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AUGUST ISSUE

Breaking Up is Hard to Do: 10 Ways to Make it Easier

1. Make a list

If you are easily persuaded back into a relationship you are trying to break off, it is useful to write down a list of reasons why you should not date your soon-to-be-ex. Having this list, and regularly looking at it, will help you resist potential pleas from your ex.

2. Be Honest

If someone breaks up with you, don't you want to know the real reason? Don't be afraid to tell someone the truth, but don't do it in a hurtful condescending manner. Neither you, nor your ex, will be helped if you call him/her names or attach labels. Be descriptive; instead of saying "You're a bitch", you can say "You are impolite to my family, this is an important issue to me and if you cannot get along with them I do not see a future for us".

3. Find a quiet moment

Never break up in public, it is not something you would want someone doing to you. Pick a quiet moment at a time when your significant other is not distracted or stressed. Try to explain the best you can where you are coming from, and the reasons why you do not see a future for the two of you.

4. Think of yourself

Never stay with someone out of pity, or because you do not want to see them hurt. You are hurting your significant other much more by staying with him/her for all the wrong reasons. If you are not going to be happy in the relationship, you will never make anyone else happy. You have to be happy first, and if your boyfriend or girlfriend is not able to give you want you need in a relationship, then there is no point in making yourself unhappy. The longer you stay in a relationship that is doomed for failure (either a break-up down the road, or a very unhappy lasting relationship), the longer you prevent your partner from finding the person that is perfect for him.

5. Take some distance

If you are not sure you want to break up, taking some distance for a while can give you some perspective without making any permanent decisions. You will need to communicate to your boy or girlfriend that you need some time alone to think things through, but that you are still in a relationship. Be clear on what your expectations are from this period, and how long it will last. Some people assume that because they are on a break, they are also free to see other people, while sometimes their partner does not share that view. If you are clear about these "rules", you can both get the maximum out of the trial separation.

If you have already decided to break up, try to avoid contact with your ex for a while. Even if you decide to stay friends, you two will need to 'get over' each other and move on with your lives. Nobody can go from lovers to friends overnight, so give each other some time to get used to the idea!

6. Listen!

Listen to what your partner has to say! Whether you are the one breaking up, or the one being broken up with, listen to their perspective. At the very least you can learn something about yourself or the relationship, and perhaps the break-up is entirely unrelated to you as a person, knowing this can help you heal and move on. For example; if you hate children, but your partner cannot wait to have ten, you are clearly not compatible. Breaking up can still be hard, but you would be better off being good friends than lovers. Realizing this and realizing that in situations like these you may not have to loose the best friend you found in your lover, will allow you to move on and increase your chances of maintaining the friendship.

7. Don't panic!

Even though breaking up hurts, for both sides, it does not have to be the end of the world. There are plenty of other people out there, and you will find "the one". Clearly the person you were with did not qualify as "the one"; otherwise you would still be together. If the break-up is circumstantial, then there is no reason why in the future things wouldn't work out for you. Either you stay friends, or perhaps you meet again, and if the time is right then who knows what can develop!

8. Don't beat around the bush!

If you are breaking up with someone, the worst thing you can do is to beat around the bush. Get right to the point, but take the time to explain your feelings from there.

9. Avoid clichés!

Clichés are the worst to deal with, comments like "it's not you, it's me!" do not only say nothing, they make your partner feel like it is their fault and you are just trying to be nice. Honesty is the best policy, and even if it is not their fault but something is going on in your life that elicited this, make sure you explain it and don't just throw in a cliché to be done with it.

10. Be respectful to your ex's feelings

Even if you both decide the relationship is not going to work and you go your separate ways, don't be insensitive. So don't show up at your favorite bar with a new flame just weeks after breaking up, and don't call your ex-who's-still-your-friend to tell him about your hot new boyfriend. Be discreet if you start seeing someone new right away, and be sensitive to the other person's feelings.

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