Ending a long term relationship

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Ending a long-term relationship is never a pleasant affair – at least for one of the partners in the relationship, if not both of them. Some people even put off ending a bad relationship in order to avoid a potential confrontation, or on-going arguments, or the ensuing heartache and depression that may follow.

If you find yourself in this situation – i.e. at the point where you find yourself looking for a way to break up with your partner – then you should consider at least the following 2 questions:

  • are you certain that you want to break up with your girlfriend (or boyfriend)?
  • are you satisfied that you have tried hard enough to save your relationship?

There’s not much point in building a huge list of things to think about – if you’re on the verge of spiting up with your ‘other half’ then you are probably stressed out enough, without adding to-do lists to your turmoil. The bottom line is simply making sure you’re certain that you want to end the relationship: ask yourself those 2 questions and think about what they mean to you; have you tried hard enough to save your relationship doesn’t imply that you have to go to extreme lengths to try to salvage it; it means are YOU satisfied that YOU have tried hard enough (for YOU). For you, trying hard may not mean the same as it does to somebody else – so aim these questions at you personally and forget about other couples, love stories, breakup stories and any advice from well-meaning friends and even dating ‘experts’; take everything on board, then make up your own mind.

So what does trying hard to save your relationship mean? How should you consider this question? Well, if you were in a relationship for a long time, and happy all – or most – of that time, then giving up on your girlfriend / boyfriend at the first real big hurdle may have you filling up with regret later on, wondering whether you ended the relationship too hastily, or even regretting having ended the relationship altogether. Putting an end to your relationship maybe something that you can’t undo afterwards, or if you can, it may take a lot of time and effort (and heartache).

So, first thing then is to be certain that you want to end it. Of course, even if you don’t want to split up, your partner may want to breakup anyway. This is something that you can’t control (you can’t control other people’s decisions) but the point here is to break away with a clear conscience, rather than lay away at night torturing yourself with guilty thoughts, or kicking yourself for ending something that you later realise was pretty good.

Remember that, whatever the glitch, time is a great healer. Whether we like it or not, after sleeping on a decision, things can seem a little different – even less harsh – than they first appeared. Try to control any knee-jerk reactions and if you can’t think logically about something then take yourself out of the situation for a day or 2, and let time do its job, then come back to it and look at it from a more logical point of view.

If for instance, your girlfriend or boyfriend causes you to ‘see red’, you may want to consider (depending on what the issue is) taking time out rather than ending the relationship there and then, at the risk of regretting it later on.

If somebody told you they had stolen something from you years ago, back when you were kids, would you feel as angry as you would if they had stolen it the day before? If your partner confessed to having an affair 10 years ago, would you feel as angry as if the adultery had taken place 1 week ago?

Of course, I’m not suggesting that cheating partners should be forgiven, whether the affair happened long ago or not – only you can make that decision. My point is simply that time can allow you to take a step back and look at things less emotionally, and in most cases, this is the best course of action to take in the heat of an argument.

Once you are certain that you want to end your relationship you have the ‘guilt’ factor covered. I refer to the ‘guilt factor’ here in terms of ending the relationship too soon, and not anything else that may cause you to feel guilty (i.e. anything you may have done or said).

Many people, despite wanting to end their relationships, still put it off or worse… avoid it altogether. Some of the reasons for this behaviour are:

  • they avoid ending a relationship because they fear confrontation
  • they prolong a bad relationship because they fear to be alone
  • they stay in a bad relationship because they think they’ll never find love again
  • they are scared of their partner, or their partner’s reaction
  • they don’t split up because of the time they have invested in the relationship

Those are just some of the reasons some people may hold on to in order to justify staying in a terrible relationship. The thing to realise is that despite those – and any other – excuses, staying in a relationship when you’re unhappy is the biggest waste of your time, as well as your partner’s.

Your time is the most precious thing you have – it’s seeping out of you (literally) every second. Do you remember what you were doing an hour ago? Well, it’s now an hour later – and whether you had a good time or not during that hour, it’s gone forever.

What about in a year’s time, when you look back? Will you see then how much time you have lost (as long as you keep putting up with a bad relationship)?

And what about in 10 year’s time? How will that feel? If you’re in a bad relationship, then you owe it to yourself to end it, split up with your partner and start over again – but stop wasting your time like it’s candy or something that can be replaced… start respecting your time and yourself, and don’t put up with somebody that does not treat you in the same way that you treat them (assuming of course that you’re treating them ‘the right way’).

Check Out J Riley’s Breakup Book

Visit the homepage to see where you can buy The Breakup for Men