Whether or not the breakup is a mutual decision, separation is a difficult time, but it can be made easier if it's done thoughtfully. The question is; how can we separate smoothly and remain on good grounds?
How can we walk away on good terms?
1. Be as humane as possible
When the decision to break things off isn’t mutual, it is never sweet to experience and is likely to make at one partner feel sad. To avoid crushing their feelings, make sure that you are as gentle as possible, sparing details and criticism. It is better to talk about yourself than to try to make the other person bear the brunt of the failure. Avoid explosive arguments that could shatter your desire to separate peacefully and respectfully.
2. Respect your partner
When feelings come to an end, it's easy to forget that you once loved, but it's important not to deny what you shared together. Stay tuned into each other's arguments. Using non-violent communication can turn conflicts into simple dialogues. Although dropping this bombshell may seem intimidating, you have to confront it and should never give in to the idea of doing it via text or social media for example. Your partner needs to understand what has pushed you to make this choice in a face to face situation.
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3. Explain your reasons
Don't pack your suitcase without a word or ghost them. Tell your partner the truth, even if it is sometimes hard, not understanding causes great pain and will prevent them from moving forward. Indeed, we need to be able to understand where things went wrong in order to be able to rectify things in the future.
4. Be clear
Don't get their hopes up about you changing your mind. By letting doubt hang over you, you will prevent the other person from entering into a grieving process and turning the page on what you once had. Establishing the right distance is important, but be careful not to cut off everything instantly.
You can offer to make time for your soon to be ex, for example, by allowing them to call you to ask questions. If you want to stay friends with them, leave no doors for a future reconciliation open, there can be no room for doubt.
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5. If you are a parent, act in the best interests of the children.
Separation is also a very difficult time for children, make sure you break the news to them in a reassuring way. Do not reveal the intimate reasons for the separation, clarify the situation fairly quickly about the changes to come, communicate... Try your hardest to agree on the upbringing of your kids and make decisions together. Both parent's point of view always need to be heard and taken into account when little ones are involved.
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When is the best time to break up with someone?
After the holidays, after Christmas, after Valentine's Day, after their birthday or big interview... Choosing the right time can be a real hassle because there will never exactly be a 'right time', plus no one really takes pleasure in hurting the feelings of someone they once loved and cared for. Waiting for one can lead to a dysfunctional relationship and could add more tension to the situation. It's up to you to decide the right time, when you feel like it.
Editor's opinion: Get help
Breaking up is never an easy task, you feel guilty, and you want to avoid a destructive break up for both of you. Did you know that a psychologist can help you take the plunge and show you how to achieve a smooth break-up?
Do not hesitate to confide your doubts in our qualified psychologists to finally open a new chapter in your life.
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