Let’s be fair about this; it’s never easy to end a relationship and while Paul Simon offers “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” in his famous song – some of his methods seem just a touch cruel. While we may all have been tempted to “slip out the back, Jack” or “hop on the bus, Gus” – it might be better to handle things a bit more diplomatically. So with that in mind, we’ve got 20 ways to leave your lover that will keep your reputation intact:
Own Up To Your Part in the Breakup
That doesn’t mean you need to pull the “it’s not you, it’s me” line but rather that you take some responsibility for the dissolution of things now. “I’ve realized that we were drifting apart for some time and I didn’t do anything about it.” Will do nicely.
Give Them Time
While it might seem like a good idea to pack up all their things and throw them out the nearest window; it’s a better idea to give them some notice that things are over and set a time limit for them to get themselves together and to leave your life.
Say Nice Things
The truth is that breakups are often painful and we can let our pain out by describing our partner in all sorts of unflattering terms. It’s better, however, to say nice things about the person – firstly, because it will make it easier for them to move on and second, because it makes you look like less of a monster to people around you.
Get Out of the Way
Don’t let things turn into a screaming, shouting, mess. Once you’ve delivered the “we’re done” message – get out of the way for a while and let your partner process. Sure, they’re going to be angry but you don’t have to add fuel to the fire.
If you’ve got any mutual debts or obligations – get them paid off as fast as possible. Then try to divide any property that you’ve acquired fairly. This is the part of the breakup when things can get really bitter so go slowly and act sensitively.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
If things do get out of control; don’t be scared to involve a personal or professional mediator to help manage the exit process. Things may be rough during the initial part of breaking up but that doesn’t mean you should give up and go back to being miserable.
Don’t Have “One Last Bang”
Sure, it can be really easy to give in to temptation and have some clingy sex between former lovers but it’s a terrible idea in practice. It sends out mixed messages and particularly to the partner who is on the receiving end of the breakup. Make sure you set boundaries for affection as you move on with your life and stick to those boundaries.
Take Time to Reflect
It can help for you to reflect on your own role in the break up during the break up process. This can help you better state your case for leaving and also help prevent future occurrences of destructive behavior in the future. You should encourage your ex to think things through too.
Spend Some Time Working Out
Hit the gym and ensure that your anger and stress are channeled into making you happier and healthier rather than focused on baiting your soon-to-be ex into fits of rage.
Talk To Your Friends
Ask your friends to support both of you and not to take sides. There’s nothing more hurtful when a relationship ends for one partner to suddenly realize they have no support network. That doesn’t mean your friends can’t drift away in the long-term but it shouldn’t be a mass walkout either.
Avoid Discussions About Right and Wrong
There is no-one to blame when a relationship finishes; that’s just the way it goes. It is always best to avoid bringing up discussions about who is right and wrong – there are no good answers to those questions and they are only likely to breed resentment.
Try Not to Jump Straight Into Another Relationship
As the relationship transitions – it’s best not to turn up with a new “significant other” a day after dropping the bombshell. At that point your ex is going to find fault with you and let’s be fair about this; you’d deserve it.
Don’t Announce the Break Up on Facebook
Really, until things are settled and you’re both happy moving forward – it’s not nice to tell the world you just broke up. Let your ex process a little and move forward themselves and even when they have; don’t announce it on Facebook. It’s just not nice ever.
Take Some Time Away
Once you’ve broken the news – why not go on a road trip with friends or even by yourself – and give some time for the dust to settle and for you to broaden your horizons? It’s also a great way to gain perspective if you’re worried about how you’re going to manage now you’re single again.
Take Time to Grow
Signing up for an evening or weekend class can help you give your partner space and enable you to learn a few new things. Focusing on a new hobby can also help you switch off from over thinking the past.
Following a break up; it’s a bad idea to go and expose all your ex’s little foibles and moments of vulnerability to other people in your social circle. It’s a spiteful thing to do with very little upside potential for the outcome.
Return Letters and Sentimental Items
It’s best to hand back any love letters or specifically sentimental items early in the break up process. That way your ex knows you will respect their privacy and ensure that things are as amicable as possible.
Acknowledge Your Own Feelings
Breaking up isn’t just about how your ex comes out of the process; it’s also about how you deal with things – it can be very useful to acknowledge your own trauma throughout the process. Though it remains important not to inflict additional trauma on your ex as part of this.
When Things Go Wrong – Admit It
During the break up, unless you’re both saints, there are going to be moments of tension and where you get things wrong. Don’t be afraid to admit to this but don’t allow it to stop you from moving forward either.
Try to Ensure That Once Things Are Over You Have Some Space
Our final tip is that for a while after the break up, it’s usually best to have some space from each other, it’s not that you can’t be friends in the long-term, it’s that it’s difficult to transition directly into a friendship from a relationship. Give your ex and yourself some time before you try to rebuild a friendship.