June 24, 2007
“Think of a breakup this way: you’re one step closer to the one you’re meant to be with.”
Breaking up is the beginning of new transition in your life. It’s easy to look at an experience in a negative way, but we’d like to challenge you to view your separation as a new beginning — a real chance for finding your Mr. or Ms. Right. In this advice guide you will find advice for determining whether you should make the split, tips to show you how to actually do it and words of encouragement and comfort while you let your heart heal.
1 How to know when it’s over
There are few things in life that are harder on a person than the time when they realize that the love they have worked so hard at, and spent so much time on, is finally over. For some, this realization is a complete shock and for others, they have seen the writing on the wall for some time now.
Breakup signs are often very difficult to spot, primarily because the people involved often do not want to admit that the relationship has failed. And unless something comes along and hits them in the face, telling them it’s over; the natural tendency is to try to work through the problems. This happens more so when the couple have been together for a while.
The question that remains, therefore, is at what point do you really know that it’s over?
First lets start with the glaring signs that the relationship is over:
- You catch your partner in the act of having an unforgivable affair.
- Your partner uses physical violence against you.
- You argue non-stop about everything. You can’t agree on anything.
The above are obvious, any of the three things occurring above, ESPECIALLY NUMBER TWO, are sure signs that the relationship is coming to an, often abrupt, end.
There are however some other signs to look out for. Sometimes it is necessary to accept the painful fact that the relationship you are in is just not good for you. While I am usually the staunchest advocate for the “you can make it through anything as long as you have love” club, even I have to admit that there are situations where one or both of the partners are just better off apart.
The most common instance of this is when one partner is INTENTIALLY holding the other partner back. When two people have separate dreams and goals, friction can occur, especially if neither of them are willing to compromise. In some instances, however, jealousy leads one of the partner’s to be excessively controlling of the other. In these situations, if they are UNRESOLVABLE, it is better to leave than stay.
Other reasons to leave include:
- You realize that you don’t love your partner.
- You find yourself thinking more and more about how good single life was.
- You realize that your partner doesn’t love you, but is with you because they don’t want to hurt you.
- You have no common interests or goals.
- You find that you cannot stand their annoying little habits, and they won’t change.
- You find it impossible to be yourself around your partner.
- Your partner cuts you down, makes you feel bad about yourself, and constantly devalues your goals and ideas.
Under no circumstances should anyone stay in a relationship that is bad for them, just because they feel that being in a relationship, even a bad one, is better than being alone.
2 Should you be just friends
Sometimes, even though you would hate to admit it, some friends should never become couples. While each relationship is different and almost all obstacles can be overcome, here are 5 situations in which you might want to consider just being friends.
#1 Your future goals are completely different.
Future goals play an important part in any relationship. If you are ambitious and your partner is not, then there may come a time when you realize that there is quite a gulf between you. The experiences of today, shape who you will become tomorrow. With the gulf in ambition, there could come a time when you just grow apart.
#2 You have different core beliefs.
Every couple needs to have some basic common points of agreement in order to succeed. These “agreements” could be as simple as you both know you want children, or that you both have similar moral values. While different points of view are often healthy for a relationship, some differences maybe a little too difficult to bridge. If you cannot find workable comprises to these differences, then it would probably be better to just be friends.
#3 Your relationship is purely sexual.
While sex is an essential and integral part of any relationship, a relationship built solely on sex is probably not going to go far. When “your place or mine” sums up the extent of your conversation then you really should consider just being friends… with a few benefits here and there.
#4 One of you is more committed than the other.
One of the hardest situations to deal with is when one partner is obviously more committed to the relationship than the other. It may be because one loves the other more, or it could be that one of you is just not ready to make a commitment yet. Such situations often cause resentment to build up, probably on both sides. If this is happening to you, consider cooling it for a while until you are both ready for the next step.
#5 You were more loving as friends.
A friend of mine once described the relationship between himself and his ex-wife as “great friends that should never have gotten married.” That got me thinking and I realized that, with relationships come responsibilities and expectations that are not present between friends. If these added responsibilities and expectations are causing you to spend more time arguing and fighting than loving, then you might want to go back to what was successful for you… just being friends.
Remember, deciding whether or not to stay in a relationship is not a decision to be taken lightly and every relationship is different. The chances are, if you are reading this article then you probably are having a few doubts about your relationship. When making your decision, make sure you are not just having a “bad relationship day” and make your decisions for the long term. The above situations are just some guidelines to help you on your way.
3 Salvaging a lost cause
You are on the verge of breaking up, but you know you both still really love each other. While there is not much hope left of salvaging the relationship, you sometimes find yourself thinking about how much you would like to start again. The trouble is you have no idea how to start, or even if it is possible.
If the above scenario sounds familiar, then how did it go so wrong? By now you know that there is a lot of resentment between you, but how did you both let it get so far? Everyone makes mistakes and has done things that they regret. The problem is that once you start making mistakes and doing things wrong, the natural inclination is to cover your tracks.
Dishonesty and lies lead to feelings of guilt and resentment. Feelings of guilt and resentment lead to more lies and arguments. Once you start to get sucked in, this vicious circle kicks in and the lies and arguments start to build on each other. Pretty soon you start justifying your actions. How? By blaming your partner: they don’t understand you, they are too snippy and argumentative, and they don’t love you anymore. When this happens on both sides of the relationship, you are on a fast track to a breakup or divorce.
In order to turn this around, it is going to take a lot of soul-searching and communication. You have to rebuild the trust between the two of you and let your partner know without a doubt that you love them and are willing to take responsibility for your actions. Even if the relationship cannot be completely salvaged, you will at least make the breakup easier on both of you.
The first thing to do is to realize that there was a time when you really loved each other. Think back to how you felt when you first met or first realized that you had romantic feelings for your partner. Try to go back and actually re-experience those feelings. How your heart skipped a beat whenever you saw them or even thought of them. Think of some of the really good times you had together, when you were happy. Realize that at one stage there really was something special between the two of you and it is at least worth trying to salvage the relationship.
Next, really take a look at all the things you did wrong. Don’t fall into the trap of blaming your partner for everything, you played a big part in it too, and at this stage you really need to concentrate only on your actions. It would be a great idea to get a sheet of paper and right everything down. The point of this excercise is to release some of the guilt and resentment you feel towards your partner. In order for it to work, you have to come clean – at least to yourself!
Thirdly, write a letter to your love. Explain to them that you are really sorry about the way things turned out and that you realize that you have had a huge part to play in the fact that the relationship turned sour. Talk about how you felt when you first fell in love and remind them of all the great things that have happened to you while you have been together. In order for them to trust your sincerity, however, you are probably going to have to tell them some of the things you have done that you are ashamed of. The important thing is to take responsibility for your actions, let your partner know how how you feel about them and make sure you tell them that you would really like the chance to make it up to them. Invite them on a special date, for just the two of you, so you can sit down together and clear the air, and at the very least, part as friends.
Once you have completed the above, it is really up to the two of you to sit down and discuss things to see if you have a future together. Don’t try to rush things, as trust can take time to build again. But, if you at least come clean about how you feel and make an appeal to your partner’s heart, you have a better chance of making it than if you didn’t.
4 13 sings you’re about to get dumped
Want to know if your relationship is about to hit the skids?
Looking for tell-tale signs that your love will last through next week?
Well, look no further. Below you’ll find the “Unlucky 13” -13 warning signs you’re about to get dumped.
We surveyed a variety of experts to find the most common warning signs a person is about to get dumped –including psychologists, body language experts, graphologists, private investigators and a divorce attorney. And here’s what we found:
1. Is it romantic Armageddon, or uncomfortable shoes?
Where the toes point, the heart follows. According to body language expert Patti Wood, MA, CSP, you should, “look at your sweetie’s feet when you are out with other people.” She says, “if they are pointed at you, great.” If they’re pointed at someone else, your partner may be looking to walk.
2. You’re starting to feel like a telemarketer.
Is your sweetie anxious to end phone conversations right away? A person who knows she’s going to end the relationship with you, but hasn’t done so yet will be itching to get off the phone with you. If she is talking to you, but not adding anything to the conversation it’s sign she is heading towards the finish line. She’s probably just pacing herself.
3. He’s no longer interested in sex, or worse, he has a new bag of tricks and a trapeze with the tags still on it.
A dramatic change in sexual behavior can mean two things:
a) He wants to avoid any situation where he might have to express emotion or attachment to you, or
b) He’s getting it somewhere else.
4. He avoids talking about the future.
We’re not just talking the general, garden-variety aversion that men have to discussing relationships. We’re talking about a man who avoids having one of those “we have to talk” talks like it’s a shot of the Plague. As for the future, when next Thursday seems like too much of a commitment, it could be because he’s trying to extricate himself by Wednesday night.
5. He says, “I need some space” or “I think we should see other people.”
According to psychologist Jesse Rabinowitz, Ph.D, people don’t usually want to hurt someone else, so they use “exit strategies.” By telling you he wants to see other people, he’s not technically breaking up with you (so no big crying scene to endure) but he’s given himself a way out. Of course, the second he gets a little distance, he’s going to make a run for it.
6. If she’s looking left, something’s not right.
According to Bill Raduenz, private investigator, a person who looks up into the air and to the left when she speaks to you is “not being truthful.” The look left is an indication we’re using the “creative” side of our brains and a good indicator she’s telling you a whopper.
7. He gives you that little pat on the back.
Watch out for this one. A person who gives you a hug while patting you on the back is indicating that they are uneasy. According to Raduenz, the “hand pat” on the back indicates someone is uncomfortable with what they’re doing. The bigger the pat, the more discomfort they feel.
There’s more. Another important sign that things may not be going well is the amount of contact during a hug. Full frontal contact is good. The one-shoulder hug, or pulling away in other areas could be a sign the person is “distancing” in the relationship. If it’s a new relationship, the other person may not be quite ready for that level of physical contact. If it’s an established relationship, it could be a sign the person is pulling away, or getting ready to break off the relationship.
8. You don’t like what you see in the mirror.
People mirror each other’s body language when they are in love with similar gestures, voice volume, etc. If you’re noticing the two of you are out of sync, you probably are.
That’s not all. According to body language expert Wood, a person who is about to dump you will display a lack of open “windows” towards you. “Windows” being his heart, eyes, neck and palms. If your man turns his heart (the center of his chest) away from you as you are talking to each other, it’s a big sign he’s not interested.
9. You see the writing on the wall.
According to graphologist Karen Weinberg, QDE, a person who is thinking of ending a relationship will show clues in her handwriting. When writing the word “love” she may begin to drop down the letter “e.” Another sign to watch for is if your partner diminishes the size of your name (sign of your importance to her.)
10. Every normal person should know which way the toilet paper goes…11. He keeps you waiting. And waiting. And waiting.
“Time is an important non-verbal communicator,” says Wood. If he keeps you waiting, it’s a sign his interest is waning, and a sign of disrespect.
This is true for dates as well. If he starts waiting until the very last minute to make date plans with you, it’s likely he’s lost interest, or he’s hoping something better will come along and he’s using you as a back-up.
12. She buys a personal pager, or a pre-paid cell phone.
This is bad news. Just about every private investigator in the book will tell you the pager purchase is a sign of impending heartbreak. Sure, it could be for work, but more likely, she’s using it to get a head start on her post-you life. Beep Beep – Bye Bye.
13. He used to be a three-blue-shirts-and-four-pair-of-Chinos kind of guy, and suddenly he’s obsessed with Armani.
According to Attorney Mel Frumkes, a person who is about to leave (or is cheating) will take greater care with his appearance – updating his wardrobe, losing weight, working out and even changing cologne. If your sweetie looks like he just finished taping an episode of “A Makeover Story” – Those Chinos might not be the only dud he’s looking to lose.
Want to know when you’re most likely to get the axe? Most experts agree it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of the first 3-5 months. So, stock up on tissues and Ben & Jerry’s if you’re heading into the danger zone.
Only time (and his shoes) will tell.
5 Mend your broken heart
There isn’t a sure-fire way to mend a broken heart but there are definitely things you can to do to make it feel a bit lighter and ready for new love. First, allow yourself to feel what you need to and take all the time in the world to get over the person. For some people it may only take a few weeks to move on and others years. However long it takes, be okay with that. The ideas below are not meant to cover up your loss but rather to help your healing process so you can move on and enjoy being single for awhile!
- Throw a small party. The fun of letting loose and being surrounded with your close friends can make anyone feel better.
- Gather everything that reminds you of your past love and put it in a box specifically for this. Then give it to a friend or store it somewhere where you won’t see or think about it. When you’re ready you can either throw away the box or keep it for memory’s sake.
- Start a new exercise or well-being plan. It never hurts to take time to look good!
- Start a daily journal, even if it’s on your computer. Somewhere everyday take the time to jot down whatever comes to mind. The idea in starting a journal is not to write cleverly or even about anything important. Just write (or type) whatever comes to mind even if your journal starts to look like this: “Went shopping yesterday for a new book oh yea need to e-mail Susan, the flowers on that window sill need watering.” The point of your journal is to clear your thoughts. In a few weeks you will be able to read your entries to discover new things and trends about yourself.
- Join a new interest group. It’s never to early too meet new friends and, at least this way, you’ll already have one thing in common.
- Learn something new. Take a foreign language or art course, or buy a how-to computer program.
- Pick out an inspirational book or movie to read or watch whenever you start feeling down or depressed.
- Take yourself out on a date, even if it’s a night alone watching your favorite programs and eating your favorite foods.
- Do the things you said you always wanted to do when you were with your partner but somehow never did.
- Get a new look.
- Pick up a calendar and fill out the next 3 months with social events you’d like to attend or things you’d like to do. Browse your city’s web site or the entertainment section of your local newspaper to find out ideas, dates and times.
- Spend a “comfy” day. Get out your favorite comfy clothes, pillow, blanket, etc. and just spend the day relaxing doing whatever you want!
- Get a pet or plant to take care of.
- Rent a few romantic movies or read a few romance novels to remind yourself that love does still have happy endings.
- Write a goodbye poem or letter. Then stick it in a bottle and throw it out in the sea or attach it to a helium balloon to be carried away.
- Do something you wouldn’t normally do to celebrate your “singleness.”
- Redecorate your space. Start off by cleaning out everything and throwing away anything you don’t use or need anymore. Make a few self-indulgent decorating additions like a few candles, a favorite painting or fresh flowers!
- Visit a new city. Pick some place you’ve always wanted to go or some place closer to home to save money.
- Spend time with your friends.
- Set your mind into different things
6 Life after Love
So, you’ve found out that Mr. or Miss Right isn’t the soul mate you’ve always dreamed about. Now what? The period of loss and pain doesn’t have to extend on to an eternity of what ifs. After spending a few days wallowing in self-pity, you’ll probably want to start making a few steps towards life after love. To help ease this transition, try a few of the following ideas.
Keep a daily journal.
Letting loose on your emotions is a quick and self-healing way to recover from incidents of loss and pain. This is especially true of keeping a journal. Make a commitment to write for at least a few minutes every day.
Learn at least one new thing a day.
Keep your mind busy with new information. Whether you decide to learn a new word or how to do something new on your computer, it will help you keep moving forward instead of looking back.
Take a daily walk.
Get yourself out and about with a 20 to 30 minute walk. Just the constant, repetitive motion of moving your legs one after another is enough to help you put things in perspective.
Go out with yourself.
Just because you are not attached to someone doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy going out. Think of it as a chance to go to all the places you’ve always wanted to go.
Develop a hobby.
Maybe there is something you’ve always wanted to learn how to do. Now is the perfect opportunity to develop it! Try anything from bicycling, joining a walking club, sewing, bodyboarding or surfing, learning how to watercolor, or cooking.
7 Dealing with online breakup
Alas, not every online love relationship will make it through as a success story. An online breakup can seem even more empty and alone than breaking off a traditional relationship. Thoughts of self-doubt, wasted time and more can overflow your mind. If you find yourself trying to handle an online breakup use the following tips to help heal and move on.
- Quit using the chat or place where you often communicated for a while.
- Become more active outside of the computer. Chances are while you were together you spent entirely too much time inside. Get outdoors and visit some old friends.
- Develop a new Internet hobby or interest such as playing games, learning how to make web pages, or researching your family tree.
- Figure out what you want to do about finding a new love. Sign up to an Internet personals service or start chatting with old friends you haven’t talked to in a while.
- Remove all reminders of your Internet love including pictures, letters and other memorabilia. You don’t need to throw it away; just remove it so you can’t see them for a while.
Start a daily journal to release all of your feelings. Chances are you may not be comfortable talking with other people about your online relationship. This is an excellent way to make sure things don’t get bottled up and cause issues in future relationships.
Entry Filed under: love