Let’s face it, relationships are hard! Well, not the initial falling in love part – that’s exciting and heady – you know, that butterflies in your stomach feeling. After that comes the fuzzy feeling of contentment, usually interspersed with periods where you have to work hard at the relationship. In fact, according to relationship website, LovePanky, there are 9 stages that every relationship goes through.
But sometimes, even if you still love the other person, there may come a time when you decide to call it a day. There might not even be a specific reason, or not one that you can put your finger on. It may just be that something’s ‘not quite right’. And there’s no doubt about it – ending a relationship is a momentous challenge, especially if you still have feelings for the person.
There are many reasons that you might want to bring a relationship to an end even though you still love or have feelings for the other person. According to the Couples Counseling Center Chicago, there are a few primary reasons why relationships fail. Let’s take a look at how these might manifest themselves when it comes to your personal emotions:
It just feels like you both want different things
From kids to house purchases, career choices to the location you live in, couples need to get on board with each other’s wants and needs. This means compromise on both sides. And, in some cases, this just isn’t possible. When such a situation arises, it doesn’t matter how much you love the other person, if you can’t come to an agreement, then it’s going to mean a parting of the ways.
You’re not happy
Love is a funny thing. You can be with the smartest, nicest, best looking partner who you have deep feelings for, but they just don’t make you happy. And let’s face it, life isn’t a rehearsal – you deserve to be happy. If you’re not, it doesn’t matter how much you don’t want to hurt them, it’s time to end the relationship.
You’re not getting what you need
Contrary to what many of us feel, it really is ok to put your needs at the top of the list. And when it comes to relationships, both of you need to get what you need from it. This can manifest itself in many different ways.
For example, maybe you’re having a long distance relationship and it doesn’t provide you with the amount of love and affection you need. Perhaps you have different needs in bed, or one partner is far more extrovert than the other. It might be that your partner doesn’t have the same hobbies as you. And while in many cases that’s fine, if they never want to do anything with you then that could mean that you end up spending literally no time together.
The same problems keep reappearing
No matter how much you try, the same issues keep rearing their ugly head. This might be one big thing (perhaps your partner had an affair and you find it hard to forgive), or a whole series of little things. Whatever the reason, if you can’t resolve your problems, they can end up overshadowing all the good things about the relationship.
Physical, mental abuse
Perhaps your partner is abusive. Whilst such behavior is not acceptable, it’s still a very difficult subject to talk about. Have no doubt about it, there are many people who’re still in love with a partner who treats them badly. The thing is, emotions can be very strange things, and as we all know, there’s no on/off switch for when we need to change how we feel about someone.
You just can’t stop thinking about ending the relationship
This is a reason, even though you might not be able to pinpoint exactly why you don’t want it to continue. It might make explaining to your partner somewhat more difficult, but that’s no reason to remain. In such a situation, you simply have to trust your gut instinct.
Whatever the reasons you want to break up, there are steps you can take to help yourself get over the waterfall of emotions you’re going to feel. Of course, your partner is also going to have to get over the end of the relationship as well, and no matter how nicely you ‘do the deed’, there’s bound to be feelings of guilt on your behalf.
Steps to ending the relationship
No matter how unlikely it feels, rest assured that you can and will get over the emotional rollercoaster of the break up. How long it will take is something that’s individual to each person, and there are no hard and fast rules that say how long this period of mourning will be. But one thing that will help both you and your (soon to be ex) partner, is to end the relationship in the right way.
- Don’t simply avoid your partner. Excuses not to see them or failing to pick up the phone don’t make the end of a relationship better for either party. Your partner deserves that you tell them the truth about how you’re feeling.
- Remember the reasons why you’re breaking up. It might help if you write them down. That way it helps to keep you focused on why you want to end the relationship, and keep your emotions in check.
- Do it face to face. It might seem easier to have ‘that’ conversation over the phone. But remember that this is a person you still love – you just don’t want to be in a relationship with them. So it’s only fair that you tell them the reasons why in person.
- Explain the reasons, but remain rational. Don’t throw accusations – that simply makes things worse. Stay calm, even if your partner doesn’t.
- Whatever happens, even if you both decide to remain friends, you’re both going to need a bit of space to get over the break up. Avoid calling or texting, even if you really want to. All this does is extend the period of mourning – and it really is a period of mourning. According to dating website, eHarmony, this no-communication ‘rule’ is vital to getting over the relationship
No-one is ever going to pretend that breaking up with someone you love is going to be easy. But by trying to remain as calm and rational as possible through what is a hugely emotional period can help to ease the pain on both sides.
Whilst it’s an awful period in your life, that old adage of time being a healer really is true. And while breaking up with someone you love is truly traumatic, remember that it’s better for you to live happily as an individual person than to be unhappy in a relationship that’s simply not right.