Breaking up with a significant other is traumatic, especially if you had been in a long-term relationship. Sometimes issues that arise between two people cannot be resolved and ending the relationship is the right option. How can you do this in a mature way and how can you move on from someone you loved?
If you’ve decided to call it a day you should spend some time deciding how to tell your partner. It’s not an easy conversation and you should focus on being honest but kind. It’s best to choose a neutral location perhaps away from the public eye in case emotion takes over.
You must be honest and explain why you feel the relationship isn’t working. If you fall into cliches you will look like you’re hiding something and things will get worse. Prepare yourself for the fallout. Emotional connection is difficult to break and you will both likely be upset. There may be years of memories and experiences you have shared and if you have children it’s likely to be more heartbreaking.
Be kind. If they get angry, be determined to stay calm and show empathy. They’ll be shocked and hurt and you can’t control that, but you can control your reactions. If they lose control, walk away to give them a chance to cool down without your presence. If necessary resume the conversation later when they have processed it. Many people need closure after a break up so be willing to talk as long as is needed.
Once the initial shock has worn off you may need to discuss practical matters such as the house, children, belongings, money, etc. Be open to compromise and don’t be dogmatic. Feelings will be raw and getting into heated debates will only make things worse causing a breakdown in communication.
The early days
It’s important to remember after a break-up that it’s a loss and a grieving process is a result. You’re letting go of a deep attachment and you will miss them and experience feelings of loneliness. Allow yourself to cry and talk to a trusted friend if you can. Don’t let guilt overwhelm you, even if you instigated the breakup.
It may be tempting to keep tabs on your ex by looking at them on social media and seeing what they are doing. This can be counterproductive and will likely cause more hurt. You should disconnect completely especially during this time of healing and surround yourself with friends and supportive family. The more distance you create from your ex the easier it will be to move on and be happy once again.
Try to avoid drowning or numbing your hurt with alcohol or drugs. Although it may feel good at the moment it isn’t a long-term game plan and will make you feel worse. Engaging in casual or rebound sex although not wrong, may not be a good activity early on when you’re in an emotionally vulnerable state. It’s likely to make you feel bad about yourself and cause you to cling hold of affection because you are still hurting.
Use the opportunity of being without a partner to spend some time doing things you enjoy. Relationships take work and effort and it’s easy to allow personal hobbies and activities to fall by the wayside. Enjoy the freedom of having time to yourself and invest in self-care. Engaging in hobbies and activities you love will help distract you from overwhelming feelings of sadness and loneliness and help keep the mind active.
If you do have moments of feeling downhearted, talk to a friend or spend time with loved ones. They have your best interests at heart so trust them and don’t isolate yourself. You can also check out this site for information on how to build long-lasting connections and create a relationship in the future that will be positive. Looking after your own emotional well-being will help you become a person that will contribute to a healthy and intimate bond when you are ready to move on.
It may be tempting to seek affection and connection elsewhere during the first few months of a breakup. Rebound relationships aren’t healthy as you won’t fully recover from the trauma of the breakup. Seeking intimacy and companionship isn’t wrong but if it’s too soon it will be doomed to fail. Try and avoid getting too close during the first year of a breakup to ensure you are fully recovered.
Having the ability to reflect on things past is key to self-awareness. It also helps you to avoid making similar mistakes in the future. Think about the good times and what made them good. Was it shared understanding and goals? Were you communicating well and making time for intimacy? What was happening between you when things started to go wrong? Were expectations too high? Did you stop talking? Did you take each other for granted? Was there mistrust? Asking questions will help you evaluate what started the downward spiral and enable you to resolve in your mind and heart not to allow the same thing to happen in the future.
Once enough time has passed you could consider getting back into the dating game. You can take things slow and enjoy some dates. You don’t need to rush into anything and it can be fun forming new connections. Try to connect with different people to discover who you get on with and open your mind to diverse opinions and personality traits.
With a newfound understanding of what you do and don’t want in a relationship, you will find it easier to navigate the complex journey of finding a trustworthy and compassionate partner that will enrich your life rather than make it difficult. Relationships require an effort but the effort should be worth it and not be an uphill struggle.
Although breakups are never easy, there is light at the end of the tunnel and be confident that the hurt will pass and you’ll be happy once more!
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