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How to Firmly Break Up

by Kristen Moutria

Psychologist Juliana Breines, doctoral candidate in Social and Personality Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, reports on "Psychology Today" that oftentimes people stay in miserable relationships because the relationships continue to have a powerful hold on them. In order to get out of your non-functioning relationship, you must break this hold by being firm in your breakup decision. Although your partner may try to pressure you into staying in your relationship, allowing him to sway your opinion or challenge your decision once you are determined to leave will only lead to dissatisfaction and regret.

Analyze Your Reality

Analyze your reality before breaking up with your partner in order to be sure that this is a decision you are ready to make. Ask yourself what traits your partner has that you do not like and cannot see yourself accepting. Molly Barrow, clinical psychologist and author of "Matchline for Singles," reports on "Huffington Post" that you absolutely cannot change your partner, and that there may be some obvious "deal-breakers" in your relationship, such as opposite long-term goals, substance abuse or an inability of your partner to celebrate your success. If deal-breakers exist, it can be helpful to write them down so you remember what the problem was during your conversation with your partner.

Make a Plan

Making a break up plan will allow you to be organized and firm in your decision to end your relationship. A journal article published in Psicothema, a Spanish-language journal on psychology, titled "Implementation intentions: a look back at fifteen years of progress" suggests that lasting changes are most likely to be made when you come up with a specific course of action. A plan, including when you will talk with your partner and ideas on what to say and your reasons behind the break up, will help you to meet your goal of ending your relationship and avoid the temptation of staying involved with your partner because you will have clearly outlined what the problems are and why you can no longer stay in the relationship.

Explain Yourself

While ending your relationship with your partner, make sure to give him a reason the relationship is not working out for you. By explaining yourself now, you will avoid having to answer his questions later, and it can help give him the closure he needs. Alison Arnold, a therapist in Phoenix, reports on "Huffington Post" that it is important to give the person with whom you are ending your relationship a chance to ask questions and feel the sentiment behind your words.

Own the Decision You Made

After you have broken up with your partner, embrace your decision and do not change your mind. Breines reports on "Psychology Today" that ultimately the decision to end your relationship is your own, and that succumbing to pressure from those around you will result in a decision that is not true to yourself. Doing what you truly want will result in lasting happiness and prevent you from experiencing feelings of regret in the future.

Resources

  • It's Called a Breakup Because It's Broken: The Smart Girl's Break-Up Buddy; Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt

About the Author

Kristen Moutria has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Evangel University. She is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in education from the University of Nebraska.

Photo Credits

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