We all have the tendency to change a little bit in a new relationship. Maybe we alter our hygiene habits, or take up some new interests. Ideally, the changes we observe in ourselves are positive. But take note if you don’t feel good about yourself anymore, or you don’t like who you’ve become. Especially if you’ve been with someone for a long period of time, these alterations to your personality, values/morals, and habits can be so subtle and gradual that you don’t even notice they’re happening until you don’t recognize yourself anymore.
"If your love life has completely sidetracked you from your dreams and estranged from your own passion projects, deciding to end the relationship you’re currently in will save you from waking up one day in a life that doesn’t resemble the vision you had for yourself," explains Chelsea Leigh Trescott, breakup coach and the podcast host of Thank You Heartbreak. “Ending this kind of relationship now will also save you from feelings of resentment, pity, detachment, and self-blame. If you’re not being loved in a way that frees you up to be more yourself, then you will never regret loving yourself enough to free yourself first."
So take a hard, honest look at your relationship. Have you abandoned any of the things that were important to you or made you happy since dating this person? Does your partner ever say or do things that undermine your self-esteem? Has your self-image suffered over the course of the relationship? These are all signs that you might be justified in considering a breakup with your SO — and furthermore, that you may be grateful you decided to do so in the long run.
Hesitance to go through with a breakup is totally typical — after all, choosing to detach yourself from someone who has played a major role in your life as of late can be scary. That's why Trescott advises seeking out some back up from friends and family before you end things.
"If you’re afraid you’ll regret your breakup, start calling in support now who can act as a sounding board before, during, and after the breakup," she says. "This will keep you honest about any and all the feelings you’re experiencing but will also keep you accountable to all the positive and necessary reasons you are craving change. The best thing you can have post-breakup is someone who will let you air your fears — and who can validate them with you — but won’t let you be taken down by them, especially if the fear linked to regret makes you want to return to a relationship that is familiar and easy but that you have ultimately outgrown."
If any of these signs sound familiar, there's a good chance that you can confidently end your relationship without feeling like you made a massive mistake down the line. And even though it may hurt for a while, time truly does heal most wounds.
As Trescott points out, "If you prioritize your own well-being and that small but significant voice within you that is begging you toward change, you will never regret ending your relationship."
That said, it's common to feel some uncertainty after ending a relationship. You need time to grieve the loss and get used to a new life without them. But as you gradually heal and have time to reflect, you'll hopefully see that not only did you make the right decision, but you gave yourself the best gift of all: an opportunity for a fresh start, whether on your own or eventually with someone new. And if you're feeling worried you'll never fall in love again. remember: ending things with the wrong person brings you one step closer to finding the right one.
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