Hurting someone’s feelings is never easy but if you want to end your relationship it’s the compassionate thing to do. In fact, the more final you can be the better.
People hear what they want to hear. If you try to sugar coat the breakup your soon-to-be ex will focus on the good stuff and won’t let you go. When hope lingers boundaries get blurred, and emotions get complicated. That’s why a lot of people just disappear, like a ghost, to avoid any emotionally messy situations. However, ghosting someone frequently does leave you open to being haunted because most people need answers. Abandonment anxiety causes otherwise rational people to behave in some pretty needy ways.
You can avoid future heartache and keep a clear conscious by being proactive now.
Understanding what went wrong and killing all hope for a future together is the way to get over a breakup. So with that in mind, be compassionate but firm and speak your truth. Standing up for yourself raises your self-esteem (which makes you more attractive). Consider breaking up practicing emotional intimacy. Couples commonly have their best conversation as they are ending a relationship because they have nothing to lose, they can finally be honest about their feelings.
It’s Not You It’s Me
The old, “It’s not you, it’s me” is the best approach. No need to make anyone feel bad about them self, just confess how you feel the relationship doesn’t work for you. Pointing out things your partner needs to change implies you want them to, and they’ll probably ask for the chance to try. (Remember, eliminate all hope) Be strong by asserting that it takes two, and that you are done trying. It’s cruel to leave the door open even a crack. There is no harm in acknowledging what a great catch he or she is for someone else, just be crystal clear that person will never be you.
Speak in Person
It’s best to have the conversation in person but on the phone is fine too. DO NOT send a text message or email unless you are too insecure or too selfish to have an actual conversation. If he or she starts yelling hold strong boundaries and end the conversation. Wish him or her luck and express your need for a clean break to move on with your life (cutting all contact). You are not friends and you shouldn’t try to act as you are. That will only prolong your ex’s feelings for you and create a false hope of reuniting someday. You don’t want to stand in the way of their happiness.
Act with Integrity
Acting with integrity will make you feel better in the long run, and help you have better relationships. What goes around does come back around because like attracts like. As you get healthier, healthier people will be more attractive to you and vice versa. As you move on from one relationship the lessons you learn about what does and doesn’t work for you will help you make better choices in dating.
This column was written for Plenty of Fish Blog