So here’s a question, how many songs in the history of music were written about breaking up? That’s what I was thinking – Too Many To Count. As the cliché goes, relationships are for a reason, season, or a lifetime. Well, two out of three of those relationships require one thing – someone saying goodbye. So how do you do it? The following tips are sure to help you end your relationship if indeed its run its course.
- Be Honest… If you know it’s not working, be honest. You owe it to yourself and the person to be authentic and let them know why the relationship is ending. Though this is your opportunity to convey why you don’t see the relationship progressing or why it’s no longer working for you, it’s not a permission slip to be vindictive, harsh, or violent with your words or actions. Speak the truth but stay away from being blameful, replaying the past, or unnecessarily escalating the conversation to a negative place.
- Privately Please… It may be time to make an exit, but it shouldn’t be a call to have a public performance. Even in the end, the ball is in your court to have dignity and respect your priority. In the best case scenario, choose to end it in a place where you can feel safe and shielded from any potential shame and/or feelings of further rejection.
- Without Being Enemies… Just because you choose to end the relationship, doesn’t mean there’s no possibility for a different type of relationship with different expectations once some time has passed. It’s perfectly reasonable to end with an understanding that you are open to a future that doesn’t require being enemies just because your initial intention fell short.
- Not Through Text or Social Media… Though it may seem appealing to some, it’s not acceptable to end a relationship via text, social media, or any other form of internet or impersonal communication. Resist any urge to display your thoughts about the person or issues of the relationship. No matter your intention, doing so will only make you look angry, immature, and push for more tension than parting amicably.
- Have a Plan… If there are assets, financial obligations, and other serious commitments involved in the relationship you should seek advice on how to protect and be of integrity in ending it. Not being prepared and having a thought out plan and strategy would not be in your best interest. Do your due diligence, seek wise counsel and confidential advice to best see you through the transition and promote you landing on your feet when it’s over.
- Focus on Your Communication vs. Their Response… For many, potential conflict or confrontation can promote a heightened level of anxiety, emotion, and vulnerability. Under these circumstances, it’s imperative that you focus more on communicating your stance versus how the person will respond to it. In truth, you can only be responsible for being appropriate and effective in how you communicate. You can’t be responsible for how the person will receive it. The hope is they honor your right to be alone or in relationship with who you desire even if it’s not them. However, their response is out of your hands, so focus on the part of the interaction that belongs to you.
- Be Respectful of Boundaries… Whether its children, friends, or relatives, it’s most imperative that you be sensitive to the fact that you are probably not the only one affected by the relationships end. You can either make things better or worse depending on how respectful you are to the boundaries of your loved ones. When you degrade and/or disrespect your partner or the relationship, it negatively pulls others into the middle of the breakup. Most naturally, you are to accept the support of those who love you but give them the opportunity to remain neutral vs. judgmental, rejecting, or being forced to choose your side. The less people you involve, the better, and the easier it will be to move forward without malice.
- Accept a Difference in Opinion… Yes, you were both in the same relationship, but you may not have seen or recorded any of the events, memories, and challenges the same way. You may just have very different recollections and opinions of the relationship. It’s up to you to accept that they may not even agree that the relationship needs to end or why its ending. Give up the need to control how they view your relational dynamics and if you’re sure it’s time to end it, hold fast to your decision as your greatest incentive.
- In a Spirit of Forgiveness… When you end a chapter, another one awaits you – the goal is never to be bitter but better. When you end a relationship your willingness to heal and forgive will definitely affect your recovery time. Yes, it’s over. Yes, you thought it would be good. Yes, you even thought it could be great at one time. But now you have a choice that either offers an up side or a downward spiral. If you position the break-up on a platform of hate, rage, and anger, your journey beyond the relationship promises to be a bit rocky. However, if you move in a spirit of forgiveness, you can care for you without being avoidant, condoning or absolving anyone of necessary responsibility. Forgiveness is a gift to yourself. A gift of healing, gratitude, and wholeness despite the fact that things may not have gone as initially desired. First forgive yourself. Then dare to forgive them.
Make sure to read: Relationship Doctor On Call: Healthy Relationships, Luck “or” Choice?
Dr. Nicole LaBeach is a Success Strategist who uses her life, relationship and career coaching skills to help celebrities, athletes, business professionals and everyday people get behind the driver’s seat of their own lives.
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