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Breakups: Most Times Hard, Sometimes Necessary

Nothing stays new forever, though. Things change as couples get to know each other better. Some people settle into a comfortable, close relationship. Other couples drift apart. Nothing stays new forever, though. Things change as couples get to know each other better. Some people settle into a comfortable, close relationship. Other couples drift apart.


Breaking up with someone is always awkward, but a new study suggests that you shouldn't beat around the bush when doing it. Researchers looked at the best way to deliver bad news, and found that most people prefer directness, rather than a build-up of small talk. Instead of opening with the break-up, scientists suggest that a simple “we need to talk” is enough to soften the blow, without adding too much of a buffer. Researchers from Brigham Young University in Utah looked at the best ways to deliver bad news, and found that people value directness over an extended and overly polite lead in. Professor Alan Manning, who led the study, said: “An immediate 'I'm breaking up with you' might be too direct. 'But all you need is a 'we need to talk' buffer, just a couple of seconds for the other person to process that bad news is coming.' And when it comes to receiving negative information about physical facts, such as 'that water is toxic', most people want it straight up, without a lead-in.

There are lots of different reasons why people break up. Growing apart is one. You might find that your interests, ideas, values, and feelings aren't as well matched as you thought they were. Changing your mind or your feelings about the other person is another. Perhaps you just don't enjoy being together. Maybe you argue or don't want the same thing. You might have developed feelings for someone else. Or maybe you've discovered you're just not interested in having a serious relationship right now. Most people go through a break-up (or several break-ups) in their lives. If you've ever been through it, you know it can be painful — even if it seems like it's for the best.


There are lots of different reasons why people break up. Growing apart is one. You might find that your interests, ideas, values, and feelings aren't as well matched as you thought they were. Changing your mind or your feelings about the other person is another. Perhaps you just don't enjoy being together. Maybe you argue or don't want the same thing. You might have developed feelings for someone else. Or maybe you've discovered you're just not interested in having a serious relationship right now. Most people go through a break-up (or several break-ups) in their lives. If you've ever been through it, you know it can be painful — even if it seems like it's for the best.


Whether they last a long time or a short time, relationships can have special meaning and value. Each relationship can teach us something about ourselves, another person, and what we want and need in a future partner. It's a chance for us to learn to care about another person and to experience being cared about.


While it is always difficult when a relationship needs to end, research indicates that some ways of breaking up are better than others. In fact, it is possible to learn how to break up with someone compassionately and effectively. Such an approach helps to minimize pain and confusion for both partners, and sometimes even preserves a friendship.


Here are 4 ways to breakup with someone effectively:

1. Be open, honest, and direct

2. Avoid blame

3. Remember and share the positive

4. Find mutual benefit


Breakup DON’Ts:

1. Don’t avoid the other person or the conversation you need to have

2. Don’t rush into a difficult conversation without thinking it through

3. Don’t disrespect


In doing some research for this blog, I came across Dr. Jennifer Freed who compiled a list of 20 ways to leave your lover. I definitely found some of her list enlightening, necessary, and very entertaining:


1. Take full responsibility for your part in the ending.

2. Take time to dissolve the ending by giving your partner notice and discussing reasonable ways to end things.

3. Speak highly of your soon-to-be ex, because what you say about them actually reflects a great deal about you.

4. Spend a good deal of time reflecting on how you got into the intimacy issues and what you could have done differently.

5. Give your soon-to-be ex a lot of space to be upset and remove yourself immediately from any conversations that are hateful or abusive.

6. Pay off all debts and split things up fairly.

7. Seek professional help to mediate finality if you are too frightened and find yourself backing off from your firm decision.

8. Refrain from clingy sex and keep appropriate new boundaries to avoid confusion and undue stalling. Respect your partner’s boundaries and their need for distance.

9. Be kind to all of your mutual friends, as well as the friends of your partner. Avoid taking sides. There are no sides. There is just loss.

10. Use this time to take great care of yourself by getting in shape, not just physically but mentally. This is a very stressful time, no matter how adrenalized you may feel in leaving.

11. Keep your words in the affirmative about the situation and avoid all attempts to make you right and your partner wrong. Again, it is all just loss. There are no winners.

12. Be faithful to your soon-to-be ex and do not involve anyone else romantically in your complicated emotional maelstrom until you are truly separated.

13. Give your soon-to-be ex lots of physical space and let them attend to things without having to see your face.

14. Take up a new class or hobby to help you fill the new free time that is often fraught with compulsive over-thinking.

15. Take a short road trip alone or with friends to get some perspective after the big announcement.

16. Refrain from any social media postings about your status. RESPECT the transition.

17. Keep all your soon-to-be ex’s secret vulnerabilities SECRET. Do not ever reveal intimate facts. That would be tasteless and petty.

18. Let go of all letters and memorabilia as soon as possible, but in a discreet, honorable way.

19. Take time to feel all the emotions without involving your ex in a blow-by-blow battle. It is time for you to feel it all. Get a therapist or friend to be there for you.

20. When you make mistakes along the imperfect road of breaking up, admit to them and move on. Making a mistake is not code for failure.


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