Do you want a different way of looking at breaking up? Start with an exit strategy and communicate so you can transition, rather than disintegrate!
Cathy: Breaking up can be really hard. It can be so painful that you stayed on a relationship you don’t want to stay in.
Reid: It can be painful like that Paul Sedaka, Neil Sedaka song Breaking Up is Hard to Do. Sorry Paul, Neil.
Cathy: This is Reid Mihalko from http://www.ReidAboutSex.com.
Reid: This is Cathy Vartuli from http://www.TheIntimacyDojo.com and PuttingUpWithReid.com.
Cathy: I think that URL is taken.
Reid: Are you breaking up with me?
Reid: She might be breaking up with me. Why is breaking up hard?
Cathy: Well we have a lot of old stories and we don’t have the skills necessarily to talk to our partner. I really love that in some communities they talk about transitioning rather than breaking up. A lot of us were taught that when you break up, it’s all over. You never talk to that person again, you give them back their CDs and their books and you would complain because the kept your favourite socks.
Reid: Which pretty much ensures with that kind of idea of what breaking up is supposed to be that you’ll never have a good breakup. Because if you’re never supposed to talk to that person again and they also if they’ve been important in your life then you kind of have to like burn all the bridges and just tear everything down. So how could you guys stay friends?
Cathy: Yeah. It’s really beautiful if you consider the possibility, you get to choose. There’s some of my ex’s that I’m not in connection with. It wasn’t a good fit. When we separated, it was the end. It was like let’s move out of each other’s lives. Some of my ex’s we’re really good friends, we know each other really well. So there’s a possibility that you don’t have to sever all the ties and call them bad names on Facebook.
Reid: One way to make breaking up easier is when you start dating somebody, have a conversation about what the breakup would look like.
Cathy: Exit strategies.
Reid: Exactly and get all that weird conversation out in the open. Some people think that this is a horrible dating advice, but I personally think that if you’re dating somebody who can handle having that kind of conversation and understand why you might want to talk about exit strategies and expectations, you’re probably dating a grownup, somebody who can actually handle being in a relationship. How good to be dating somebody who might be ready to be in a relationship? That’s really awesome.
Cathy: And you can practice the difficult conversations, there’s a link for that below. If you’re talking about things that are coming up as they come up, the breakup doesn’t have to be this huge disintegration. You’ve already built skills to talk about things and you’ve cleared the way and so having a difficult conversation about I don’t think we’re a good fit anymore may be painful but it doesn’t have to dissolve everything or shatter everything.
Reid: Another great thing to look at too when you’re starting relationships, which helps transition them if and when they come to a close, is getting really clear with both of you what your relationship intention is, what’s your shared intention for that relationship.
Reid: That way, if you guys do grow apart, you can revert back to that shared intention and kind of use it as your compass and be really pragmatic and be like wow, I think we’re moving in different directions and in a way where it doesn’t make sense for us to stay together. One of the best relationships I ever had was one where we realized we were a lot like each other’s parents and we were re-enacting, basically doing family therapy with each other when our parents were still both alive.
Reid: So we ended up getting disengaged. We were engaged at the time and got disengaged. It was one of the best breakups I’d ever had.
Reid: And it was one of the most important relationships I ever had because it was in that relationship that I learned that you could choose powerfully that this relationship wasn’t the one for what we needed to suit us both.
Reid: And we still remain really good friends to this day. Hi, Sandra.
Cathy: So I love what you said about what is your intention for the relationship and a lot of people just kind of fall into relationships. They don’t have why do I want to be in a relationship with this person, what am I bringing in to their life, what are they bringing in to mine, and that gives you a really clear line where if that stops being met, those needs stop being met, let’s talk about this. Let’s figure out if we can get those needs met again or if we need to split up and that leaves a very healthy kind of weeding out the dead wood so to speak.
Reid: So having a healthy relationship or getting into a relationship more mindfully and having a healthier more communicative relationship during makes breaking up easier when and if you guys get to the place where it becomes apparent that you shouldn’t be staying together any longer.
Cathy: And you have a great recording on your site.
Reid: Yeah. You can go to http://www.ReidAboutSex.com, we’ll leave the link for you in learning how to break up with integrity and perhaps some panache. It doesn’t have to be that hard.
Cathy: Let us know how your breakups have been, what you’d like to hear about on these videos, leave in the comments below.
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