A respectful and honest breakup provides closure

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Alyza LeBlanc

Identifying the life cycle of a relationship is different for each of us, however, it is painful to experience a relationship that has stalled out without any definition. Clarity that the relationship has reached its conclusion and cannot be repaired by either party is imperative.

I’ve seen many attempt termination by ignoring or avoiding, rather than articulating that one partner cannot fulfill the needs of the other in order to maintain a successful relationship. If you have genuinely cared for the individual, I believe it is both compassionate and appropriate to endure the awkwardness of ending the relationship in person and with explanation.

First, take some time to articulate the determining factors leading to the separation. If at all possible, avoid communicating them in such a way that is accusatory. Relationships rarely end due solely on one individual, so be humble and gracious in identifying characteristics relating to both parties that don’t function cohesively. Most importantly, be honest so the other party is not left with questions. Unanswered questions frequently lead to a lack of closure and make it difficult for healing to take place.

After the “talk” is concluded, determine if it is healthier to immediately plan out the separation process or if one or both parties need a bit of time and space to absorb the breakup first. Be respectful of the other’s needs, but don’t let this activity linger as it could be misinterpreted as being unclear in your decision. Even if not married and the formal divorce process is not required, avoid potential future conflict and develop a written agreement regarding how you will handle separating common properties, purchased items, and pets, as well as friendships and family.

Regardless of whether you are the initiator or the recipient of the breakup, strive for a civilized goodbye. At some point, you viewed this person as someone who brought value to your life or you would not have entered the relationship to begin with. Take some time to evaluate what was good and successful that you would like to take with you going forward. Identify the negatives as well, what components of that partnership do you not want to repeat. These steps will allow you to package that experience in a manner that allows you to forgive yourself and the other individual. Ideally, it will also help you narrow your focus for success in your next relationship.

Opinions vary widely regarding how long you should take before dating again. The process looks different for everyone, but I would say allow yourself the time to heal and be completely okay with being alone before entering a new relationship. Finding joy in special interests, hobbies and creative outlets will make you whole again creating a more organic path for finding love again.

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