Ending a relationship can never be easy but there are times when one has to move on. How can one do it in a way that's least painful for you and the other?
Let’s be real, I cannot tell you when to end a relationship. No one can. You have to hear your inner voice and honor it with your decisions. That being said, we all know when a relationship is not serving us. It’s likely why you are reading this article. What’s challenging is making the move to end it, and there are a few clear categories of situations in which we hesitate to break if off:
- He or she is a good person, with good qualities
- There’s a lot of good with the bad, that I don’t want to lose
- I’m scared of the transition
- I don’t want to hurt or let him or her down
I’ll explore each of these categories, help you identify the unmet emotional needs. At least point you in the right direction with some healing approaches.
1. He Or She Is A Good Person, With Good Qualities
Choosing to engage with someone, whether it’s for lunch, or a lifetime, is not about what kind of person he or she is. We are all with great qualities, and ones that are not so great. We all have our uglier sides, and we trigger each other in relationship. Choosing to not engage is simply about the engagement not being a fit for now.
Get clear on your emotional needs, and assess if they are being met. Next, check in on where your partner is emotionally–is he or she capable of meeting others’ needs right now? If yes, focus on being clear on what you need and expressing it in a healthy way. If no, explore why you are choosing to be with someone who cannot meet your emotional needs. Focus on meeting those emotional needs yourself with other people, approaches, and experiences.
2. There’s A Lot Of Good With The Bad, That I Don’t Want To Lose
This perspective presents itself when the emotional valence on either side of the decision is about equal. For example, “staying in a relationship or job is just as challenging as not having it.”
Until we’ve actually made the decision and really immersed ourselves into being without that job or relationship (etc.), we cannot really know what it will be like. We feel indecisive because of our projected expectations of what that decision will bring.
We can change our projections, or change where we focus our attention, and in both cases, toward what is meeting your needs and how you want to feel. In doing so, you will either attract a better experience in the relationship, or it will no longer become a vibrational match, and will end.
3. I’m Scared Of The Transition
Fear of being alone, of finding someone that is a better fit, of expending the energy that goes into dating, of being able to be independent (financially or emotionally), and I’m sure there are a few more, all fall into this category. Transition towards an unknown is scary.
Work on creating stability, structure, and feeling good about yourself. Go to yoga, do things to feel attractive, eat healthy, and show up for your unfulfilled intentions. All this “showing up for yourself” leads to greater confidence, and supports healthy transitions.
4. I Don’t Want To Hurt Or Let Him Or Her Down
The deepest hurt in relationships come from lack of awareness and emotional immaturity. Consciously ending a relationship that is not feeling like a fit is very different. While there may be sadness and rejection, there may also be learning and healthy shifts for your partner. It doesn’t serve anyone to stay out of pity, as it will erode his or her self confidence, and your attraction to him or her. More importantly, when you stay despite feeling it’s not a fit, you have internal conflict.
Prioritize being free of internal conflict over your projections of the impact on your partner. Being honest about how you feel is loving, and you can emphasize your high regard for the person in keeping your actions respectful and your communication from a place of sweetness.