5 Steps to Breaking It Off for Good

I spent most of my undergrad years watching the entire series of Sex and the City on constant rotation.  I know almost every episode by heart and can recite most line by line.  As a young woman, growing into my own, I relied heavily on how I saw “adults” dealing with life issues I knew were coming my way.  Inevitably, that meant breakups.  I remember the episode “The Post-It Note Always Sticks Twice,” in which Carrie has an absolutely bonkers night out with the girls reveling in the disgrace she felt being broke up with on a post-it note.  She even used the post it to get out of a drug charge!  Classic.

Since college, I’ve had a few break ups.  Some were decent and others were honestly, truly awful.  So, I set out on a journey to figure how to end a romance with both parties’ egos unscathed. I want to make sure I note that this advice is strictly for people who are ready to end their relationships, not people who are scouring the interwebs looking for a reason.  Also, this is for an average relationship.  If you are being physically or emotionally abused, I insist that you seek professional help from law enforcement, community agencies, and your support system.

  • Commit to decoupling. You know when it’s time to cut and run.  You now the why.  Don’t go back and forth with yourself once a decision is made and definitely don’t avoid the inevitable.  
  • Rip the Band-Aid off.  As soon as you commit to decoupling, you need to have the conversation.  It will be less stressful than holding onto the bombshell for days, week or even months.
  • Speak clearly to be understood. This break up is about to be permanent so make sure you say as much. Be concise with your words and emotions.
  • Carry an umbrella and sunglasses.  This means be prepared for whatever feelings they will have.  You two may be in agreement or it could be a war of words.  No matter what reaction your soon-to-be ex has, you want to be prepared for it so it doesn’t influence your words or deeds during the conversation.
  • Go to your corners and stay there.  Once the deed is done, do yourself a favor and retreat.  It’s not cowardice but simply allowing both of you to deal with the aftermath in a safe, comfortable environment.  I recommend getting a suite at a hotel or hanging out with your friends. 

Tell me about your breakup stories.  What worked for you? What didn’t?