Nobody wants to initiate the emotional and awkward conversation of breaking up with your partner. You realize you no longer want to be with your partner, but you also realize that you don’t want the honor of breaking up with them either. You run through several ways to tell them, without hurting them – “It’s not you, it’s me” or “Let’s just be friends.”
I recently read an article about the lack of accountability that adult couples are displaying when breaking up with one another. The article discussed the spectrum of passively breaking up to actively breaking up.
- Ghosting – abruptly ending all communication: no initiating or responding to text or phone calls. The person will ghost their partner because they cannot face the pain that breaking up will cause. However, the recipient of this will actually experience more emotional chaos, doubt, and resentment in response to the ghosting behavior.
- Icing – counterfeit reason for putting the relationship “on ice” — “It’s not you, It’s me” or “I’m so busy but when my schedule clears up, I can’t wait to hang out.” This mate no longer wants to be in a committed relationship but also wants to keep the door cracked in the event they change their mind in the future. The recipient often feels resentment.
- Simmering – decreasing communication and face-to-face contact: They enjoy the companionship and security of the relationship, but something isn’t quite working for them. The recipient will have a sense that something is not right, but there is not enough reason to confront their partner.
- Power Parting – breaking up definitively; no statements such as “let’s be friends” or “if I were in a different place in my life….” that will perpetuate wishful thinking. This partner will give their recipient clarity and closure with no ambiguous statements or hopes for reuniting in the future.
Do you know of other ways which people break up with someone in a way that is less than accountable?
The honest truth is that breaking up is going to be a painful experience, but being honest and doing it in person is a must – no text, e-mail, or phone call. That is what emotionally mature adults do.
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