#201 - Breaking up is hard to do. Part 2

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Breaking up is hard to do especially when you didn’t see it coming. Last week I talked about how to break up with someone. This week let’s talk about breaking up from the perspective of someone breaking up with you.

I believe that most of the time that couples break up, there are plenty of tell-tale signs. There are probably arguments, hurt feelings, tears, missed dates, etc.

These are the relationships that you almost need to expect to come to an end. If you’re having significant problems in communication, decision making, personal respect, personal boundaries, etc. be prepared. These are relationships that can be very damaging to your self-esteem so when the end comes, don’t try to hang on!

If they beat you to the punch, so to speak, just accept that this is a good thing. You don’t deserve to be in a relationship that is filled with constant arguments, insults, and disrespect.

You deserve far better than that.

But Rick, everything seemed fine.
Sometimes, everything does seem to be fine. These are the kind of breakups that seem to hurt the most. You didn’t see it coming and everything seemed right with the world. Granted, you probably had some issue and some disagreements, but what relationship doesn’t?

Being blind-sided is never fun…or easy. When this conversation comes up, you’re left saying…but…but… And that’s it. It’s over.

More than likely your first inclination is to get angry. “How could you do this to me? We were great together!” Your next inclination is to seek some sort of closure and try to talk things out. You may try to call or text to try to talk to your now ex.

You want to explain your thoughts and feelings. You may even want to vent on how they’ve now hurt you. Don’t do it! Don’t try to hang on.

As good as you felt about the relationship, your partner didn’t feel the same way! They may have left for any number of reasons including dealing with their own relationship fears. If this is the case, it’s not your role to try to fix them. Your role in the relationship is as a partner, not their counselor or therapist. (Even if that’s what you do for a living, leave the fixing to someone else.)

Resist your temptation to try to reignite the relationship. Resist your temptation to reach out either by phone or text, to try to gain closure. It’s a bad idea!

I tried to get closure on a relationship couple of months after it ended. Bad idea! We ended up together again for a few months and in the end the relationship failed again…for the same reasons if failed the first time.

It’s not you…it’s them!
When someone breaks up with you, recognize that it’s not you, it’s them. ( Side Note: I’m assuming you’re not physically violent, mentally unstable, or emotionally immature.) You have to understand that we all have different wants, needs, and desires in a relationship.

Just because you may not meet their criteria for a great relationship doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. It just means that you’re not the right one for them…and that’s okay. That means you’re free to find the one that has what you’re looking for and you have what they are looking for.

Make sure you learn from each date, each relationship, and each breakup. What did you do right? What could you do better at next time? What signals or signs did you miss that could have alerted you to the fact that this was becoming a one-sided relationship?

Regardless of how they end the relationship, accept their decision as their choice. Yes…it sucks. It never feels good to be dropped, dumped, broken up with, left behind…or whatever you want to call it.

Don’t become a backup
It’s easy to want to stay connected to your ex. Resist this urge. You run a very high risk of becoming a last-minute backup date or a midnight booty call. Just stay away.

You need to recognize that you dodged a bullet. You didn’t end up in a mediocre relationship settling for less than extraordinary. Even if you thought they were your soul mate, if they weren’t feeling the same connection, it was only a one-sided relationship.

No matter how much effort you put into the relationship, it would never be enough to make it work long-term.