Breaking Up Without Breaking Down

Breaking up is the worst. Adjusting to life after you’ve ended a relationship you’ve emotionally, sexually, and financially invested in, is effing terrible, even if you’re the one who broke things off. Trust me, I break up a lot, and it never gets any easier. And while I can’t promise that I always follow my own advice to a tee every time a relationship goes belly-up, I can tell you that this simple roadmap will make adjusting to newly single life a lot less difficult.

Set Boundaries for Contact

Breakups can flatten you emotionally, but you’re going to have to keep it together enough to handle the practical parts of separating. Even if you and your ex-sweetie didn’t combine finances or cohabitate, chances are you’ll need to coordinate the return of a few personal items, fill out some paperwork, or negotiate who gets custody of the Netflix and HBO Go passwords. Be very clear about your needs in terms of scheduling, and be honest with yourself about whether or not you can handle seeing your ex face to face. Text messages and email are great ways to communicate effectively while still preserving some privacy if that’s what you need. If you’re dealing with big stuff like mortgages or vehicles, be sure to have a lawyer handle that. For the little things, see if a friend can help out by picking up those books you left at his apartment or dropping off that spare key you’re holding onto.

Go Easy on Mutual Friends

Speaking of friends, don’t be a jerk to the ones who know both of you! While “friendship custody” can definitely be a thing, don’t pressure your friends to cut ties with your former partner. If they want to talk about the breakup or what she’s up to now and you’re not in the mood, gently remind them that you’re hurting and that you’d prefer to steer clear of those topics. Do your best not to take out any residual anger, jealousy, or grief you have for your partner out on your pals, and be sure to check in before you launch into an unscheduled vent session. If you find that some friends are keeping their distance from you while staying buddy-buddy with your ex, respect their choice, but find a way to let them know if you’re feeling hurt by the loss of their friendship. In most cases, clearing up this awkwardness will get that relationship back on solid ground.

Indulge in Self-Care

Processing the end of a romance on top of your everyday obligations is tough. Schedule time out from your job, family obligations, and social life to pamper yourself. That can mean different things for different people–athletes might schedule in extra time at the gym or prepping for a half-marathon, foodies might take a day to tour a local farm and cook a gourmet meal, and fashionistas might start the day at the spa and finish up with a shopping spree. Also be sure to pamper yourself daily, taking time to reflect in your own way by meditating, journaling, or calling a friend to take emotional inventory and keep yourself in balance

Can a Relationship Be Recycled?

When it comes to bottles, cans, and men, I like to recycle.  I’ve believed that most of my relationships are like the 6-Million Dollar Man, they can be rebuilt, made stronger.  After a breakup, I usually leave the door open a crack, allowing for second, third, and a thirty-seventh chance at happiness with the same person.  I don’t think it’s a bad idea, though it doesn’t always end up being a good one.  But since I’m a pretty complicated combination of picky and eccentric, I like to really exhaust the possibilities with one person before I begin the arduous task of breaking in someone new.  Just like with a new therapist, the process of explaining myself, making someone understand what makes me tick, is long and hard, so I like to do it as infrequently as possible.  Now, I don’t believe that all relationships should be reconciled, abusive ones should be left as a smoking pile of ashes, but if you truly feel like your life is better with that special person in it romantically, there’s nothing wrong with exploring the possibility of a reunion. However, there’s a few things to do before jumping right back in, that help to set you up for as much success as possible (which varies situationally, of course.)

  1. Take an honest self-assessment.

    Ask yourself why you want to get back together.  Do you genuinely love and miss being coupled with this person, or are you just trying to avoid the painful process of grieving and healing?  Do you want to journey towards happiness together, or do you just not want the other person to move on before you have?  Think long and hard about whether you want this specific person, or just someone, anyone, to end the loneliness.  There’s no sense in getting back together just to be miserable.  A bad relationship will not cure loneliness, it usually just makes it worse.  No one likes being the single rider in line at the amusement park, but it’s easier to enjoy the ride alone than it is when you’re shoved in the roller coaster car next to some jerk who’s all elbows and armpits.  And think hard about whether or not the intimacy is even what you want with your estranged beloved.  The nature of a relationship is always open to evolution.  Do you need them in your bed, or would you be happy with them on the opposite side of your couch?   Imagine the person in a number of different roles, as a platonic friend, casual sex partner, dog walker, writing partner, or distant memory.  The great part about being independent is that no one else gets to dictate what makes you feel good, and it’s okay to be content with whatever you come up with that feels right.

  2. Talk it out.

    A relationship involves more than just you, so determining if it can be rebuilt isn’t exclusively your call.  Talk about everything, the good, the bad, the ugly, and do so with an open heart and mind.  You may not hear what you want to hear, but it’s important to be open to receiving the truth.  Discuss why it ended, and if those reasons are ones that can be worked through together, or ones that will recur and explode again.  Hash out what each of your ideal situations are, and if they’re ones that can actually mesh together.

  3. Build it together.

    Rebuilding a healthy relationship requires effort from both parties. When only one person works at it, it sets up an unfair power dynamic, putting the person who exerts no effort in the position of queen/king, and the other as a servant.  No one is exempt, and regardless of the reasons for the breakup, there’s work for everyone to do, even if it’s just finding forgiveness (which is actually the hardest thing for most people to do).  Be accountable for your part in it all, don’t refute the other person’s feelings, and be aware of whether or not they are extending you the same courtesy and kindness.  A strong relationship is born from a foundation of respect and trust, not denial and blame-shaming.

  4. This is new, go slow.

    Treat this as a new relationship, because that’s what it is.  Even if it feels like just a new chapter in the same book, it isn’t.  Breakups are periods of grieving, and grief changes us.  You are not the same person you were when you first got together with your partner.

  5. Take care of YOU. Pay close attention to how you feel at all times.

    Keep the communication open, and don’t be afraid to change your mind, if you realize that it actually isn’t what you want.  You truly are the only person you’re bound to for your entire life, so give yourself and your emotional health and security first priority.  For a machine to run most effectively, all parts must be in good working order.  You are responsible for keeping up with how the YOU component is functioning, so do what you need to do in order to keep your gears greased and turning.

Giving a relationship another chance is a beautiful and difficult feat, but so is self-preservation.  Above any other tips anyone could give is this: never let the former compromise the latter.



In and Out of the Same Relationship? Here Are the Most Important Take Aways!

According to research, the majority of people have been in an on-again/off-again relationship at some point in their life.

The 2009 study published in Personal Relationships found that 60 percent of people have, at least at some point in their life, been with someone, broke up with them, then ended up with them again — and maybe again and again and again. It’s a pattern that can be difficult to wiggle out of once it becomes a habit, even if it’s quite clear that you’re completely wrong for each other.

The problem with these relationships is that they’re not just potentially unhealthy, but they can be toxic as hell. Although things may seem fine when you’re back together, all that constant breaking up and the roller coaster of it all, takes a toll, emotionally, psychologically, and even physically. There’s also the fact that, at least according to research, these types of relationships eventually end up coming to an end and not on a very pretty note either.

But while that’s the case, not all is lost. There are some things you can learn from on-again/off-again relationships, even if you don’t realize it until after the fact. Here are nine lessons these relationships have to teach us.

1. People Rarely Change

While it might not be something you want to hear, human beings are, in general, creatures of habit. It’s not that we don’t want to change or better ourselves by cleaning up some of our messy behavior, but we’re just not that great at it. It’s not a personality flaw, as much as it’s human being flaw.

2. You Don’t Know How To Feel Secure

When you’re in a relationship that is on-again/off-again, it’s hard to feel confident with not just what you have with your partner, but in how you feel about yourself. There’s a lot of second-guessing going on and it stems from the fact that your romantic relationship always feels like it’s hanging in balance and you could lose it at any given moment.

3. You Realize It’s Hard To Move On

If every time you break up with your partner, you end up with them weeks or months later, how are you supposed to move on to either someone new or give yourself time to heal? You can’t. You become to addicted to the pattern and too dependent on that person, assuming that the cycle will go on forever.

4. The Drama Isn’t It Worth

So. Not. Worth. It. Think about it: Do you really want to spend the rest of your life going through a breakup with the same person every few months for the rest of your life? You’ll look like you’re 80 when you’re only 40, because of the stress it takes on your life.

5. Old Problems Eventually Come Up

When you’re in an on-again/off-again relationship, you realize that not only do people never (or at least rarely) change, but since that’s the case, the problems that plague your relationship are likely to come up every single time you get back together. Why? Because you two haven’t changed enough to prevent them from popping up again.

6. It Really Confuses The Senses

You’re together. You’re apart. You’re crying because you’ve broken up and are sure you’ll never love again. Then you’re back together. And you’re happy. And you’re skipping through the streets. Then you break up again and you’re crying on the floor. But wait — did they just text? OK; so maybe you’ll be skipping in the streets by tomorrow again. Do you feel confused? Well, you should.

7. There’s Probably A Very Good Reason You Keep Breaking Up

The reasons why people break up runs the gamut. Sometimes love dies, sometimes you realize you’re growing in opposite directions, or maybe one of you cheated, or one of you wants to join the Peace Corps. No matter the reason for the split, you broke up for a reason, so there’s really no point and going through it all again.

8. The Makeup Sex Isn’t Worth It In The Long Run

Yes, makeup sex is great! But there’s only so many times you can break up, have makeup sex, only to break up again, for more makeup sex. It sounds good in theory, but more than anything, it’s exhausting.

9. You Don’t Have Time For This Bullsh*t

You really don’t! If someone can be with you, then be without you, then be with you again… and so on and on, that’s not what you need or deserve. You want someone who can commit and is in it to win it; not someone who thinks you’re their personal yo-yo.

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

When You are Hurting from Breaking Up…Don’t Do This!

It’s happening again. You put yourself out there, you fell for the guy, and now you’re sitting in his truck while he’s saying stuff like “I know I’m being selfish,” and “I just don’t want to hurt you anymore,” and, my personal favorite, “I’m really going to miss you.” What’s a girl supposed to do? Most of the time, we just sit there not knowing how to react. We either start crying profusely or get ridiculously angry, or both (both is fun), but mostly, we just think “Now what?” It’s the end of yet another sad love story, and different people handle breakup survival in different ways, but really, here’s what you shouldn’t do right after he says “it’s over”:

1. Don’t pretend to be okay

You’re hurting, and it’s crazy to think that, unless you’re some kind of cold-hearted siren or unless you didn’t really like him that much, you aren’t going to be in a little bit of pain for a while. It sucks to be broken up with. It’s rejection at its finest form, and it takes time to accept what has happened. Take a few days to recuperate. If that means shoving your face into a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, do it. You have the freedom to take time to find your cool again.

2. Don’t go out that night

We all have those friends who say “Oh, honey, I’m so sorry. He’s dumb. Let’s go out and get drunk tonight, it will make you feel better.” WRONG. Wrong wrong wrong. Alcohol is a depressant, so after you’ve downed three doubles and are staring at your phone while your buzz kicks in, you’re going to want to call him and either A. beg for him back or B. yell at him until you start crying again.

You could also be that girl who drunkenly flirts and dances all over everything with a penis right after a breakup just to fill the rejection bullet hole you’ve just experienced. Don’t be that girl. You might do something you’ll regret. Which leads me to…

3. Don’t get a Tinder right away

I know it seems like the best way to get over a breakup is to find someone new, but I can tell you from personal experience that that is not always the best route. Chances are, you are not ready to jump into bed, let alone into a relationship, with another guy for a while. You need to take the time to sort your wits, don’t be the serial rebound girl. Tinder is fun once it has been a few weeks, and you’ve had time to be emotional. Don’t do it because you’re alone and needy, do it because you’re confident and you’re ready to move on.

4. Don’t wait to get your things

Speaking of moving on, let’s also move out. You shouldn’t wait to get your stuff from his place. It’s just prolonging the inevitable moment when you will have to see him again and go through the emotional roller coaster that is exchanging and dividing your things. Do it all in one swoop; that way, although you might be in some serious emotional pain after it’s all over, you won’t have to relive everything after you have somewhat gotten over it. It’s like picking a scab after a few days. Yes, keep that mental image because that’s how horrible it will be.

Keeping a Relationship Private: When and Why

Here’s a reason why less is more when it comes to your relationship…

There was a time when relationships were sacred and served as a revered space where two people could find solace, trust, and support. Driven by a commitment to honor, love, and respect, sacred relationships require a few essential elements to maintain. At the top of the list was privacy.

People used to protect their relationship from the influence and opinions of the outside world. Times have changed.

In a society driven by cyber interactions, social media has quickly become a personal diary for many. A virtual container for our emotions, memories, and experiences, social media preserves the most precious moments of our lives. Valuable when used in moderation, the medium keeps us connected to our friends and loved ones. When abused, social media can be a stage for humiliation, exploitation, and shame.

One bad social media encounter can quickly show you that not everything needs to be shared with the World Wide Web. While social media is rapidly transforming into the primary communication source for this generation, the idea that what goes on inside of your home stays inside of your home is one rule that should still reign true, especially as it pertains to your love life.

Love is inspiring and it’s perfectly fine to share your admiration for your partner, but mindfulness is imperative. You don’t have to keep your relationship secret, but here’s why it’s important to maintain some privacy.

1) You open yourself up to the opinions of others.

How quickly we forget the lessons learned in childhood. Chances are if you grew up with African American parents, you were told to keep family business out of the streets. Our parents and grandparents knew the consequences of speaking too loosely about family affairs. By discussing your issues with outsiders, you open yourself up to the opinions of others.

8 Adult Ways to Help You Break Up — That Won’t Make Them Hate You

Ready to be single again? Sure, we’ve all been there. The problem is: you’re also an adult. An adult who respects yourself. And you can’t just ghost someone, make a scene or even push him away. Maybe you’ve been there or had too much therapy or respect other humans in a way that makes you, my friend a good person.

If this is you, here are eight kindly ways to breakup with him or her that will make them respect you in a way that your actions truly warrant!

1.Be honest.

You must be honest with the person. But you certainly don’t have to be a brutal about it. If you don’t feel you have enough in common, tell him or her that. If his hygiene isn’t great or she’s a mess , tell them. If you think he’s a closet racist,, perhaps tell the person you don’t have enough in common.

The more honest you are with your soon-to-be ex, the more you’ll be able to help them move on.

2. Write down your thoughts.

Things can get heated during a break-up conversation. It’s important to stay focused and not be swayed by words or emotion. If you feel you can be swayed, it’s not really a break up talk at all. Writing things down will help you find some clarity and make sure you articulate what you need to in the charged arena of “the talk.”

Couple Drifting Apart

3. Ask questions.

While it’s important to stick to your points about your own thoughts and feelings, it’s equally important that you’re giving your partner the floor to express their feelings. After all, it’s a dialogue, not a monologue.

Questions like “how are you feeling right now?” “Are you okay?” and “Do you understand?” are all incredibly important pieces of the breakup puzzle in order that you be adult and mature in cutting ties. Then listen, because he or she will know if you’re not. Give your significant other time to talk it out to illustrate you truly respect his or her role in your life.

Even if the romantic portion of your relationship is over, it doesn’t mean the respect is gone.

4. Come prepared and have a game plan.

How do you see this thing going? Everyone is different, so remember, based on who your soon-to-be-ex is, make sure you go over best and worst case scenarios to prepare.

Do you think he’ll never want to see you again? If so, bring his stuff. Do you think he’ll want to remain friends? Then invite him to an event or show that you might be participating in.

It’s also important to know how you feel as you proceed, and be prepared if it doesn’t go your way. If it gets to long, for example, say you have to be somewhere. Don’t ever lose control in the wake of a breakup. it’ll be easier on both of you if you maintain some control over the event.

5. Ask how he would like to proceed.

As important as it is for you to have a game plan, it’s also crucial that you ask your ex how they see your future interactions going. Does he want to be friends? Have some space? Never see you again?

That’s his or her prerogative, and even if it’s not what you want, you must respect what they need. After all, you’re breaking up with them, so they might feel vulnerable and feel you’re at an advantage.. He or she gets to decide how he wants to move past the initial shock and beyond.

Couple breaking up

6. Be generous with your time and possessions.

It’s not all fair in love and war.. Since you’re doing the breakup, it’s incredibly important that you are willing a couple on the chin in the spirit of being kind (see #8). That’s what maturity is all about!

It means you might have to let them use your Netflix for a few more more months, or give him back your favorite sweatshirt you love. Whatever it is, it’s very important to let your ex decide on the possessions/conscious uncoupling. That way he or she can feel like is being treated with dignity and respect.

7. Create boundaries that work for both of you.

I’ve talked about communication and honesty, but it’s also very important to have boundaries so all those good things can be upheld. Boundaries are the break-up skeleton. Without it, the thing could fall apart after a few drinks or a lonely night.

Establish ground rules about communication and friends, and when in doubt, assume you won’t hang out with a fun mutual friend if you aren’t sure you should.

Be kind and give your ex some space. Don’t post something about dating on Facebook right away if you’re still connected. If you must, make a special friend group so he or she won’t see. In an age where everything can be shared, it’s important to try and be disciplined about it.

If there is something you read or see that reminds you of your ex, try and restrain yourself for their sake. Give your ex some time and err on the side of maturity.

8. Be kind.

Remember, you started dating this person for a reason, and I hope part of that reason was that they were pretty rad. Be kind to someone you’ve had fun and intimate moments with. Even if she or if he was a jerk, part of being a grown-up is being kind to people who may not necessarily deserve it. In the spirit of an adult breakup, I implore you to be kind.

Breakups are awful and we’ve probably all been there Chances are, you’ll probably be there again, so get some karmic cred by keepin’ it kind.

Read more stories like this such as, The Reasons Why Men Suffer More After a BreakupGood Times to Connect With Your Ex, and If You Have Broken Up with Your Partner, Can You Get Those Feelings Back?

12 Telling Signs That You Should Let Your Relationship Go

Sometimes letting go is easier than hanging on to someone that no longer serves you.

I’m a relationship person through and through. I will always root for relationships because I know I am much happier when I am sharing my life with someone, but that doesn’t always mean the person you’re with is the right person for you or that it works.

Letting go of a relationship and a life with someone is an extremely challenging thing to do but staying in that relationship when you’re more often than not having thoughts of doubt about it can be equally as challenging. The decision and thought process of knowing when it’s time to let go of your relationship is different for everyone, but here are some signs it might be time to let go.

  1. You keep trying to go back to the way things were. You more often than not find yourself looking back at the beginning of the relationship instead of looking forward to the future together. You find yourself talking about the way things used to be and you fear you can never get back to that. You avoid questions about engagements, weddings and kids like they’re the plague.
  2. One of you is always trying to change the other. I’ve struggled with this with nearly every partner I’ve had, I go for people who I think I can fix or change, and I can’t. One partner even called me out for it and said, “why can’t you just accept me for who I am? Maybe I have something to offer you.” He was right. Trying to change someone or project your point of views onto them isn’t fair. Having the urge to constantly change someone will leave you with disappointment and them with resentment toward you. You have to accept your partner for who they are and if you can’t you have to let them go. You can’t change people, it’s as simple as that.
  3. The fighting has become constant. You feel like you’re arguing more than you’re talking. You’re always super cautious and filter your thoughts and feelings because you don’t want to set them off. You’re essentially walking on eggshells around your partner, and that’s not healthy. Filtering your thoughts and emotions to keep them from exploding it not ok.
  4. You feel your needs aren’t being met. You no longer feel fulfilled in your relationship and you’ve tried explaining to your partner what you need but it doesn’t seem to affect anything, at least not for more than a few days or weeks at a time. Then things go back to the way they were and you’re finding yourself bringing it up again. Some people aren’t capable of loving you the way you need and it’s not their fault. We all have different needs and love languages, and sometimes you fall in love with someone who can’t meet those needs. It sucks but you have to accept that they can’t give you what you need, and that has to be ok.
  5. You don’t listen to each other. I’ve dated a couple of people where all we do is circle the drain. We have the same conversations which lead to the same fights and the same feelings of disappointment because we can’t get on the same page. We each have different expectations and wants of the relationship, and we simply can’t communicate effectively enough to come to an understanding. It’s like, you hear what each other is saying but you’re not actively listening or at least understanding the information your partner is explaining. You feel like you’re constantly repeating yourself and explaining the same things to them but it just doesn’t get through. This builds more frustration in the relationship which often leads to more fighting or built up resentment.Young Couple Conflict
  6. You make excuses for their behavior. This is always a red flag. I dated a guy once who I realized had a drinking problem. Every time we did anything we drank, even at the dog park he would bring beer, and I’d make excuses for him in front of my friends. I dated another guy who would get angry and make a scene, I’d find myself always making excuses for his behavior, too. If you’re finding yourself constantly trying to make your partner out to be better than they are to your friends and family then it’s a good idea to sit down and reflect on why you’re doing this. If everyone in your life has cautioned you about the relationship then you should reflect on what’s really going on and consider if they’re seeing something you’re pretending isn’t there.
  7. You feel embarrassed by them. You feel like you can’t bring them to work events or family dinners because you’re excessively worried about what they might do. Whether that be to say something wildly inappropriate or get too drunk, you feel like you have to babysit them instead of just knowing things will be ok and that’s not a good feeling to have.
  8. You keep them around because you feel like having someone is better than having no one. I dated someone years ago and the relationship should have ended a few months in. Even though I knew it should have ended I kept it going for another year and a half because the thought of going through the breakup process and being alone again terrified me. Was I happy? No, absolutely not. But I kept him around for the rare good moments and because I thought having someone was better than having no one, which is a terrible reason to stay with someone.
  9. You feel there’s something more for you out there. You keep thinking there’s someone better for you than the person you’re currently with whether it’s because they don’t challenge you or fulfill you the way you need. You’re scared this is all it’s ever going to be with them, and you’re probably right. People get comfortable and the romance can die out, if you’re not feeling hopeful that you can spark it again or you’re constantly wondering if there’s something better for you, that’s a chance you might have to take.
  10. The trust is gone. One of you did something to affect the trust in your relationship and it doesn’t feel like you can do anything to mend it back together. The other person keeps bringing it up and holding it over the other’s head. If you feel there’s no coming back from the broken trust then all you can do is leave, instead of constantly begging and trying to prove yourself time and time again.
  11. You’re not being respected. The foundation of a relationship should be mutual respect because without respect you have nothing. If you’re feeling like your partner doesn’t respect you, or they belittle you, or don’t think you work as hard as them, or don’t appreciate when you do things for them than chances are they don’t respect you and they’re never going to start.
  12. You’re not able to depend on them. You should be able to rely and depend on your partner when they say something to you. If they promise you they’ll be somewhere or do something at a certain time and they never follow through you can’t depend on them. You can have conversation after conversation about how it hurts your feelings but if they don’t respect you then they won’t make it a priority to be there when you need them. It’s as simple as their actions don’t match their words, and as much as they apologize they keep leaving you with the same lousy feeling over and over.

If you see your relationship in a lot of these bullets then it’s probably time to really consider letting go. Ending a relationship with someone you love, despite these points, will still be painful and heartbreaking, but if your gut is telling you it’s the right thing to do, it’s time to listen.

Next article: 11 Relationship Problems That Might Be Sabotaging Your Love Life