All relationships come to an end eventually, one way or another. Whether breaking up, divorcing, drifting apart, walking out or dying: no partnership can last forever (even if you want it to).
There really is nothing worse than going through the motions with someone you used to love and respect, and who seems to resent your every living breath, but that’s exactly what lots of us do: carry on, try to make things work, when what we should be doing is bringing things to a healthy conclusion.
…you really don’t have to compromise…
It’s not always straightforward, especially when you live together (as anyone who has had to rely on the kindness of sympathetic friends for somewhere to sleep while their partner continues to live a life of relative ease in the home you once shared will tell you) but that shouldn’t be an excuse because, unlike previous generations, you really don’t have to compromise on the rest of your life if you don’t want to.
Yes, the idea of being single can be frightening and, yes, the thought of kissing goodbye to your comfortable life can be downright terrifying, but if you aren’t happy in your relationship now it’s unlikely you ever will be; and the longer it drags on the less likely you are to do anything about it.
…lives often become so entangled and intertwined…
If you’ve been together a long time then your lives often become so entangled and intertwined that, not only do you lose a partner, you often have to face losing a large part of your social group too. If you have lots of friends in common then you need to make it as amicable as possible, and after any break-up it’s likely that you will both feel the need for a bit of support, which makes staying friends a tempting proposition.
In fact, keeping in contact can actually be a big help; just don’t mistake those feelings of loneliness for love: if you wanted out, it was probably the right decision for both of you, so don’t start shagging each other again just because you haven‘t managed to find anyone else to fuck yet. But is it possible for two people, once so much in love, to go their separate ways and remain good friends?
…You aren’t firing an underperforming employee…
The secret to successfully dumping someone and staying on good terms is to make the other person feel like it’s a mutual decision. Even if you don’t feel bad, make sure it looks like you do. You aren’t firing an underperforming employee (even though it may feel like it at times), so treat them with the respect they deserve and put some method into your acting.
Don’t say:”It’s not you, it’s me”. Do say: “I really wish things could be different, but I really don’t think either of us is happy, and you deserve to be with someone who does make you happy” (even if they are happy they will soon begin to doubt it).
…chop up an onion or poke yourself in the eyes first…
That last line works so much better if you can do it while welling up: nothing says sincerity like tears. If you can’t cry on tap (like so many insincere people seem to be able to), chop up an onion or poke yourself in the eyes first. I never said this would be painless, but if you are bored of your bird, fed up of your fella, or just plain tired of the waking up next to the same old face every morning, now is the time to do something about it.
In fact, if you hurry up, you may just be in time for some Christmas sympathy sex too.