Breaking Up

How to end your relationship in a civil manner

We’ll all end up in the position of having to end a romantic relationship at some point in our lives. Sometimes you grow apart. Sometimes someone better comes along. Sometimes you decide to commit to a life of celibacy. No matter what your reason for breaking up is, these tips can help you get closure and avoid the messiness that often results from dumping someone:

  • Don’t delay. As soon as you’re sure you want to break up with your partner, do the deed. Prolonging it will only make things worse for both of you. Breaking up is like taking off a bandage: It hurts less to just rip it off than to try to remove it slowly.
  • Do it alone and in person. Never break up over the phone or via e-mail. It’s classless. You owe it to your partner to actually be in the same room when it happens. Unfortunately, this can be hard to do in the case of long-distance relationships.
  • Tell the truth. You can do better than the “it’s not you, it’s me” talk. If you want to have any kind of relationship with your ex afterwards, you need to be honest about why you’re breaking up with him or her.
  • Be decisive. Make it clear that you’ve made up your mind and the relationship is completely over. Taking “a break” never works. Tie up all the loose ends.
  • Listen. Be respectful and allow your ex to respond to what you say and to ask questions.

Help! I Think My Partner is Cheating on Me

If you suspect that your boyfriend or girlfriend has been unfaithful, there are a few things you need to do:

  • Trust your instincts. If something about the relationship seems fishy, try to figure out what’s causing you to feel that way.
  • Look for clues. Determine whether your suspicions are warranted. If your partner suddenly starts avoiding you or lying about things, something’s probably amiss. Ask around. Chances are your friends will find out if your partner is cheating before you do. You may even need to go supersleuth and start snooping through drawers and using other spy tactics.
  • Take the high road. Cheating to get back at your partner will only make things worse. Don’t stoop to his or her level. Remember that it’s possible your partner wasn’t cheating after all. You’ll end up being the lowlife if you cheat to get revenge on your partner for a crime that he or she didn’t commit.
  • Calmly confront your partner. Talk about why you suspect he or she is cheating. Insist that you be told the whole truth.
  • Don’t forgive and forget. If you find out that it’s definitely a case of infidelity, put on your dumping shoes because it’s time to break off your relationship. The phrase “once a cheater, always a cheater” holds true in almost every case, so don’t think you can cure your partner of his or her unfaithfulness. End things once and for all, and then focus on getting over the relationship and finding someone you can actually trust.
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