Breakups are hard. I know,
I know — hot take, right? But seriously, they're really hard, especially when you're breaking up with a long-term partner. You've spent years sharing your life with this person, getting to know them, opening up to them, and building a life, or at least planning one in the future. Over time, their life became intertwined with yours, so breaking up isn't as simple as deciding to go your separate ways. There are whole lives to disentangle.
If you decided to end it, you've probably focused your energy on dealing with the emotional fallout of a split — and, if you live together, the logistics of a breakup. When you've been together for a long time, things can get really complicated in ways you never expected. There are potentially more people whose lives will be changed by your breakup than just you and your soon-to-be ex, which can be hard, but it helps if they know it's coming. There are also aspects of your new life post-split that you may have overlooked but that you'll need to prepare for. So, here's what no one tells you about ending a long-term relationship.
Your Breakup May Be Really Hard On Your Friends
Along with dividing up your furniture and book collections, you may need to spend some time figuring out what is going to happen with your friends. It's likely that over the years, you've developed relationships with your partner's squad and vice versa. Or they may even just be one big friend group. Either way, the reality is that some friendships will change and they will likely have some hurt feelings about your split, too. So prepare for the fact that you may lose some friends, but the ones who stick around are the ones who really count.
It May Be Hard On Your Families, Too
There is a good chance that over the years you've spent together you've developed a relationship with one another's families as well. Depending on how close you were, stepping back from them may feel like a breakup all on its own.
You’ll Need A Strategy For Social Media
As if dealing with a breakup IRL wasn't hard enough, there is also social media to think about. You've likely already thought about social media post-breakup in passing, but what you might not have realized is that you need a real detailed plan on how to handle it if you want to avoid the emotional pitfalls. You'll want to carefully consider who you're going to unfollow or unfriend. Are you going to spring clean your Instagram of all traces of your ex? Are you going to make a formal announcement? These are all things to consider. At the very least, consider thinking about what steps to take to insulate yourself from your ex's social media, if you feel like you need to.
Get Ready To Sign Up For A Lot Of New Services
You used to share a Netflix account... and a Spotify account... and an Amazon Prime account... and a Hulu account — I think you see what I'm getting at here. Breaking up means it's time to sign up for your own services. But hey, at least your ex won't be messing up all your algorithms with their subpar taste in movies and music anymore, right?
You Will Suddenly Have A Lot Of Free Time
If you've ever wondered where all the hours of the day go, you're about to find out. Being newly single means discovering exactly how much downtime you filled just being with your ex. Suddenly the days and nights are going to seem really long and boring. It's a great way to get yourself trapped in an emotional rut. Avoid that by being prepared to do things you've been meaning to get around to forever. Fill your time with friends, family, and new experiences. Not only will it help keep you from being lonely, but it will also help show you all the exciting possibilities of your new life.
The Dating Game Has Changed — A Lot
If you've been with your partner for a long time, you may have a dating culture shock waiting for you. Don't let it intimidate you! The only way to re-acclimate is to just get out there and practice. Before you know it, you'll have your mojo back and find yourself swiping left and right like you invented it.
You’re Stronger Than You Think
Probably the biggest thing you don't know about breaking up with a long-term partner is how strong you really are. Don't worry, you'll learn — it may just take a little time. Breakups are brutal and it's OK to cry and to feel waves of doubt, and maybe even moments of regret. But you will push through it and emerge stronger on the the other side.
No breakup is ever easy, and no matter how much you plan, you can't prepare for everything. Just do your best and make sure to surround yourself with a support system that will be there for you through it all.
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