Monday, November 17, 2014

Breaking Up: The Right & Wrong Ways to End It

Break up in a healthy way: be honest, in person, and true to your feelings--without unnecessarily hurting the other person.
When ending a relationship, try to do so in the healthiest way possible.
Image: Shutterstock
Most of us, at one point or another in life, have been through a breakup. Sometimes, relationships can end with both parties in mutual agreement, but more often than not, it’s just one person that breaks it off. There are many different strategies that embody healthy and  not-so-healthy ways to break up with a partner. Some leave the relationship on good terms while others will ensure you never will speak to them again.

Here are some of the dos and don’ts of breaking up:

Don’t avoid contact with your partner completely. Be open, up front, and present. Even though breakups are difficult, avoiding your partner will only prolong the inevitable.

Do break up in person, especially if it’s someone you care about.

Don’t blame yourself for the breakup with classic lines like “It’s not you; it’s me.”

Do openly confront your partner by expressing your desire to break up point blank. Try to say something genuine and take ownership of your feelings, like “I’m sorry, this just isn’t working for me.”

Don’t start picking fights and instigating arguments so that they will force the issue.

Do prepare yourself for what you’ll say ahead of time if you’re initiating the break up. If you don’t, you could become derailed and present your points in a less clear way, which will ultimately hurt both of you.

Don’t manipulate the situation by telling mutual friends about your desire to break up.

Do be truthful about why you want to break up…without going into every single detail.

Don’t use indirect methods of communication like text messages, email, or social media to break up with your partner.

In a 2012 psychological study published in the Journal of Research in Personality, Tara Collins and Omri Gillath explained that the confrontational style of breaking up is the most ideal. Participants also rated avoiding the partner as the least ideal method. So unless you are trying to upset your partner, definitely try being open and confront the issue rather than being passive.

What is the healthiest way to break up with a partner, in your experience?