All relationships have expiration dates (read: your eventual death), how you choose to deal with such endings is what the book “How To Break Up With Anyone” by Jamye Waxman is all about. A break up is the process of letting go, often it’s one that serves your best interest. So remember you are not a bad person for wanting to break up, you are simply looking after yourself.
Another thing to note is that no two break ups will ever be the same… I’m sure that seems pretty obvious to most, consider it a disclaimer. Along the same vein of pretty obvious but needs to be mentioned anyway: Don’t break up spontaneously. Relationships don’t really end in an instant, although sometimes they feel like they do. And always remember that avoidance is not the same as a break up. While it may seem easier at first, it’s harder and much more complicated in the long run.
With that out of the way, I present to you the seven steps to breaking up:
1. Be mentally prepared. A breakup requires confidence, clarity and in some instances steely determination. Be honest and ask yourself what does this break up really mean? What does ending things actually look like? What will you lose?
2. Be detail orientated. Decide the where, when and length of the interaction. Figure out what issues need to be addressed, how you will cope with the things that still bind you such as shared social circles, parents, belongings etc.
3. Leave the blame at home. It takes two to tango as they say, and you need to acknowledge the part you played in this situation. It will never be 100% your fault or theirs, and revisiting the past in an attempt to figure things out is a futile effort. The past is over an done with, so why not instead try to make the end as comfortable as possible?
4. Stay motivated and think positive. See this ending as the start of a new beginning and be excited for it. Once this painful part is out of the way, you get to move on to better things.
5. Don’t get trapped. Physically or emotionally. Create boundaries and learn to say no. If necessary play the song “New Rules” by Dua Lipa on repeat until the message sinks in.
6. Feel. It’s okay to feel hurt, nervous, angry, sad, disheartened etc. Make time to face it head on, this isn’t going to be a fun process (unless you’re a sociopath).
7. Get a mantra. Pretty self explanatory.
The book goes into much more detail on each of these steps. It also looks at different types of toxic relationships and how to identify them. There are entire chapters dedicated to different types of break ups, from breaking up with a friend, family, career or community. Everything is presented in great detail with real life examples. So if you need to break up with someone, anyone… This should be your go to book.