How To Break Up With Someone You Love

Some say it’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.

But did Alfred Lord Tennyson really understand the pain of breaking up with someone that you love, but absolutely cannot live with?

Science begs to differ with the poetic thought. Psychology Today even reported that all studies suggest men and women who were widowed or divorced were not as happy as lifelong singles. The theory is that singles (who may feel alone and unloved) did not actually experience the stress / crisis of losing someone they loved. The stress, while harmful in both cases, were different types of stress. Failed relationships can be downright traumatic…whereas being alone, is a source of lesser stress that one can eventually become accustomed to…or even comfortable with.

Now that makes sense, especially when we consider dysfunctional relationships. It hurts to be in the relationship and it hurts to leave. You hate him and love him. He treats you terribly and you treat him terribly. It’s a vicious cycle that never changes.

And this is a very different situation than simply breaking up with someone that you’re NOT in love with…someone you can friend-zone with relative ease (but still some discomfort). However, breaking up with someone you deeply love can be very heart-wrenching.

Remember these five points so that you can go through with it and remove yourself from harm’s way.

1. Understand why you need to end it: for his survival and yours.

When you realize you’re stuck in a relationship that’s always chaotic and traumatic, you have no choice but to escape it—even if you do love your partner. You escape or you go down with the ship, so to speak.

That can have sinister connotations too, considering that many dysfunctional couples have spiraled into drug addiction, murder, suicide, jail time, and all sorts of terrible dark things. Now maybe your dysfunctional relationship isn’t that bad, thank god. But the truth is if you are miserable most of the time, this relationship should not go on.

You know by now that the two of you bring out the worst in each other. That’s why the kindest and most compassionate thing to do for him and for you is to end it right now.

Determine in your heart why you’re doing this. Because things never change. The dynamic never changes. You both need to move on and progress into happier, healthier relationships.

2. Accept that this is not going to be quick and easy or low conflict. This will be brutal but you need to do it right the first time.

Your instincts might tell you to let him off easy. To be nice. To make him smile after delivering such a harsh blow. That sounds fine…BUT if your idea of being easy is to make promises, offer hope, give him a second chance, or send any other mixed signals, it’s a bad idea.

You can and should be nice. But you have to be careful about making this blow linger on and on, with any false signals of saving the relationship. Because that’s exactly what he wants to do. What you perceive as being kind, he may perceive as being a negotiating tactic.

This is why it’s important to not be afraid of talking this out, not to avoid conflict, but to settle this issue right now and mean it.

3. Remember to think logically and not emotionally.

If you’re focused on emotion, it will be easy to relapse back into his arms, and fall back into a relationship you don’t want. If you’ve already determined that breaking up is necessary for survival, focus on the logic. Remember the reasons why this has to happen, not just to recite to him, but also so YOU can meditate on them. This is moving in the right direction, even though your emotions may say differently.

4. Don’t surprise him…make it clear to him in conversations what the problem has always been before you break up.

A man will always respond negatively if you break up with him without giving him a heads up. That “heads up” should be long conversations explaining to him why you’re not happy, why this isn’t going to last, and why you think this will not last long-term.

Having pre-breakup conversations (many of them, in fact) will make the formal breakup much easier. You have multiple points of reference. You know and he knows that this was a long time coming.

Remember to focus on BOTH of your mistakes and not paint him as the villain. You both have to take responsibility for the disappointment. Focusing on why you’re both unhappy and bad for each other needs to be the main point, rather than the idea that he messed up. He will want to fix his mistakes, but he knows he can’t fix incompatibility.

Be calm, kind and respectful. Allow him his anger, grief and apology. Allow him to express himself but do not postpone the breakup. Do not linger around too long after the discussion. You both need to process what has happened and need lots of time apart.

5. Say goodbye and mean it!

If one day you want to stay friends again decide that later—much later. Now it’s important to separate. If your boyfriend is particularly domineering or aggressive, it may be a good idea to move to another location, one he’s not familiar with. Avoid his emails and texts, because he will use emotion to try and guilt you into reconciliation.

The only way you can get out of this is to walk away and mean it—leaving no trace behind of those old feelings. You may still love him, or even be in love with him, but you also realize that you cannot grow as a person or be happy in your life as long as this vicious cycle continues.

There is no winning or losing and forget about the idea of closure. Remember your only goal right now is to break free from this volatile relationship and put the pieces back together on your own. Breaking up is the courageous and compassionate thing to do. Don’t keep each other enslaved to these dark impulses that make you both unhappy. You can love someone from a distance and you can love someone enough to let them go.

But you must never stop loving yourself. This is your life and you owe it to yourself to keep searching for your TRUE love.

About The Author

Matthew Coast

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