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Knowing how to end a relationship is one of the most important things you’ll ever have to do in dating. After all, how you end one partnership will ultimately affect the issues you take with you to the next one. And while saying goodbye is never an easy thing, it’s a necessary part of dating.
But how do you end a long-term relationship in the least offensive way possible? Here are a few tips.
The Comfort of Long-Term Relationships
Ending a partnership that has lasted for many years can be especially difficult. Many times people stay in a relationship much longer than they should because they have become comfortable with the present situation, despite remaining unhappy.
Conjure Up an Image of Your Ideal Partnership
Before you end a long-term affair, write down all the characteristics of your perfect partner. Think in terms of innate qualities, rather than physical attributes. Next, determine what you want to get from a relationship.
Take a Step Back From Your Relationship
When you’ve completed these two tasks, take an objective look at your partnership. Do you get what you want from it? Does your partner have the qualities you’ve always wanted? This exercise will remind you of all the ways you’ve settled, rather than gone after what you wanted. By seeing your relationship as it really is, rather than just looking at the positive memories, you’ll get the courage you need to leave.
End on Good Terms
When it comes time to tell your partner you want out, make sure you choose a time and space that will allow both of you an outlet to vent your feelings. Don’t wait until you’ve already moved on to another relationship, as this will only leave your partner feeling betrayed.
Use an Honest But Direct Approach
Approach your partner honestly, and state the reasons you feel you’ve grown apart or are not working as a couple. Don’t accuse. Rather, use a loving tone that reassures your partner that you want him or her to be happy.
Once you’ve stated your case, allow your partner time to absorb the information. After all, the idea of a break up is new to him or her. Let your partner express his or her concerns and frustrations. While this may be difficult to listen to, it is a crucial part of ending a relationship properly.
Make Plans to Move On
When you have both talked about your relationship, make plans to physically remove yourself and your possessions. Don’t linger in a situation you know is over. Make sure you move forward in your actions. Find a new place to live, refrain from calling up your partner out of loneliness, and allow yourself time to grieve.
Take Time to Learn the Lesson
Spend some time by yourself after the break up in order to fully understand why the relationship didn’t work out. When you date again, do it slowly and casually. Don’t try to jump back into a relationship too soon or you might run the risk of repeating the same patterns that ended your other partnership.
Approach your dating life with cautious enthusiasm. Look forward to the new people you meet but don’t place unrealistic expectations on them, especially in the beginning. Simply allow the next relationship to develop naturally, and follow your heart. Take the lessons you’ve learned from the previous relationship and apply them to your new partnership.