Recently a good friend of mine asked my opinion on how he could break up with his current squeeze without looking like a total sleezeball. Or… how to break up amicably. It was a bit of a stumbling block for me. I have done a lot of thinking about this one lately – and here was my heartfelt advice.
Do Amicable Breakups Exist?
First off, I think ending a relationship in a completely amicable way means that BOTH parties would have to agree that they could see the end coming. That things just didn’t get along anymore, that it wasn`t a SURPRISE to anyone. And, of course, that they still had positive feelings and thoughts towards one another. To the best of my knowledge, most relationships do not end as ideally as that – if you are able to achieve this phenomenon, then pat yourself on the back. I think it`s a rarity.
So, my advice to my man friend was to attempt to “gently” create situations where his “soon to be ex” could potentially foresee the breakup as a possibility. I suggested he not spend as much time with her and DEFINITELY stop sleeping with her.
If you are still spending time together and still being intimate, how could anyone see a breakup in the making? In other words, if your heart is not in it anymore, don’t continue on as if it was. This is all a precursor to having THE talk – to laying it all out on the line. I for one, would rather see the hazard signs before the finality hit me in the face.
Being Honest Without Causing Pain
Obviously it`s best to be as honest as you can regarding your desire to move on but the key is to do it with by causing as little hurt as possible. For example, if you find you are interested in someone new, be gentle and avoid that topic. Some people are better off if you say less. Others look for reasoning or closure and want to know WHY. It is okay to be real here and say that you just don’t FEEL what you once did and that your heart just isn’t in it any longer.
Of course, no one wants to hear these things but if they are the truth and you are pressed to explain, hopefully this makes this clearer. I believe that everyone deserves to be with the BEST person for them. If your heart isn’t in a relationship any longer then you are not doing your partner any favours by hanging around for their sake.
In fact, being in a situation where you aren’t truly “present” with that person is not fair to anyone. It may help to explain that you know they deserve more then you are willing to give in a relationship. Enhance the positive but be clear enough to state that things are done in your heart of hearts. Once that conversation starts, be prepared to see it through – delaying the inevitable is painful for all involved.
What To Say And What Not To Say
Although you don’t necessarily need to give all of the nitty gritty details regarding your desire to end a relationship – it’s best to stay as truthful as possible without unnecessarily hurting feelings. Don’t say that you are not interested in being tied down if THAT’S not the problem. If the problem is that your feelings have changed or that you don’t feel this is the right relationship at the right time for you, that is legitimate.
Aim high and leave that conversation knowing you gave your best effort to be kind, fair and clear. Think about how you would want to be respected during a break up and what you would want before you break things off with your partner. Even if you are in the midst of an argument and things are heated, it is ALWAYS best to have a mature, breakup conversation with a clear head which will promote decency all around.
These suggestions can help you to think about how to go about handling a break up. No one can predict your partner’s reaction, but if you keep a cool head and know what you want and need to say, focusing on that will definitely help. I would hope, anyone going ahead with a break up is MORE than sure, because it’s not something you want to have to experience more than once per relationship.
Obviously if there is a marriage, living situation or children involved there are a lot more aspects to consider. Truth be told however, if your heart isn’t in it – then no one benefits. Break ups occur when there are no longer ways to resolve the issues. Moving on can be difficult, intimidating, scary and no one wants to hurt anyone else’s feelings, but it’s important to look at the picture in the long run instead of the here and now.
Be certain, be gentle, and be clear. Give the person time to absorb everything and maybe, just maybe they will come to see in time, it was the right decision for everyone.