe the following precautions during and after the breakup.
- Ensure you are breaking up the most respectful way outlined in the previous sections.
- Give yourself and your soon-to-be ex-BF/GF a closure (a valid reason for the breakup).
- Be sensitive when discussing it with them. Imagine how they would respond to your speech even before you say it.
- Console them if they get uncontrollably emotional.
- Avoid using harsh remarks or direct statements about some of their distant past offences.
- As much as possible, do it in person. Avoid breaking up over text or instant messaging platforms like WhatsApp. If one-on-one contact is not possible, a video chat or a voice call is better.
- If you have not had the breakup, confide in someone you can trust for direction and guidance but never allow your BF/GF to hear the news about the impending breakup first from anyone else but you. Parents and older siblings can be great options because they are not likely to blab about it accidentally.
- Don’t avoid the conversation with your BF/GF as this would make this harder for them to move on after the breakup.
- If they contact you after the breakup, stay open to friendship and friendly conversations with them.
- Avoid too close contacts within the first few months of the breakup, say 10-12 months, to avoid reigniting some old passions that will make it even harder for you and your partner to move on from the broken relationship.
- Remove anything that deeply reminds you of them.
- Finally, avoid spreading false information about your partner or leaking the reasons for the breakup to everybody. It is supposed to be confidential and should remain so. And also, you won’t like it if they try to ruin your public image as well, would you?
Important Facts About Relationship Breakups
Here are some important science-backed facts about relationship breakups you should know.
1. A breakup can lead to identity crises and personality changes
According to research published in the Personality and Social Psychology BulletinThe Impact of Romantic Breakup on the Self-Concept – Sagepub Journal, the worse-hit partner might feel worthless after the breakup, asking such questions like “Who am I without him/her”. The more committed a person is in a relationship, the higher the chances of them changing after a breakup.
2. Relationship breakups teach us great lessons about love and marriage
Studies have shown that people develop faster emotionally after a breakup than if they never had one. Each time you enter a relationship, you learn so much about yourself and what you want in your future partner; and each time you have a breakup, you learn what could be the end of a relationship and how to avoid them with your future partner and marriage.
3. Men break up easily over sexual infidelity.Indiatimes – Science-backed facts about breakups…
4. Women breakup over emotional infidelity.Indiatimes – Ibid
5. Talking about your partner can help you move on faster.Indiatimes – Ibid
6. Men have a tougher time coping with a breakup than women.Indiatimes – Ibid.
|↑1||Helen Chen’s Love Seminar: The Missing Manual that will Make Your Relationship Last Review|
|↑2||The Impact of Romantic Breakup on the Self-Concept – Sagepub Journal|
|↑3||Indiatimes – Science-backed facts about breakups…|
|↑4||Indiatimes – Ibid|
|↑5||Indiatimes – Ibid|
|↑6||Indiatimes – Ibid.|
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