Sunday, September 12, 2004

How to end a romance

Ending a relationship can be difficult. There's no easy way to tell someone you need to move on. And sneaking out in the middle of the night, suitcase in hand, usually only works in the movies. Is there such a thing as a good breakup? Not really, but some experts believe there's a right way to go about it.

Eight rules for breaking upJust as there are ways to ensure your relationship works, there are several ways to make sure your breakup goes smoothly. Here are eight steps you can take to end a relationship smoothly so both of you recover and move on.

1. Take full responsibility. Whatever your reason for breaking up, don't blame your partner. Remember, it's your needs and desires that aren't being met. That's your problem. Also, remember that it's not possible for your partner to feel fulfilled if your needs in the relationship aren't being met

2. Thank the person. Be gracious. Part ways respectfully. Try to clear up unresolved issues, but don't prolong the conversation. If the person is angry, don't argue with him or her. It's better not to communicate.

3. Be very clear. Be considerate of the person's feelings, but don't back down. It's easy to be misunderstood when you're trying to be compassionate. You need to clearly state that you're breaking up. You may want to say something like: "Don't mistake this conversation. I am moving on." And don't promise to stay in touch, remain friends, or offer to see each other "down the road." This leads to false hopes. If you would like to remain friends with the person, give him or her and yourself enough space to grieve. You need to be apart for a while.

4. Keep your friends out of it. Don't tell friends, family or co-workers before you break up. After you break up, say as little as possible about the details. While it may be important to confide in friends and gain support, remember that this is a private issue between you and your partner.
5. Don't put off your breakup until the right time. Break up when you make the decision. Waiting makes it more difficult for both of you. If you're afraid of how your partner will react, break up in a public place. Arrange to have your partner meet you to discuss your relationship. Don't arrive or leave together.
6. Don't break up on a special day. Breaking up with a lover on his birthday, your anniversary, Valentine's Day or any other significant day is cruel. You'll needlessly ruin that day for your ex for long time, maybe forever.
7. Don't break up in stages. If you're in an exclusive relationship, don't try distancing yourself by suggesting that you should see other people, or by not answering the phone. This will cause both of you more pain. Think of it this way: It hurts less when you rip the Band-Aid off rather than pull it off slowly.
8. Be tactful about getting personal items back. Remove personal items from your lover's place before you break up. It's more difficult to retrieve them after a breakup. If your lover has personal items at your place, pack them up and have them ready to hand to him or her, or offer to send them.
By following these eight steps and ending your relationship in a civilized way, you can walk away knowing that you've treated someone you once cared for with the same dignity and respect you would wish for yourself.

When is it time to leave the relationship?

By Coulson Duerksen for
You've given it your all. You've even tried counseling.
But, alas, things still aren't working right. It may, indeed, be time to break up.
as long as kids aren't involved, it's time to break up a relationship

when there's no longer any mutual benefit.
"If you aren't getting what you want or need from being with someone, it's time to move on," While many people may view this as selfish, it can't be good for either person when one person is unfulfilled. It's much healthier to find a relationship that works for you and gives you what you need, than to cling to one that causes dissatisfaction.
"We all know people who are in unhealthy relationships, but either will not or cannot leave them, these people use all of their energies propping up the sagging relationship. Life is too short for this, relationships should enhance your journey. The problem is, many people give up their journeys to take on someone else's.

It's better to decide where you're going, find others who are on their own paths and then see where you might fit together.
Give more thought to what you're looking for before creating your relationships.

That way you're more likely have healthy relationships and end unhealthy ones quickly.
Breaking up is hard to doMany people involved in long-term relationships find that they have given up their dreams, plans and future to "fit" into someone else's. The difficulty in breaking up often stems from people forgetting how to be self-sufficient. This creates a fear of loss and insecurity, which fuels the desire to keep unhealthy relationships together.
We need to understand that we're alone throughout our entire lives — even when we're with someone else. "It's not a bad thing, in fact, it is quite freeing for most people."
Should you break it off?Everyone experiences low points in their relationships. That's normal and most couples work through these times. While the experts say there are no formulas for deciding when to break up, there are signs to watch for. If you experience more than a few consistently over a long period, it's probably time to move on:
Here are some ways to know if you should break it off.
You're no longer getting what you want or need from the relationship. Let's face it.
If you're not happy, chances are your partner isn't either.
You can no longer communicate with your partner. Everyone has different communication styles, says Laurie Moore, Ph.D., author of Creative Intimacy and Choosing a Life Mate Wisely. "However, you don't want to spend all of your time in the relationship trying to communicate with each other. It's just too much work.
You no longer look forward to spending time alone with your partner.

You may still have a good sex life, but you don't talk to your partner.
You prefer to spend time with other people to avoid being alone together.
You criticize or micro-manage your partner.

If you're always concerned with some aspect of your partner's personality or appearance, don't look at them — look at yourself. People who are in love overlook minor annoyances and see the bigger picture.
You compare your partner to others. When you love someone, you don't compare him or her to others. If you find yourself doing this, you should re-evaluate your relationship.
You try to change your partner. Often we fall in love with people who don't suit us. If you find that you're constantly trying to change your partner, it may be time to move on.
You don't laugh anymore. Humor is something that all relationships need. If you no longer find his jokes funny, or you can't have lighthearted conversations, it may be a sign that the relationship has lost its zing.
You're doing all the giving (or all the getting). Relationships are about mutual benefit. If one partner is benefiting over the other, the relationship is unhealthy.
Your friends no longer like being around you when you're with your partner. Your friends may like your partner, but they no longer like the affect your partner has on you. Dr. Northrup says when a relationship's not right, our friends tell us the truth and often are the first to see when a relationship turns sour.
You no longer feel good about yourself. Think about how it felt when you first fell in love with your partner. If this feeling is lacking, you may want to look at your relationship.
No matter how appropriate it is to leave a relationship, the loss of any significant relationship can feel like a death, says Christiane Northrup, M.D., author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom and The Wisdom of Menopause You have to feel the sadness and grieve fully for what might have been, adds Dr. Northrup. You can't skip from, or otherwise hide from the pain if you're to emerge at the next stage free to develop.