Blame it on the millennial generation, or the technology that sometimes creates more space between people than it does bring them together, but there’s a problem with the way that people are breaking up. This one problem has led to a lot of cut and dry separations, unresolved relationship issues and even the new break up phenomenon, “ghosting.” Ghosting, for those of you who don’t already know, is the act of essentially disappearing from someone’s life. Instead of breaking up or discussing the reasons the relationship (or friendship) isn’t working, one or both people disappear out of the other’s life. The problem that I want to talk to you about today is how many people work to avoid certain truths, or entire topics, as a break up approaches – and even during the break up.
Recently I wrote about the idea of closure. More specifically, I wrote about how sometimes you’re forced to create your own closure because the other person isn’t willing, or sometimes able, to give it to you. Today’s blog post goes hand-in-hand with closure in a way. If more people felt more compelled to honour their relationship for what it was, even during a separation, I believe a whole lot more men and women would have a much easier time finding the closure they seek. Here are three critical steps to making that happen.
1. Know That There’s Power in Truth
People often avoid the truth to spare the feelings of the other person or themselves. Sometimes, it’s to avoid feelings of guilt. Other times, it’s simply to speed things up or keep things simple. For the most part, I understand why people fib, but, when this happens during very important times – such as a relationship argument or break up – it has major repercussions. Neither partner may truly get what they need to get out of the break up. Closure may become a lost cause. There could be ongoing hurt feelings. You get the idea.
I encourage you to acknowledge the power that exists in truth. Whether you seek it or share it, it’s a crucial element in closing one chapter of your life and beginning another. It can be difficult and trying, so I also encourage you to enter into all conversations with an open heart, empathy and a willingness to listen. Some opening words can be, "this is difficult for me to say (reveal truth)" or "It's not my intention to hurt you but (reveal truth)".
2. Keep all Topics on the Table
The specific topics people tend to avoid during break ups depend on the individual relationship. However, they all have one thing in common.That, my friend, is that the topic (or topics) of avoidance is usually the driving force behind the relationship’s failure. For some relationships, it’s the motivation – or lack thereof – that one or bother partners feels in life. Other times it’s fidelity, sex, money, family or a host of others.
While it can feel as though there’s no point in diving into the details as to why the relationship’s failing, since you intend on ending it anyways, it’s important to address the issue. If you don’t both understand why things are the way they are, or at least try to understand, you are more likely to wind up in the same situation again further down the road. It can be painful, difficult, uncomfortable and trying – but it’s absolutely worth it and necessary to truly process this major life decision. Keep all topics on the table.
3. Act With Your Future Self in Mind
We’re often told to live more in the moment, to seize the day and to not get so caught up in the “what will be” that we forget about the “what is.” While I absolutely agree with this way of thinking, often times the two versions of yourself intertwine themselves in life. A break up is a prime example of when this happens, because who you are now and the relationship you’re in will impact who you become and your future relationships – it’s up to you to decide if that impact will be positive or negative.
If you’re tempted to simply cut and run from your current relationship without seeking truth or discussing the driving issues, I urge you to think of your future self. Ask yourself; will that version of you end up wishing you had talked it through? Allowing yourself to feel compassion for your soon-to-be former partner is another helpful tip I can offer you. Though at times, it can really be tough, the effect that compassion has on your mind and body is worth it. Even when it’s incredibly difficult, dig down and try to find empathy and compassion for the person you once loved. It’s an invaluable ability and strong way to move towards closure.
To your authenticity,