Leaving: The Art of a Good Breakup

Christine Arylo, author of Choosing Me Before We, had some advice for getting over a breakup.

Drama. Deceit. Devastation. It's not just reality TV, it's the reality  that most of us experience when we end a relationship, because we don't and won't leave our men until we reach the point of hating, hurting and hardly speaking... a.k.a. the 'bad breakup.'
Why do we make it so hard on ourselves? Why can't we end it before our relationship gets to such a painful place? The truth is that for centuries women have been taught to believe, "If I love this man, and he loves me, that's enough, no matter how exhausted, unhappy or lonely I feel. I must stay and make it work, or keep trying until things get so bad I can justify the ending. Love is supposed to conquer all, right?"  Wrong!

You can love a someone and choose not to be with them. Love is not enough of a reason to stay in a relationship. It's time to trade in the "love lies" for the real relationship truths and to learn the rules of a good breakup, because while breakups are always sad, they don't have to be devastating.

LIE: You don't break up until you've fallen out of love.
TRUTH: Once you love someone, you love them forever. People fall out of trust, intimacy, and respect, not love.
"I love you, but I'm not in love with you." How many of us have either heard or uttered those words as we walked head first into a bad
breakup? What a cop out! People don't fall in and out of love, as if love can be measured. People fall out of trust, intimacy and respect, and usually for good reasons. The problem is that those reasons never get communicated to our partner because we use cop out phrases like "I'm just not in love with you any more." And just how is a person supposed to respond to that? Usually all the receiver can feel is confusion and deep hurt, while the breaker upper gets let off the hook of communicating his or her real feelings.

Good Breakup Rule #1:
Be honest about the 'whys' but keep love out of it. Be honest about the real "why's" this relationship is no longer working, which have
nothing to do with love. Think about intimacy, respect, truth and trust, and where you fell short. Be clear about why this relationship
is no longer right for you, without making the other person wrong.

Good Breakup Rule #2:
Keep the love going inside and between you. It's okay to love each other and still choose to end your relationship, in fact it's the best way. Be kind to each other throughout the process. Remember that you are friends, that you care about each other, and that you do want the best for the other person. And while the breakup will still be sad, it won't be dramatic or deceitful.

LIE: If my relationship ends, the whole thing was a failure
TRUTH: The failure is trying to keep a dead relationship alive. We are meant to have multiple relationships in our lifetime, which
means it is natural for relationships to end. We cause unnecessary suffering for ourselves by prolonging relationships way past their expiration date and by beating ourselves up for not making our  relationship work.

Good Breakup Rule#3:
See every relationship as a teacher. Every relationship is meant to teach you more about yourself and what you want from your life and from a partner. Remember that this is your life, and you will have many people come in and out of it. When a relationship ends, be grateful for what it and your partner have taught you. Express that gratitude to your former guy. Every relationship is meant to teach you more about yourself and what you want from your life. Take those learnings with you.

LIE: I'll never be loved again. He was the one.
TRUTH: You are 'the one' and the more you love you, the more love you'll attract.

Good Breakup Rule#4:
Be kind and loving to you. Breakups are hard and emotional, even when the breakup is good. Make sure that you do things to love yourself throughout the process: Have your messy emotions, take mental health days and pamper yourself, remember how great of a woman you are, and surround yourself with friends who can both listen to you and keep you remembering that this breakup is about you creating your best life, and not about how much someone loves you.

Christine has a talk and signing tonight at 7:30 at Powell's located at 3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd in Portland.


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