I say yes.
Partly because I am the dominant in my relationships, and so I feel like it’s important to plan for a good (or as good as possible) split, just like it’s important to plan for a good relationship.
But it’s not just because of that.
Looking back over the years, I have put in time with every break up to try to make it easier.
Except one. My marriage. It ended thanks to addiction and mental illness, and I was too deep and too out of spoons before I got out, and I had nothing left.
So, I also acknowledge that there are times when there is nothing that can be done.
But in other times, I believe that breaking up is another relationship stage. A pathway from one state to another, and deserves care and time.
- I save time to be compassionate with my partner as they grieve.
- I save time to answer “Why?”
- I hold myself in kindness as I have to recreate and/or maintain boundaries I need during the process.
- I do my best to not speak in anger.
- I give myself time to grieve.
- I leave emotional space for the rehashing of past hurts in an attempt at closure, and do my best not to rehash them myself.
- I mourn the loss of potential.
- I look for a way forward.
- I plan for a positive outcome.
- I offer my love and support (but not my life, time, and relationship as it was).
- I communicate with as much compassion as I have in me.
- When I am out of compassion, I don’t communicate, but say I’ll get back to them.
- And when they need space, I let them have it, letting them know I am available for communication, if they want it—no pressure.
I also like to break up with someone while I still love/like them. I think it’s important to recognize when things are not working, and to be able to lovingly separate, rather than to wait until I hate them (or have nothing left for them), and when I’m willing to use a flamethrower to burn it all to nothing.
I never really thought much about all of this.
I just did it.
And over my life I can proudly say I’m on good terms with all the people I created long-term relationships with (more than 90 days or so), except my ex-husband.
And while I don’t regret how things ended up there—because I needed to get out—I do know that it could have been done with more grace, and I took that lesson with me moving forward.
What about you?
Do you plan for your breakups or de-partnering?
Do you give yourself and others the time and space to create closure, or to find a path to a new way of relating?
(No judgements—you have a right to decide for yourself. This is MY perspective only.)