This guide explains how to prepare for the end of a romantic relationship.
As a life coach who has helped all kinds of people through various personal setbacks, I have developed a deep understanding of how you can prepare yourself for them.
Indeed, if you’re planning to end a relationship where you live together or have financial ties, it makes sense to spend some time preparing for this. We’ll explore how to do this in the guide below.
How to break up with someone you love: emotional preparation
It can be difficult to emotionally ready yourself for any conflict, let alone the end of a romantic relationship.
Firstly, you need to be sure in your own mind that this is the right thing to do.
Write down a list of reasons if you have to.
Include the reasons why it’s the best solution for your partner too.
Even if they’re likely to be terribly upset in the short-term, they will be able to find someone who truly loves them in the long-term.
Secondly, devise a plan for how you are going to physically distance yourself from your partner.
If you’re living together, who is going to move out and where are they going to go?
If you have to seperate your things, how is that going to work?
By having an exit plan prepared, the breakup itself will be less intimidating and overwhelming.
Finally, it’s probably a good idea to think about what you’re going to say to your partner.
If it’s someone you deeply love (or at least used to love), they deserve a detailed explanation about why the relationship is ending.
These tips on giving critical feedback might help.
If you feel it’s necessary, you might want to think of how to respond to any rebuttals they’re likely to throw your way.
It’s unlikely to be a pleasant conversation, but taking these three steps will make it easier for most people.
How do you prepare for a broken heart?
In many cases, the prospect of being single and heartbroken can be harder to ready yourself for than the breakup itself.
Even when it’s you who initiates the split, it is extremely common to experience sadness after the relationship ends.
This is because we lost someone who provided happiness and certainty in our life (at some point).
Even when the relationship is a train-wreck, we receive mood-enhancing endorphins whenever our partner gives us love and affection.
Also, relationships can give us a feeling of stability and having a clear path in life.
This can be extremely comforting.
As such, it can be scary and stressful to suddenly lose the source of all these positive emotions, especially when we don’t have another one.
That’s no reason to delay or avoid the breakup. If you do this, you’re only prolonging an unhappy relationship and delaying your opportunity to find a more fulfilling one.
However, in the time you spend preparing for a breakup, it’s good to think about what you’re going to do to keep your spirits high.
I’d recommend you spend time with friends and family, place extra focus on your career, engage in your most beloved hobbies or even start a new one.
A great thing about becoming single is that you’re granted time to spend on things you weren’t able to do before. It’s important to make the most of this.
My guide on getting over a breakup is packed with more ideas.
How to distance yourself before a breakup
It’s often recommended to start emotionally distancing yourself from your partner as you get ready to break up with them, as this will make the split itself less painful.
This is probably true.
It would be easier to split up with someone after spending time away from them and remembering how to become emotionally independent.
Maybe you even want to start flirting with other people and sowing the seeds for a new relationship.
However, I would argue that it’s deeply unfair on your partner to do this.
By delaying an inevitable split, you’re delaying their opportunity to find happiness with someone else.
That’s not right.
Don’t wait longer than you need to initiate the break up.
How to prepare for a breakup when you live together
Your exit plan can be difficult to organise when you live together.
Perhaps you share rent, bills and possessions.
Maybe you have equal rights to remain in the property.
The first thing to say is: one of you has to leave.
Trying to make it work as roommates isn’t worth the drama.
Set a fair deadline for one of you to go – and stick to it.
Secondly, I want to urge you to be fair to your partner.
You may feel like booting them out, throwing their things out the window and screwing them over financially, but this isn’t worth the long-term stress either.
By trying to negotiate a fair and amicable split, you encourage your partner to behave fairly towards you too.
By trying to screw them over, you encourage them to also make life difficult for you.
If necessary, perhaps you’ll want to bring in someone you both know to act as a mediator.
Try not to involve people who will take sides.
If your partner isn’t willing to play fair, know your legal rights and act upon them if necessary.
Resist the urge to take the law into your own hands and score petty wins over them.
It might feel good in the short-term, but it’s an awful idea if you want to move on quickly from the relationship.
How do you financially prepare for a break up?
If you own a joint bank account or have both your names on other bills, you need to close these accounts or convert them into a single-person account.
In many cases, you’ll need their co-operation to do this.
As such, you may need to wait until after the split to begin this process.
If your partner refuses to cooperate, you’ll at least need to notify the provider of these accounts about the split.
They might be able to help or at least protect you from being responsible for reckless financial behaviour on behalf of your ex.
This should be a priority.
While you remain financially linked to your ex, their credit score will affect yours.
You may also remain liable for debt they accrue.
How to financially prepare for divorce
If you’re married, parting ways financially tends to be a lot more complicated.
This guide has some useful tips on financially preparing yourself for a divorce.
However, it’s usually best to seek advice from your solicitor.