This may be the only time I call myself an expert, but yeah… I am THE break-up expert from both ends of the spectrum. And from my experience, I have learned a single overarching truth.
Always, always, always, always! Even if you were dogged and dragged through the mud, they will come back ready to take you for another ride. But, here’s how you can break up the right way and minimize the foolishness:
- Make up your mind before you open your mouth. Emotions need to be dealt with apart from the other person. Seek counsel and comfort from those who love you. Cry, snot, sob, and yell until you get it out. After you’ve dealt with your feelings, make an objective decision. Sharing your feelings with the break-upee before you really know how you feel will open the door for emotional games.
- Your decision is NEVER contingent on what the other person will or won’t do. Ultimatums are a no-go. You don’t need anybody to change for you. If you’ve been in a relationship long enough to see that a person isn’t interested in growing together then you have more than enough data stacked against a possible “happily ever after”. If you try to stay to make the person change, they will resent you and you will still be unsatisfied. Make a choice based on what you can or cannot tolerate, not on what they might or might not do.
- Tell the truth and shame the devil. This is hard for me. While I am honest, I do not like confrontation. Partake in a confidence-boosting activity (prayer, hardcore rap, push-ups, etc.) before sitting down to have the talk. But when you do have the talk, be direct and clear on your decision. The reasons are less important to express unless the other person asks for them. In that case, I give my personal heartfelt opinion of what didn’t work for me while NEVER passing judgment on them. My way is not the right way, so I just highlight that compatibility is lacking.
- Don’t promise to be friends. Not only is this often impossible, it’s just downright dumb. If you’ve slept together, hurt each other, betrayed trust, etc., you can’t be friends. Don’t waste your breath. Let life take its natural course so healing can begin in both of you. You may cross paths again, and at that point in time, you may decide a friendship is appropriate. If you can be friends because you kept your intentions clean, then make the genuine effort to maintain the friendship. Kudos to you for doing things the best way!
- Ignore any texts/calls/emails until you are OVER it. You can’t get over the disappointment if the person’s constantly in your thoughts. After you’ve been hurt, your first duty is to forgive so you can heal. People who continually nag and pick at you are predatory in nature. Block them if you must. They other party is responsible for handling his or her own emotions at this point.
- Not responding is often the best option. Sounds a lot like the last, but here I am over a year after a (minimal) break-up and receiving surprise texts. I’ve even received a few FB inbox messages and one text from an unknown number. While I’ve responded kindly to some and ignored others, there’s really no need to respond. It’s alright to be mean when it comes to saving your soul. Plus, is it really mean when you know their intentions are wrong?