Life is full of changes. One of the most emotional and hardest changes is realizing that you are ready to let go of relationship. It is not easy and there are so many delicate strings to limbo through as you try not
to get tangled up or break anything. Most people want to make a nice, clean, easy break but fail to know how. Let’s be honest with ourselves, usually long before we let go we know that we want to let go, we just aren’t sure how to go about it. The longer we sit and ponder on it, the more tangled the relationship web has become. Friends and family may have become an embedded part of the relationship depending on how long it has gone on. A lot must be considered, such as our motives and are we personally truly ready for the emotional rollercoaster. After all we may find right after the deed is done that it should not have been done. To be honest unless both parties are ready to let go, there will always be hurt. The key is to minimize the pain.
We know we are not quite ready to tell the other person of our intentions yet, but we need to tread lightly. Perhaps we should not make comments about being here forever or make any promises of love that we know we do not intend to keep. We need to keep it light and back away from some of the things we have been doing. It should be done with gentle care and respect. After all we are trying to preserve the friendship and cause as little pain as necessary. We might even consider hanging out with our own friends a little more, giving the other person a chance for independence. This may seem a little cruel but you want them to see that they don’t need to be around you all the time. You are setting up their cushion by giving them independence. They won’t feel so lost and alone if they have another shoulder to cry on. The most hurtful thing about losing the person you love is not knowing what to do with yourself. When you are use to being together all the time you don’t know how to cope. So basically you are setting them up to survive, and dulling the pain. At first they may get upset that you want to hang out more with others, but encourage them to do the same. If they are honest with themselves and otherwise pretty sharp they will know at this point that the relationship is coming to its end, and may even call it quit themselves here.
Whenever you are ready to let go, you need to figure out if you want to handle this on the phone, by letter, or in person. Do not break up after having sex, or spending a romantic day together. This needs to be done on its own day with no emotional events happening. You could try to pick a fight but the best way is to be straightforward about it. The hardest approach will be to do this in person because you will have to see the pain in their face and the tears. There really is no easy way to do this, except by perhaps letter. This is you call to pick which way suites you the best.
Be honest with the person for why you want to break up. Don’t tell them you just need time or that you don’t know what you want when you do know. This only creates false hope that you will return. Tell them that you will always care for them but don’t say that you love them. The truth is that if you are leaving then you have more than likely fallen out of love. To say that you still love them is a lie and your actions later will only hurt more. They will end up hurting themselves by trying to figure out how can you love them and yet leave. Tell them that you really love the friendship that you have and are sorry for the pain. Explain that you truly never wanted to hurt them and that while you are sure this is what you want it makes it hard to let go. They will probably want to know if you are seeing anyone else or intend to. Let them know that right now you have no intentions of committing to anyone, but that does not mean you will not choose to be in a relationship later (this part only if you know you fully intend to date soon). This sounds bad but it would hurt them more to see you out with someone after you said you didn’t want anyone. Allow them to cry and assure them that you still want to maintain a friendship. Tell them you understand if that would be too hard to do at this time, but you were willing to wait until they were ready. The most essential part is making sure you don’t make promises you don’t want to keep. If you are ok with hanging out still, do so, but it would probably be better to hang out in groups. If you end up spending too much time together you will give the false hope.
Make sure you do not break up around any holidays, anniversaries or birthdays. If there are children involved please be careful to still give them the care they deserve. The most important thing to remember is patience. Because they will experience hurt, give them a chance to vent and tell you how they feel. Don’t get back together out of pity and don’t make excuses. You can still be available as friend to that person. Just tread lightly when expressing the way you feel about them. If you truly don’t want to hurt their feelings try and remain single for a while to give them time to adjust. This is really important if you have the same friendship circle. Don’t shy away from hanging out with the group as you normally did, and don’t be cold. Talk to them just like you use to because you don’t want to alienate them. You want to show them that you can still function as friends.
It’s always going to be a hard thing to let go. No matter what we can not prevent the pain. The best we can do is hope to minimize the damage; damage control is all about what you say and how you say it. There is no need to be nasty about a split when you have a friendship base. Even if you don’t really care to speak to them again, be nice out of respect for the friendship that was. It is the most selfless thing we can do in this situation.