How to Break Up Gracefully

How to Break Up Gracefully

Breaking up is hard to do, but careful planning and compassion can make the process easier. To minimize the pain and recover faster, keep the following tips in mind when you want to end a relationship.

Girl in kitchen with back turned to man

Steps to Take Before Your Break Up

  1. Think calmly. It’s natural to experience intense emotions when a relationship starts to deteriorate. Practice relaxation techniques or talk things over with a friend. Try to bring your emotions under control and see the situation objectively.
  2. Assess the potential for conflict resolution. Take a frank look at the issues that are troubling you. Learning to ask for what you need and negotiating win-win solutions can often strengthen a relationship.
  3. Take responsibility for your own actions. Hold yourself accountable for whatever decision you make. If you accept that you contributed to the decline of your relationship, your partner is more likely to adopt a similar approach.
  4. Rehearse what you need to say. You’ll feel more comfortable if you know the major points you want to communicate. With practice, you will also articulate your message more clearly and avoid saying hurtful things that you might later regret.

Steps to Take During Your Break Up

  1. Have a face-to-face discussion. Whenever possible, it’s courteous to end a relationship in person. It shows more respect for the other person’s feelings and gives them a chance to find closure.
  2. Show your appreciation. There’s a reason you got together in the first place. Let your partner know the good qualities that you admire in them. Tell them how being with them has enriched your life.
  3. Listen to the other person’s side. Give the other person a chance to talk about what they’re experiencing. They may have a different view of the same events or want to express their feelings.
  4. Stay on track. Focus on your purpose of ending the relationship. It’s kinder and more effective to be decisive than to offer false hopes of getting back together.

Steps to Take After Your Break Up

  1. Give each other recovery time. It’s wonderful if you can remain friends, however you’ll probably need some time apart to sort things out. On social networking sites consider blocking their access to your news feeds for a few weeks.
  2. Return each other’s possessions. Some people like to clear away mementos and some just want to get their valuables back. Be cooperative in trying to get everything home to its original owner in good shape.
  3. Avoid flaunting your new relationship. It’s good to be tactful if you’re the first one to start dating again. Think twice if you suspect that posting all the details of your latest fling on Facebook might hurt someone’s feelings.
  4. Remember the good times you shared. You’ll heal more fully if you can treasure happy memories. Give yourself time and be gentle with yourself while you’re adjusting.
  5. Speak well of each other. Speaking well of your ex-partner will help protect you from negative thoughts that only disturb your peace of mind. It also makes you look more dignified.
  6. Change your routine. Even unpleasant life changes unlock new opportunities. Sign up for a cooking class or rediscover an old hobby. If you’re alone on Saturday night, reconnect with old friends for dinner and a show.

Even when you’re the one initiating a break up, it can still be a distressing event. Communicating with respect and kindness will help you depart with grace and make it easier for you both to heal and make a fresh start.

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