It’s so easy to fall in love, as the song goes. It’s far from easy to end a relationship.
Whether you have been dating or a few weeks or married for years, breaking up is always hard to do. But it does not have to be the end of the world. It doesn’t even have to be the end of your friendship if you heed a few words of advice.
If you are wondering how to end a relationship in a mature, considerate way, keep these tips in mind.
1. Do It Face-to-Face
Nothing is worse than a text breakup. Except maybe ghosting!
If you have invested time and energy into getting to know someone, you need to man up when it is time to break it off. Don’t try to avoid the responsibility and discomfort of that in-person dialogue.
Doing it over a meal in a restaurant is awkward because then you have to wait for the check. Over coffee or a drink is fine, and allows the other person to depart with dignity.
If it has been a long-term relationship, you may have more to discuss than one talk will cover. However, give your partner time and space to deal with that first blindside.
Even if you both have been aware that things have been going downhill, saying it aloud in person is a tough and necessary step towards facing the truth and moving on.
2. Be Kind
Chances are you have once in your life been in the opposite position: being dumped is awful. No matter how nice the person is, it can be heartbreaking and humiliating.
Remember that when you are the one telling the painful truth.
The other person may cry or lash out. Give them a minute and give them a break. Don’t lash back if they say something mean out of anger.
It’s important to be honest but within reason. If you have fallen in love with someone else, ask yourself: does your partner really need to know this now?
Use words carefully. You can find nicer ways to say, “I don’t find you sexually attractive anymore.”
If you have been married, exercise even greater care in these conversations. The hurt and resentment can linger for years if you do not approach your separation with kindness and consideration.
3. Be Prepared for Pain
It hurts to break up with someone, even when you are the one initiating it. You cared enough to get close to this person over a period of days, months, or years; you don’t like to see them suffer.
It is difficult to place your own needs ahead of someone else’s. If you two are not on the same page regarding your future, values, or approaches to life issues like kids or money, you probably should not be together. However, it is painful to realize that and then do something about it.
If you live together, the process of moving out can be very hard. If you remain in what was once a shared home, you will be reminded of your ex constantly.
If you have children, you will face their questions and sadness. You may have to see your ex for years to come, as they move on and maybe even remarry.
The goal is to move beyond the pain together and for both of you to attain the happiness you could not find as each other’s mates.
4. Take Your Time
If you and your partner shared property and other assets, you will have financial and legal issues to consider in addition to the emotional fallout. Try to keep the feelings separate from the more business-like matters.
Don’t rush into hasty decisions when you are dividing up the belongings accumulated in a marriage and making choices about money, children, and housing. You may make mistakes that can affect all of you for years to come.
If you take your time and act with kindness towards your former partner, you do not have to lose everything in lawyers’ bills and court battles. There are options for affordable divorce which will help you both move on with limited rancor.
5. Seek Help
Ending a relationship, especially one that has been long term, is a huge life transition. Even if you wanted the split, you will go through a big transition when you remove that person from your life and move on, either alone or with another.
Many individuals find they evaluate many of their preconceived opinions about family and love when they split up with a significant other. It may be disturbing and depressing to reassess everything you thought you knew.
This process can be alienating as well, especially if all of our friends are paired up.
Don’t be afraid to seek assistance through support groups or a therapist.
If you find yourself drinking a lot or acting out in self-destructive ways, you should definitely speak to a professional about finding better ways to cope.
You may also want to seek advice about legal and financial matters. Don’t be afraid to confide in a professional about these issues. Breaking up is not a failure.
6. Be Fair
If you are ending a relationship where your finances became entwined, be fair about dividing up assets. If your spouse gave up a lucrative career to raise your kids, help her get back on her feet with support payments that are reasonable.
If your profession pays better than hers, offer to help her out for a few years.
So many divorces become acrimonious over money. Ironically, many couples spend a lot of money fighting over money. They could have saved that money for themselves if they had just been calm and fair about the situation.
7. Put the Kids First
Even if you really don’t like your spouse anymore, they are still your child’s other parent. Kids are scarred by parental fighting.
Stay civil for your kids’ sake. Don’t speak badly about your ex. How you behave will influence your children’s attitude towards relationships as they grow up.
How To End a Relationship: Be Kind and Mature
If you are wondering how to end a relationship without damaging your children, emptying your bank account, and destroying your life, proceed carefully and with consideration. If you follow the golden rule and treat your significant other how you yourself would like to be treated, you can come through this difficult period unscathed and go on to find happiness.
For more tips on living your best life, keep checking back.