End a Relationship with Class & Style
Human relationships can be beautiful and transformative. They hold tremendous power in making the world a better place and improving people’s lives. Nevertheless, these relationships come with their own set of challenges, which can often lead to feelings of frustration and disappointment. Ultimately, all relationships must come to an end, be it through the death of a partner or the decision to part ways.
As a life coach for entrepreneurs, I have come to learn how you end a relationship is just as important as how you start one. Ending a relationship is a significant decision that should not be taken lightly. It should only be done when it’s the right thing to do.
In this article, we will examine the reasons why ending a relationship may be necessary and offer advice on how to do it in a compassionate and mutually respectful manner.
First, let’s talk about the seasons that everyone experiences within a relationship. This will give you insight into why you may feel excited or frustrated.
Seasons of a relationship
Regardless of whether your relationship is personal or professional, every relationship has its seasons. Below, we explain each one. Weak relationships, where one or both parties are unable to negotiate successfully, will perish during the wintertime.
Summer is fun time! Things are heating up between the two of you. Little to no faults can be found during this season. You both want to spend lots of time with one another.
It is the season of perfection where both of you are learning something new about each other and testing out new skills you may have learned from prior relationships.
If you are recovering from depression, unresolved trauma, or an addiction (and yes, that includes addiction to people), you may want to keep only summery relationships. Due to insecurities, low self-esteem, unrealistic expectations (among other issues), it is difficult to navigate beyond this stage. However, nothing of depth, meaning, and significance happens with only superficial knowledge of another person.
The thrill is kind of gone. During the previous season, you and the other person worked hard to hide your character defects, which usually occurs after 2-3 months in a relationship.
Now, both of you are starting to show the real side of yourselves. This is the time when both of you can showcase your insecurities and vulnerabilities.
As a child, did you ever play with Jack-in-the-box? Enclosed in a whimsical box, there’s a little clown. If you turn the crank enough times, you can release the clown from the box. Inside all of us, there’s a not-so-nice version of ourselves, and yes, that includes me.
The person that may be snappy, judgmental, critical, among other unpleasant traits – you need to know them. And do you know why? You will never know a person unless you see them during moments of frustration, stress, or anxiety.
How do they handle stress?
Even better, how do they handle you when they don’t have a quick and easy way to escape from their pain-filled emotions?
You need the real Jack or Jackie to pop out before you fully commit to a relationship with them, and don’t ignore any serious red flags or personality traits. Understanding their shortcomings may save you from serious financial or emotional pain in the future.
Winter is the time for negotiation. This is when both of you will need to negotiate time, space, money, and fun.
‘Time’ meaning how much time you will spend alone, together as a couple, and with others.
‘Money’ meaning your individual spending money and resources used for personal or professional purposes.
Lastly, how much time will you spend engaging in fun activities alone, together or with others.
Most relationships break down because each person assumes that the status quo or how things started in the summertime should continue indefinitely. But that’s not how life works.
People will change, often without reason. In other cases, one party may lack the emotional bandwidth to support another person during a difficult season. They may want to go back to the carefree days of the beginning of the relationship. That’s why this season will help you determine if the relationship is valuable to you, at least 51%, even during the worst moments of the relationship.
Spring is a time of rebirth, refreshment, and renewal. If you emerge successfully from the negotiation process of winter, you will be able to form a meaningful relationship with another person.
You shouldn’t ignore the shortcomings in the relationship, everyone, including you and me, has them. Nevertheless, you should stay in the relationship because you know that there is more to gain than losing by staying committed to it. Marriages, partnerships, and other long-term commitments are solidified during this phase.
Here is an important concept to understand regarding each season. You may find yourself in a relationship season for months or even years. It all depends on the spiritual and emotional maturity of each person.
For example, if you have a relationship in which one person is unwilling or unable to learn, the relationship may sizzle and die within a few years. Or, both people can stay perpetually stuck in the Fall or Winter seasons, where they live in a seething yet co-dependent relationship.
The movie “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton (which oddly mimics their real-life romance), perfectly punctuates this state of chaotic and dysfunctional yet loving partnership.
Reasons to end a relationship
When it comes to relationships, ending them can be a tough and heart-wrenching decision to make. However, it is important to know that breaking up is not always a bad thing and can be the right choice for the individuals involved. It is vital to identify the reasons behind ending a relationship as they can make or break the healing process that follows. Below are the reasons why you should or should not end a relationship.
Why not to end a relationship
Exposing yourself to another person can bring up painful issues from the past or present. One can feel a plethora of emotions, ranging from fear, shame, and worst of all, self-pity.
It is easy to want to bail from a relationship if another person is illuminating things about yourself that you wish stayed hidden. However, real emotional and spiritual growth require working through, not away from your challenges.
If a person is not harming you financially or causing undue stress, allow yourself the privilege of using the relationship to grow and help you deal with your issues.
Why to end a relationship
On the other hand, the healthy reasons to end a relationship include differences in values and priorities, lack of trust, and the inability of one or both partners to make and keep commitments. For example, if a person is constantly doing things that are illegal, immoral, or unethical, or if you think you need to call a police officer, doctor, or lawyer for some form of damage control – that is a sure sign that this relationship is toxic and needs to end.
Regardless of whether you feel justified or not, ultimately, it is crucial to end a relationship for the right reasons to ensure emotional well-being and healthy future relationships. As humans, we are often given “make-up exams” if we end a relationship in a sloppy or disrespectful manner.
In the next section, we will discuss how to end a relationship in a mature and healthy way.
How to end a relationship
Breaking up with someone can be a difficult and emotionally charged situation, especially when you’ve invested time and energy into the relationship.
If you or the other person is willing to have an amicable conversation, arranging a time to discuss your thoughts and feelings face-to-face is recommended. However, if this isn’t an option, consider sending an email or letter with the following steps in mind.
Highlight the positive
Whether you are communication in person or writing a letter, it’s important to highlight the positive aspects of the relationship and express sincere appreciation for the time that you spent together. Although the relationship may be ending, it’s essential to recognize the value that it brought to your life.
Explain your needs
Additionally, it’s crucial to keep focus on your needs and communicate clearly about what you require from someone in a relationship. Being truthful about ways in which you may have contributed to the decline of the relationship is another key factor in the process of moving forward.
Own your part in the relationship
Being honest can be difficult, but acknowledging your part in the dissolution can demonstrate maturity and provide closure for both parties.
Be honest about how you could have behaved better in the past and why it made the relationship challenging. Being honest about your shortcomings may allow the other person to be vulnerable and honest about their own issues as well.
Manage expectations post breakup
Finally, being clear about the level of contact going forward can help you set expectations and avoid any confusion. For example, if you don’t want to stay in constant contact with someone, let them know. Don’t lie about your feelings or intentions. Above all, treat the other person with empathy and kindness, as they too are navigating a challenging situation.
Being in a relationship shines a huge spotlight on your own fears, anxieties, shortcomings, and weaknesses. If you are brave enough to understand your role in the relationship and end it on the right terms, for the right reasons, you can expect better relationships in the future.
If you need help with relationships and communicating your needs with others, do not hesitate to contact me.
DISCLAIMER: THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT PROVIDE MENTAL HEALTH ADVICE
The information in this article is for informational purposes only. No material in this article or website is to be a substitute for professional medical and/or mental health advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you read from me or anyone else online.
Also, this article is not designed to diagnose or treat you or anyone with a suspected mental health illness. Please, if you need help, seek appropriate help from a lawyer, health care provider or law enforcement officer.