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4 Common Mistakes Everyone Makes Breaking Up With Someone

Breakups can be uncomfortable, but we know what to do when our relationships are not fulfilling us as when we began them. Perhaps there has been a shift in priorities and the time both of you spend with each other now seems like more of a chore or an empty duty instead of the part of your day you are looking forward too. You have noticed the number of text messages has dropped from the start of the relationship and you have spent some time figuring out what the next step for you can be. Even the few messages you receive from them through Twitter or Facebook do not make you feel like you had in the beginning. Inside yourself, there is a feeling that this chapter of your life is coming to a close and you might be feeling nervous about the future.

You might take a step back and reminisce what the first months of the relationship were like when you knew there was something special between both of you. You know that things cannot go back to how they were and you start to consider what to do next. So, you ask yourself what do you say to break up with someone. You can’t only tell them it’s over because you share so many memories together and this is a painful change for you as well. Although some of these seem simple to understand here, I hope to share four common break up mistakes so that you can avoid slip-ups in your relationships.

Mistake 1 – Not being honest with ourselves

One mistake we typically make is looking for so many reasons to break up with someone. Breaking up with someone is important for both people involved but if you overthink why a break up is the ultimate solution you will burn yourself out. Spending so much of our energy reflecting on what has gone wrong instead of listening to what you feeling is slippery slow to talk yourself out of breaking up. Each one of us has great instincts, and when something is wrong, we can feel it like a cloud over our heads. Changes like breaking up with someone is scary and should be thought out but make sure you reflect on why you believe a break up is a good idea. Trust in yourself, because you are the ultimate expert on your life and if you have the feeling a breakup needs to happen there is a good reason for it.

Mistake 2 – Waiting out the feeling of breaking up

Another mistake that we make when we are considering breaking up with someone is too wait and see if we feel the same later. We think that things might change if we hold on to the person and let time pass. Unfortunately, we typically end up becoming complacent in our relationships. Complacency is dangerous to our future relationships because this is an internal shift of our expectations. Instead of receiving what we deserve and look for in a relationship, such as compassion, love, and joy we trade these in just to keep the negative relationship going. When you trust yourself and consider that the person you are with hasn’t turned out to be the person who can provide what you are looking for in a serious relationship you know that it is time to start breaking up. After all, a relationship requires two people to work together, and not everyone will be the right fit for each other. The key to a healthy relationship is to find someone who is your good fit instead of having to make sacrifices and change yourself.

Mistake 3 – Breaking up over text

The third big mistake is to break up with someone over text. Messages are great ways of reaching out to people, but a lot of communication is lost. When you use a text message to break up with someone you lose all of the tone, attitude, and emotion behind the words you would have said. Breaking up is a difficult part of any relationship, but it is an opportunity to grow and reaffirm to yourself what you are looking for in a relationship. When you tell your partner that you are seeking to break up with them, there is an opportunity to explain what the connection is missing.  You reaffirm to them and yourself what you are looking for in a partner. You both also have an opportunity to end the relationship in a way that provides closure by asking each other questions and listening to one another.

Mistake 4 – Not knowing what to tell someone

Breaking up with someone can be complicated, and plenty of people struggle to try to find the right words to tell their partner. What seems to be important is telling the other person why the relationship did not work out for you. We touched on how important it is to find someone who fits well with what you are looking for in a relationship. You don’t want to try to change a person over the course of a relationship because then you are forcing them to adjust their expectations the same way you shouldn’t become complacent because someone can’t meet what you want out of a relationship. Focus on what you noticed was missing from the relationship but remind them of what you appreciated.

Breaking up with someone is by far one of the most difficult parts of life, but with these four tips, I hope you can re-frame the breakup. Yes, breaking up with someone marks an end of a relationship but in a way, both people can use that opportunity to grow. Each person gets a better image of what they are looking for in a partner and can start the next chapter in their dating life with more experience. The end is a new beginning, and you are the expert of your life so trust yourself to make the right decision.

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Gabriel Garcia, PsyD Psychology
Gabriel Garcia, PsyD Psychology

Gabriel Garcia is a resident of Haverhill, MA. He holds a Master’s of Science in Clinical Psychology from Rivier University and is pursuing a Doctorate Degree in Clinical Psychology at William James College specializing in Forensics.

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