Breaking up a romantic relationship with someone you appreciate but no longer love

Narda Maren

Do you feel guilty about ending your relationship? How can you do it if you hurt that person?
Photo by Keira Burton from Pexels

You have lived memorable moments with your current partner, you feel appreciation, affection, and respect, but there is no love anymore. So, what happens when you feel stuck between seeking your happiness or continuing to try to be happy with that person?

Perhaps it is easier to decide to end a relationship when it has been weakened on both sides, but the situation is complicated when only you stopped feeling the love.

No matter the reason, the conflict is how to handle the situation. You fear hurting the other person’s feelings, but at the same time, you are hurting yourself.

Let’s look at four ways you can handle it.

1. Work on yourself first

If you feel guilty about ending the relationship, you must identify where that feeling comes from. Is it because you made your partner depend too much on you? Did you promise everlasting love?

According to the American Psychological Association website, guilt is characterized by a painful appraisal of having done (or thought) something that is wrong and often by a readiness to act designed to undo or mitigate this wrong.

Human beings have ingrained values and principles taught to us since we were children; ending a relationship can cause guilt since it breaks with some of those values.

But those ideas that we have pre-established are not always appropriate; that is why we must analyze if our feelings are consistent with the situation.

If you analyze it, if you feel guilty for not ending the relationship, you are thinking more of yourself than your partner; you are afraid of feeling worse.

2. Accepting the reason for that feeling

You have already identified what causes you to feel guilty, then it is time to accept that feeling, you cannot help feeling that guilt, but you can find a way to change that.

Love forced is not love. No matter how much love and appreciation you feel for your partner, at some point, the sacrifice of staying with that person will be stronger than the positive feelings.

For someone to feel compassion or pity for you is not a pleasant feeling, and sooner and later, your partner will realize this. You will end up feeling not only guilt but regret for not taking action on time.

Remember that time in this world is more ephemeral than we imagine; therefore, do not waste your time and prevent others from wasting their time as well.

It may be painful at first, but that person will rebound and will be able to find someone with genuine love. Do not think that by staying in the relationship, you are doing a “favor,” perhaps ending the relationship is the best thing for that person.

Relationships based on obligation lack dignity.” — Wayne W. Dyer.

3. Face the situation with your partner.

  • You have already worked on your feelings; you realized what makes you feel guilty.
  • You accepted that you should not feel guilt, much less sorry for ending the relationship.

Now face the situation with courage:

  • Be totally sincere.

A love relationship, friendship, or of any kind must have sincerity and good communication. Be open about your feelings, tell him what you think and that you sincerely want him to be happy.

4. Highlight the positives in the relationship and partner

If there was love, there were positive aspects within the relationship.

Highlight those aspects you fell in love with at the beginning of the relationship and make him see the potential he has to love himself, love others, and how necessary it is that this love is fully reciprocated.

You must be sincere and clarify why you want to separate, but also talk openly about the good things that happened together. In this way, it is made clear that the breakup is not necessarily because one of the two is the wrong person.

Could they still be friends?

After ending a romantic relationship, could you still be friends? That varies significantly from one couple to another.

It depends on how mature you both are, how much you both accept that the relationship is over, and how you handle your emotions. In a perfect world, the idea is that, where there was love, a beautiful friendship could remain, but unfortunately, this is not always the case.

If one of the two continues to have feelings for the other, seeing each other as friends would avoid closing cycles.

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