I am not naive. I know that no relationship is the same, and so to answer this question with any kind of direct statements would be nothing but naive. I also know that no relationship is black and white, and each one consists of individual nuances unique to the couple. For the guy and the girl, or any combination of the such, any point you get to past “friendly dating” means there are intense emotional strings that tie the two together. Breaking up is one of the most difficult things to do in life, no matter what kind of emotional disposition the two of you have in the relationship.
A person usually comes to the point of wanting to break up when he/she doesn’t see a real future (up to and including marriage) for the relationship. He may see the girl as “bad for him.” She may see him as “too clingy” or having no real potential to start a family. To be frank, it doesn’t matter who in the relationship feels this way, when those thoughts creep in it can be quite legitimate grounds for a break up.
I don’t presume to be able to write a full-fledged “breakup guide” because, like I said, no two relationships are the same. But I can try to help a little bit. Keep these five things in mind when planning to deliver the bad news.
1. Do not procrastinate.
Do not drag out a relationship because you are looking forward to that Valentine’s Day date or going to see that big concert together (or, you know, prom). Critical relationship events are worth more than that. That kind of thinking will only serve to damage the two of you and it forces you to endure high stress a little bit longer. Sure, breakups cause more immediate pain, but it is far better than long term speculation and stress caused by suspension.
2. Suspension is an incorrect strategy.
Do not give the person you are with any false hope. Don’t say “maybe sometime in the future” or “I just need some time.” Allow the person to simply move on; time to adjust and try to rebuild his/her life. And try to avoid jealous when seeing them talking to other people. Most importantly, don’t say “I love you” during a breakup to try to console him or her. You don’t, or you won’t forever, and that’s okay.
3. Off and on relationships suck.
You can’t “ween a person off of you.” On/off relationships are the ultimate form of keeping people in suspense, and I’m pretty sure should be classified as torture. Am I saying you can never ever get back with that person? No. You never really know what will ultimately happen in your life. But don’t count on it. Sometimes, like Summer and Tom from (500) Days of Summer, it’s just not meant to be. Instead, try to let new relationships develop organically.
4. You may not be able to salvage the friendship.
I’m so sorry. As important as this person was to you, breakups are often the self-destruct button for a friendship, no matter how close you two were before the relationship. This is often an unavoidable consequence of a breakup, and there’s often nothing you can do about it. Breakups come with a price, and this is often it.
5. Avoid Rebound Relationships
Rebound relationships make a lot of people mad. They make your ex mad, you mad, and the person you got with mad. Have you ever heard a happily married person say, “I married a person I was in a rebound relationship with?”
I know it’s tough, but eventually you will move on. Just like with a death or injury, the pain subsides eventually. Time passes, people change, and you eventually find the person you’ll find true happiness with.