Ah, those dreaded words! There may not be a right way to handle being dumped. But there’s most certainly a wrong way. No matter what the situation is, it’s a good idea to strive to be cool, collected and graceful. If you find yourself facing this uncomfortable situation – whether you are the one breaking up or being dumped – try these tips for letting go of your relationship – not your dignity.
1. Keep your cool
No one’s exactly thrilled to hear that their union “isn’t working out,” but giving into your anger won’t pay in the long run. You can trust that there are two uncomfortable sides to this conversation. If your partner is worth missing, it hurts them, too. And if they aren’t, then they’re hardly worth a scene you’ll regret later. Shouting and name calling will only reinforce their decision. It’s possible that your feelings aren’t the only things that are hurting, but try not to let your pride cloud your judgment. Your partner’s decision to walk away isn’t a reflection on you but how you handle the scenario is. As difficult or unfair as your partner may be at the moment, the two of you did choose to share something of yourselves. Don’t let an ugly breakup deprive you of fond memories for the future.
2. Get answers (but don’t expect satisfaction)
If you’re up for it, now is the time to collect the explanation you’ll need for closure. Communication can become muddled and unpredictable after a breakup, and most of us need a little information before we can close the book on a relationship. It’s especially important if your ex-partner didn’t have the decency to face you in person. Ask (carefully and in a non-accusatory tone) what has changed and why they aren’t happy. When the irons have cooled, your previous lovers answers could prove useful, especially if it’s clear their dissatisfaction has sources over which you have no control. Plus, you’ll have your chance to make your own position known (in a civil and rational way you’ll want to remember later). Of course, if you’re not up for a re-hash of old hurts, feel free to keep it short and simple. Let’s face it – some things are better left unheard.
If you’re the one breaking up, have the decency to do it face-to-face (no emails or text messages) and be open to answering any questions with honesty, respect and compassion.
3. Believe it’s best
It isn’t lip service. If your partner is throwing in the towel, you don’t want to be in that match anymore. A relationship weighed down by resentment or uncertainty has no value to you. At best, staying together now would only mean a few months of uncomfortable uncertainty, followed by a breakup further down the line. You run the risk of further alienating each other, and are less likely to be amicable later. Not to mention there’s a lot of satisfaction in revenge – especially when it comes in the form of a life well-lived.
4, Concentrate on the positive
Seriously. Don’t get so hung up on what you’re losing that you lose sight of what you have to gain. Take advantage of your newly earned free time to return to yourself. See the friends your partner didn’t like, watch the movies that made them yawn and go to all the places you love that they didn’t. A little proactive flirting and indulgence is the perfect therapy to remind you of how desirable you are and what is no longer off-limits.
5. Make a clean break
Walk away now, and don’t look back. Asking your ex questions is one thing. Arguing your case is another. The moment they announce they’re finished trying, they’ve lost the right to your energy. If you hope to get back together, being apart (and happy) is the best course of action to begin. If you want to tackle the friendship thing, give it time first. The easiest way to sabotage a post-breakup friendship is to try too soon. Give it a few months. Then take it slowly.
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