February 11, 2019
Ready to Break Up? Here’s How to Do it Well
Written by Rachel Eddins
Are you ready to break up with your partner? Breaking up is hard to do — except when it isn’t.
For too many of us, break-ups mean ugliness. They mean posts and memes about crazy exes. Even if we’re ready to break up, we may not be ready for the break-up blueprint. This means we must first explore that blueprint. From there, we can find productive and healthy ways to break the break-up formula.
Actually, Breaking Up is Normal to Do
It’s sort of taboo to discuss openly, but it’s true nonetheless. Most relationships end in separation. The divorce rate remains steady in the 50 percent range. It’s far higher for second marriages.
Then, of course, you have all those couples who don’t make it “official.” They may date and/or live together longterm. Without the societal pressure of wedding vows, breaking up is simpler (and usually cheaper) for them. Take-home message: Most of us go through a break-up (or three) eventually.
If this were more commonly accepted and discussed, we might collectively have better relationship-ending skills. Of course, this is not about those break-ups caused by infidelity or abuse. We’re talking about situations where a couple evolves away from the compatibility that first united them. Such folks may still have feelings for each other. They may not wish to lose touch.
But, in today’s society, breaking up is not a skill set we learn in advance. Rather, the onus is on us to figure out how to do it well.
5 Things to Do When You’re Ready to Break Up
1. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
This will be your foundation. In fact, with the “stakes” lowered between you, you may even find communication becomes more honest and powerful.
2. Call it a “Transition”
In our culture, “break up” usually has an ugly ring to it. So, at least between yourselves, call this a transition. Re-invent your perceptions as you re-invent your relationship.
3. Set Boundaries
The questions may include:
- Do we continue to use pet names and nicknames?
- What physical contact, if any, is acceptable?
- What about social media? Do we delete or stay publicly connected?
- How do we celebrate birthdays and holidays?
- How often do we contact each other?
The transition will be a never-ending process so embrace it. Keep communicating and keep growing — as friends.
4. Prepare Yourselves for Unsolicited Advice
From social media to snide relatives to know-it-all coworkers, everyone will give you reasons why this “never works.” Some of them mean well but none of them know what you are your ex-partner know about each other. Only you understand your connection.
5. Never Stop Evolving
When you met, you were strangers. You may have evolved into acquaintances and then perhaps into a few dates. From there, you became many things to each other. From sex partners to partners to perhaps living together and maybe even marriage. The point is, you have already navigated many evolutions.
Now, you are transitioning to post-relationship friendship. Since it’s impossible to know what the future holds, stay open to new transitions. But keep treasuring that underlying bond.
The Role and Value of Couples Counseling
Breaking up is common. That doesn’t mean it’s ever easy. Things get more difficult when both partners seek a transition more than a split. That’s why so many of those who are ready to break up commit to couples counseling.
At Eddins Counseling Group, in Houston, TX we have many qualified therapists that specialize in couples counseling. Working with an unbiased mediator allows each partner to share honestly. As spouses move towards becoming ex’s, the goal of therapy is to keep them moving towards becoming friends. Those weekly sessions identify issues, strategize new approaches, and create a sense of romantic closure. If your foundation is friendship, you don’t have to lose that when you’re ready to break up. Call us at 832-559-2622 to learn more or book an appointment online.
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