When the Bloom Wilts

Ending Relationship photoSometimes, after many efforts to keep a relationship together, you will find that it is not working for either of you and the best thing to do is to end it.   When the time to call it quits has come, be aware of a few things to help the transition along.

Don't look at this as a failure.  Every relationship is a learning experience and an adventure.  Appreciate that you did your best but the life cycle of this relationship has come to an end.  Let go of it peacefully and with gratitude that you could be a part of it for awhile.

Be honest with yourself about your needs. If most of your needs weren't being met in this relationship, then it wasn't going to last anyway.  Take time to reflect on what you truly need and want from a relationship, see what you were able to get from this one, and consider what kind of future relationship will give you what you want.

If you know that it's time to end a relationship, but find yourself holding on, what are the reasons you won't let go? Don't let guilt or fear keep you stuck there.  The fear of being alone or the guilt of hurting the other person are not healthy reasons to hold on.  It will make things worse. Be honest with yourself about why you are still in an unhealthy relationship.

Take some time to examine what you believe about love and romance.  You CAN love someone but not be in a romantic relationship with them.  This can trip up a lot of people who relate one to the other.  Consider what it would feel like to be in love with someone without the romance.  What would it take to move the current relationship into that space?

Once you have decided that it is time for the relationship to end, decide how you will do it. One bit of advice is to ignore anything you have seen on TV about breaking up! That is purely for dramatic effect to create something entertaining. You don't want any more drama! And, if you do it the healthy way, you will both gain something very valuable.

Have a good understanding about why the breakup is happening.  Again, be honest with yourself.  Look at it from different perspectives.  Pretend you are an outside observer. What would you see differently in that role? This is important when having the discussion with your partner or lover.

Prepare for a face-to-face discussion with this person. Yes, I know this will be difficult.  But I believe it is the human thing to do.  A letter, email, or worse, a Facebook or Twitter post only serves to say "Hey, I'm breaking up with you and I don't even have the respect for you as a person".

Seeing the other person in a compassionate way will help both of you to heal.  Believe that both of you tried and did your best, but it's just not working.  The other person will have to find their own path to healing, but if you speak to them in a space of love and compassion, it will go a long way to ease the pain.  For both of you.

Feel gratitude for the other person, for the good things they brought into the relationship, for the good times and feelings you had because of them. They took time out of their lives to include you so be grateful for that. Remember that you both approached the relationship from a point of love and that should be the real reason for ending it. When you end a relationship in love, you may begin a lifelong friendship.

It took time to build the relationship to where it is now. Don't try to end it in one short meeting. Agree to meet a few times to talk about what is going on, how you are both healing, where the biggest challenges are and how to be supportive of each other.

There is a healthy way to end a relationship.  If done with understanding and compassion, it does not need to be a painful loss. It can be the beginning of a wonderful, but different life cycle!

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