How to end a relationship amicably

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When we think of breakups, we tend to think of blaring rows, tears, hurt and people sitting around in pyjamas eating ice cream from the tub in front of sad films – think Bridget Jones. 

But ending a relationship doesn’t always have to be a torrid emotional ordeal with bitter words and long lasting feelings of resentment for the following months. There are ways to end a relationship amicably. Here are a few pieces of advice that can help you to achieve this!

Only suggest breaking up if you mean it

A mistake that many people make when ending a relationship is ending a relationship when they have no intention of actually calling it a day on things.

People will use break ups as a threat – something they do for a reaction or in order to scare their significant other into doing better or trying harder. But this is illogical. It only means that when it comes to actually breaking up, you’re likely to experience a boy who cried wolf situation and your partner may bother you, thinking you’ll get back together like every other time. Instead, only say you’re breaking up if you actually intend to call things quits.

Don’t stall the process

Another mistake that people make is dragging a relationship out for a long time after they’ve decided it needs to end.

People tend to do this as they avoid uncomfortable, awkward or upsetting situations and may subconsciously or consciously try to make their partner sufficiently unhappy enough to cut things off from their side – removing responsibility from their own shoulders. But this is illogical. There’s no point putting someone through upset and difficulty unnecessarily. It will just be a waste of emotional energy and can result in feelings of resentment. Just be open and honest and end things if you know they need to end.

Accept your partner’s reaction

Of course, if your partner reacts in a violent or unacceptable matter, this should not be accepted. But if they are upset, frustrated or need time to process the decision you’ve made, it’s important to accept this reaction and to give them time to process things themselves.

Talk things through

So many relationships end badly because people aren’t honest and open with their reasons for breaking up. If you give clear and honest reasons, you are likely to make things easier for your partner, answering any questions that could otherwise bother them for months or years after and giving yourself an opportunity to get answers too. This will close off any “what if” scenarios that could lead to an attempt to get back together.

Be civil

If you’re living together or married, things are obviously going to be a bit more complicated when it comes to separating. You’ll have to organise new living arrangements, determine who gets what and – if you have children- how childcare will now be organised. You’ll have to look into issues such as Entitlement in a divorce. Just be civil. Don’t use children, pets, property or belongings as a weapon to hurt your ex partner. Instead, ensure belongings are split fairly and that everyone gets to spend time with the kids and pets.

Don’t give false hope

A disappointing number of people will leave a relationship on a note of false hope in order to keep their options open. You can’t expect to be able to go and explore your options and to leave your partner waiting as a backup option you can return to if things don’t work out as planned. Be respectful. Don’t give false hope of a reconciliation. If you want to end the relationship, you need to accept that you are ending the relationship. Don’t treat people as a second choice.

Don’t badmouth 

Unless they’ve done something completely unacceptable, it’s best to avoid badmouthing your ex to others – especially to any children you may have. Trying to turn other people against this individual isn’t going to make either of your lives easier or any better.

Of course, ending a relationship amicably requires maturity and responsibility on both partners’ parts. Hopefully, some of the above tips can come in useful and make the process as simple as possible for both of you.

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