After having a conversation with one of my girlfriends and looking back on the break up of one of my longest relationships, I thought to myself that whilst it ended badly , it possibly could have been handled better in terms of how it was done. This got me thinking is there ever a right way or time to break up with someone?
Of course I’m not talking about things like don’t break up with a person on their birthday, when your out to dinner or at a function- I mean that’s obvious right? But is there really ever a way that a break up can be a better experience for both parties? Or at least a more productive experience than just the usual heartbreak?
Break ups are never easy both parties will be hurting in one-way or another (Yes, the person doing the breaking up does hurt too, unless they’re a total jerk!) Generally the person who is getting broken up with will be in a more emotional state than the person that has decided to break up. I say this because the person who is doing the deed has processed what they are going to say and has accepted the fact that the relationship is over (at least that’s the hope, because you don’t want them playing with your heart strings because they acted to hastly).
Jeremy Nicholson wrote that there are ways that a break up can be done compassionately and whilst it will still cause pain – because lets be honest you’re losing the one you love, there are ways to do it in a more compassionate way. Nicholson suggested the following:
- Being honest and explaining to your partner face to face (not over a text, have a bit more tact then that!) the reasons you want to break up.
- Telling your partner that you did not regret the time you spent together.
- Emphasising on the positives gained from the relationship.
- Trying to prevent leaving on a sour note or your partner having hard feelings (this ones tricky but hopefully over time after any initial shock there may be some understanding).
- Avoiding blaming your partner for the breakup or hurting their feelings.
- Convincing your partner that the breakup was better for both parties (again easier said than done).
Now I have to agree with the very first point. This has to be one of the most important elements in any break up to be beneficial for both parties. Telling your partner why you are breaking up with them is an essential part to the healing process and also brings closure for your partner as to why the relationship has ended. They may not see it immediately but the honesty in your reasons will help them once they have gotten over the heartbreak. Simply telling them “it’s a feeling you have” is not a reason, that’s something you say when you have indigestion! Trust me that line has been used (eye roll).
Relationship coach and mediator Anabel Newton warns however there is a difference between honesty and being brutally blunt. In an interview for Mamamia she said to think of it as karma, “be kind and mature and don’t say anything you would be embarrassed to have repeated back to you. A breakup is not the time to vent, insult, name call or belittle”.
Womens Health Magazine writer Ashley Oerman agrees with the fact that the break up needs to be done face to face, “by doing it in person, it helps you both process why the breakup is happening and have a direct conversation about why you’re leaving.”
Break ups are never easy, especially if you’ve been together for a while. Both parties will still feel the hurt no matter how a break up is done unless of course the feeling is mutual and even then there will be some hurt. However, breaking up the right way will help both people heal and accept the reasons the relationship has dissolved and hopefully in time relieve most of the animosity that has been caused.