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Break Up Help

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Break Up Help

The ending of a relationship is generally difficult for both parties. In an attempt to make it easier, many couples attempt to maintain a friendship. We've all said it, “Let's stay friends.” It seems like the most mature and humane way of breaking up with someone. And, we think it will ease the pain…or perhaps the guilt.

While at first glance this appears a helpful strategy in getting over a break up, I encourage you to look again. Except in extremely rare cases where both people want to break up and there are no bad feelings, it's very hard to go directly from a romantic relationship to friendship.

Being friends right after a break up is often a disaster because there are many raw, hurt feelings flying around. The love shared in a romantic relationship involves certain qualities that don't immediately go away. With time and distance, those romantic feelings and connections diminish. Hurt feelings heal. However, staying in close contact keeps pain fresh, stirred up.

It's really a double whammy. Nothing can heal and the full magnitude of what has been lost is disguised by this band-aid (a.k.a. friendship). Although facing grief does not sound appealing, that is precisely how people begin to recover after a break up.

If that isn't enough to convince you, remember one person usually does not want the break up. Now you're talking about a friendship in which one person wants more than the other. Imagine how that might work once one of you becomes interested in someone else romantically. Exactly! Messy and painful.

Let time pass and feelings heal. A friendship can then be developed, if it is what both people want.



9/25/2009 4:11:46 AM
Dale said:

This is 100% accurate and i am going through it now. 10 months ago i came home to her packing up the house and was devistated. The next day i asked her "are we done" and she said she wasn't sure, but that she needed her space. We decided to stay friends and still saw each other on an intimate level. Then all of a sudden she cut that off. I was confused and knew something was up only to find out that she had been seeing someone else for about a month. Now the hurt is back and worse than the day she left.. DO NOT EVER, EVER, EVER STAY FRIENDS WITH A PERSON THAT WALKS OUT OF YOUR LIFE. THE PAIN IS UNBEARABLE AND YOU CAN'T GET THE VISIONS OF HER BEING WITH SOMEONE ELSE OUT OF YOUR MIND!

10/7/2009 1:00:22 AM
Julie said:

That is so true. Stay away first for awhile then come back and built the friendship. It will be messy if stay friends immediately after the breakup. After some time, it will get better.

4/17/2010 8:55:42 AM
jenifer said:

this really helped i had no idea of what 2 do but now i do i just end up a relationship and dont feel so good

9/15/2010 1:05:37 PM
Ashley said:

thanks! this advice will help with my guilt after i break up with someone


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Barbara Gibson