As if breaking up isn't hard enough, every time you attempt to step away from your relationship you are met with pleas to stay. It's tempting to take the easy way out and stay, but doing so is a temporary fix that merely prolongs the inevitable. Take decisive steps to separate from the relationship and help both of you move on with your lives.
Once you've told your boyfriend that you want to break up, don't back down. Ultimately, it is cruel to give in to his requests for you to stay and break up with him later. When he begs you to stay, repeat yourself until he gets the message. Don't allow yourself to be drawn into emotional drama. If the situation feels as though it is getting out of hand -- words become heated, threats are made -- leave.
If your girlfriend claims that she "can't live without you," remind yourself that she was living before she met you. Ultimately, each person is responsible for her own happiness in life. "Happiness depends much more on your attitude than it does on objective, external circumstances," says consumer researcher Raj Raghunathan in a December 2011 article in "Psychology Today." If the girl with whom you are breaking up doesn't have the mindset that she can move on with her life without you present, she is unlikely to be happy even if you stay.
"Out of sight, out of mind" is a good adage for what you do following the breakup. Resist the urge to connect with him in any way. Don't call, text, email or spend time engaging with him on a social network. Doing so may prolong the agony for the person who will be looking for the slightest hint that you might take him back. You need not resign yourself to never talking to him again -- just wait until after the dust has settled and he's moved on with his life.
Pay attention to your personal safety when breaking up with someone who is having difficulty accepting that you don't want to be in a relationship with her. Trust your instincts, advises the Melrose Alliance Against Violence website, Maav.org. If you feel afraid, you may have reason. If you feel endangered during the breakup conversation or afterwards, don't hesitate to call 911. If she drives by your house, calls incessantly or otherwise shows that she is not able to accept that you've ended the relationship, consider getting a restraining order.
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Elise Wile has been a writer since 2003. Holding a master's degree in curriculum and Instruction, she has written training materials for three school districts. Her expertise includes mentoring, serving at-risk students and corporate training.
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