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When is it okay to break up with someone you love?

One of the hardest things to do is letting go of someone you love. Because once you take the decision, you are flooded with fond memories of the person and it puts you in a state of longing. Loss of peptide oxytocin does its bit and makes you miss that person physically too, making every cell of your body want to just get them back!

Small overtures then, of getting back, hearing your partner say, “I love you”, “I’m sorry” becomes exponential as your mind body and soul is pitched into this pendulum of emotions, trying hard to hold on to one end.

So how does one break up with someone they are still in love with? Ideally without wreaking havoc in either lives? How do we know if we are doing the right thing?

  1. Where there is smoke, there is always fire: If you have taken the decision to break up, its always never without reason. Close your eyes, and ask yourself why you want to leave your partner? The first reason that comes is almost the primary reason. Dig deep into it and identify the solution, if possible? If the solution is mutually workable then give it a shot. But if solution seems far fetched or impractical, different variations have been tried several times already, then you know your instinct to end the relationship is right. There is no point staying in a relationship that will hurt.

  2. Rip it like Band Aid: When the decision is taken, break all contact. The more you continue to be around the person, the more heartache you are going to cause yourself. And the last thing you want is to give in to a weak moment and get back together when you know for a fact this is wrong for you. Do not stalk them on social media. Resist the urge to talk friendly. It takes 21 days to form a habit. So keep it going mate!

  3. Closure brings calm: If you are in love with the person, make sure you discuss with them the reason for the break up. The last thing you want is to bear the cross of guilt or let those open emotions storm its way in during a point of weakness . Be prepared for fireworks, but if its right for you, then stand with your decision. However, if there was a simple misunderstanding that gets clarified during the discussion, and that was your primary reason, there’s no reason to break a good thing you have going. Do what seems right to you.

  4. Reason makes it or breaks it: There is always a reason behind 2 people getting together or moving away. There are expectations being met as long as 2 people stay in a relationship, and then something changes on the way. For me this is the most important step, because it helps build self awareness and ensures that we do not make the same mistake again. We all come from different walks of life and what makes us unique is our expectations from ourselves and others. Those expectations make us more tolerant perhaps, or an equal rights advocate. What sets us apart is where we’ve come from and where we want to go. Why is that important? Because your experiences in life is how you will weigh others around you. Its the default behavior you will expect, and misaligned expectations is where the cards come crashing down. Growing together and evolving into better people is the best thing that can happen, provided that’s what you want. But if definition of growth changes en route, then the paths begin to diverge. Its very easy to break connections and burn bridges. Staying connected and communicating to hold on and evolving together is what being in love is all about. But if that boat has sailed in your case and you have clear reasons to let go, then that is what you should do.

  5. It takes 2 to make a relationship: One of the most common reasons for a fall out, is when one person deems themselves more important in the relationship. That very often becomes the foundation of a toxic relationship, where one person clearly becomes the driver and all expectations surround them. An ideal relationship is where each person is valued and their dreams cherished. While circumstances may not equally allow both to fulfill the same, standing by each other and rendering support can go a long way in paving a path for mutual compromise and understanding.

  6. No relationship is perfect: To err is to be human. So realizing & avoiding the mistakes that irk your partner is part of growing in understanding and being in love. There is a standing joke among counselors that a marriage is fully complete when the husband and wife become mirror images of each other :-). But in all seriousness, to expect perfection is wrong, when you yourself are not that. For some, how much you give in a relationship is how much you should get back eg long daily conversations. For some though, quality is more important than quantity- eg long distance relationships. The cardinal sin here is not learning from those mistakes and continuing to do something that hurts your partner. If your partner does not care enough to mend his ways to not hurt you repeatedly, then that relationship needs to end.

My intention was to give you a balanced view so that you are able to take a decision that is right for you. Its very easy to say “break it off”, or “stick with it”. No one but you know what it feels like when you are with that person. If the relationship is giving you happiness or frustration. I believe in you and I am sure whatever decision you take will be the right one.

For additional clarity, watch this

For more help, you can reach out to me personally.

Harleen Bagga Multidisciplinary Psychotherapist, Life Coach, Psychologist.

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