For every ending comes a new beginning. There are better things awaiting you. Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. You will find your soul mate soon enough. Every door that closes opens a window. The list of ridiculously philosophical lines of comfort that you will be offered by every Tom, Dick and Harry in your life as you find yourself ending a relationship truly does not make it any better. You would think since the very vast majority of us have had a relationship end (whether romantic or not) that we would save these trite and cliché lines (otherwise known as BS) to ourselves. Ending a relationship, even for all the right reasons is difficult. It is like breaking a habit and for anyone who has ever smoked or had another less than desirable habit – just because it is wrong does not make it any easier.
In life, endings do not always feel like beginnings. They feel like endings. If you have ever read a book and did not want it to end – the miserable let down that something is over can be overwhelming. Many people look for the sequel. Others re-read the same book again hoping they will get something out of it they missed the first times. Then there are those, so disappointed by not having more that they give up reading altogether. Sound familiar? When you relate this to relationships, how we end them says a lot about how we feel about life and ourselves. Often, the task of ending a relationship is just a signal that personal growth of some sort is in order. Life is a series of events and none of us are defined or limited by one single event.
The Right Way to End a Relationship
There are of course some rules to ending a relationship. The first thing you should do, if you are the one ending the thing is to make sure you do it face to face. Far too many people are being broken up with or ‘dissed’ via text message or Facebook. While easier then withstanding the stings of electrical energy between two people – it is an unfair way to end things. When you are the one wanting the end, you have to be completely aware that the other person in your life may not feel the same way. Rule number two is to make sure that the first person to know – is your partner in the relationship. Hearing second hand or from a string of others that you are about to be dumped is humiliating and detrimental to self-esteem and confidence. Consider how your relationships have ended in the past, and try to find the most humble and honest way to do it yourself.
If you are on the flip side of the ending and are left with the unexpected blow of being dumped – you too have a few rules. Certainly, your emotions will surface and you may not have all the control that you necessarily need. But – save yourself from begging. Refrain from asking why. Withhold thoughts of acting violent. Instead, listen to what your partner has to say and begin in that very moment rebuilding your life. Realize that this ending – however unexpected – will mean a new beginning in time. But give yourself time to take it in and to learn the lessons that you are being provided. In every circumstance in life, especially those that try us – there is something positive to be learned. If you fail to learn it or skip this growth opportunity, altogether you will find yourself reliving it over and over again until you finally wake-up!
It is also important to be open to the idea of one relationship ending and a new one, with the same person – beginning. If you are with someone romantically and it just isn’t working out – you may find that friendship will. Not at first of course, but over time. Often, we appreciate people in our lives better when they take on less intense roles and you should never be the first to count out a friendship with someone that you have loved. You may feel angry, slighted, cheated or even let down – but you shouldn’t give up “reading” altogether. It may be that the next chapter or the next book provides you with something even better than the first one you were reading. Different doesn’t always mean worse.
Ending a relationship – after a few weeks, months, years, or minutes is not easy. Rather than force yourself to feel happy and give in to the happy advances of friends who want to pull you out of your slump, don’t be afraid to cry. Releasing your feelings and grieving for the loss you feel is the natural course. Even if the relationship was just a casual friendship that doesn’t seem to be functional, it is normal to feel like something is wrong with you. However, that is not the case. You may have something to learn and you may not have been a perfect match for this other person – but the world is a large place! Ending a relationship is not the end of this big world and you should never feel so defeated or dejected that you submit to giving up.
Perhaps one of the most important steps in ending a relationship or surviving the end of one is to seek wise counsel. Talk to your friends. Keep yourself busy. Push away thoughts of self-destruction. Take strides to distance yourself from the person until you are ready to accept the new status. Do not feel ashamed of yourself or regret your decisions – instead learn from them. Do not rush into a new novel just so you can say you are reading and take some time to remember who you are without this other person, this relationship in your life. You might find you like yourself better in the end. Ending a relationship is not forever. At the time – whether it was your decision or not, it will feel like the biggest decision or struggle in your life. However, in a few years time it will be little more than a memory. If you do it the right way and keep honesty at the forefront of your actions, you will walk away a happier and better person.