Why Are You Breaking Up?

Advice
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That's a catchy question, isn't it? The act of "breaking up" occurs for more than just the bad reasons that movies would have you believe. If you've ever sat down and wondered why you break up, we've explored some of the common themes for you. See something you recognize? Use the themes below to compare with your own dating practices. If you see a pattern of behavior you don't like, you can decide to take active steps to change. We also hope that these reasons will help take some of the stigma out of the act of breaking up - it's not always a bad thing.

The Power Play

If you typically assert your power in a relationship through the act of breaking-up with someone, you're engaging in a Power Play. Perhaps things weren't going the way you wanted or you had a tough time speaking up about things that bothered you. Maybe you're just so fed-up with the situation that you blew. Breaking-up, especially if you're the one initiating the split, places you in a position of control. It's a position many people need to be in consistently. Ever have a friend who is always the one doing the breaking-up? It's the Power Play in action and you've got front row seats. If you find you're with someone who can't relinquish control, there are probably other relationship troubles leading to feeling of inequality. If you keep an open line of communication, you're more likely to avoid being in a Power Play scenario.

The Knee-Jerk

He made you mad. She did something you didn't like. Many people are more comfortable cutting-off communication entirely to show displeasure in a relationship than actually sitting down and talking about it like adults. We all have the friend who is in the perpetual on again/off again relationship. You never know if they're together or apart. It's likely you're watching a Knee-Jerk response over and over again. Breaking-up hurts - instead of opting for the knee-jerk, why not let things cool down and talk it out over a cup of coffee or a *censored*tail? Your partner will appreciate your efforts. Do you really need all of the on again/off again drama?

The Enemy Attack

While I never understood why people let relationships get to this point, many break-ups could be classified as Enemy Attacks. Everything negative builds, you argue consistently and it all culminates in a hugely violent affair where words are flung like hand grenades in trench warfare. Logic and kindness have left the building and all that remains is the overwhelming urge to hurt the person you're supposed to love. While they make for great YouTube viewing, they're terrible for the soul. Instead of letting things pile up and get out of hand, consider pulling the plug before you hit critical mass.

The Agreement

Breaking-up doesn't have to be a Power Play, Knee-Jerk reaction or an Enemy Attack. It can actually be mutual. While never really pleasant, it has the potential to be an agreeable act. If things aren't working out for whatever reason, what better way to show kindness than opening the door for meaningful dialogue that could result in each of you going your different ways? Many beautiful friendships began as relationships that ultimately didn't work out. Remember the reasons you liked your partner in the first place and look for ways to keep the good parts of them while you put your self in a position to pursue a better relationship. Taking the time and initiative to end something (your intimate relationship) and save something in the process (your friendship) is an incredibly adult move. While some people just aren't capable of being friends with previous lovers, you never know until you ask, right?