There are lots of reasons why relationships end. Perhaps the feelings have faded and it’s time to move on, or it could be a situation where one of you behaves in a way that there is no coming back from. While neither of those scenarios are fun or easy, it can be even more confusing when you still care for one another but you’re just on different paths and need to go your separate ways. When you’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time to call it quits, having texts to send someone when you want different things can be a helpful first step.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Sometimes, as painful as it is, people can just grow apart. “Depending on what the big life goals are, [if they don’t align] this can be a dealbreaker,” licensed marriage and family therapist Heidi McBain told Bustle. “If one partner wants to be a digital nomad and travel the world, while the other wants to live close by to their family, these are very different life goals and visions for the future.” In this case, it’s possible to develop a friendship in the future if that’s something you want, so long as you take care to end things in the least hurtful way possible. As breakup coach and host of the breakup BOOST podcast, Trina Leckie, previously told Elite Daily, "Do your best to end things on good terms and then go no-contact after that so that both of you can have time and space away from the relationship, gain clarity, and start the healing process." If you want to start that process with a text, but don’t know what to say, here are some ideas to help inspire you.
1. Ask them to talk it out face to face.
“Hey, if you’re available later, I have something I really need to talk to you about.”
Sometimes the hardest part is just getting the ball rolling. If you’ve decided you want to end the relationship, but feel it’s best to do it face to face, just let them know you need some time to talk.
2. Open up about your feelings.
“Hey, this is a really difficult text to write. but I’m guessing you’ve noticed I have been struggling with something lately. Basically, I am concerned about where we are going and I really do care so much about you, but I don’t think the relationship is sustainable. I’d love to talk to you more about it when you’ve had some time to think about things.”
Sometimes breaking the news that you want to end things face to face is not feasible, so letting them know in a direct but gentle language how you are feeling can be really helpful for you. It’s also for them because it’s possible they have felt this coming as well.
3. Acknowledge that things have been off between you lately.
“Hey, you’ve probably noticed that things have been off a bit between us lately. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and I feel like we want different things in life, and that makes it hard to be in a relationship. I still care about you, but I think we should talk about what this means for the future of our relationship.”
Has your partner been asking if something is wrong for a while? Validate their feelings by letting them know they aren’t wrong and explain to them what’s been going on for you.
4. Let them know you need some space to sort out your feelings.
“Hey, you may have noticed I’ve been a little distracted or distant lately. It’s because I’ve realized that you and I want very different things. I need to take some time apart and have some space to think about what this means for the relationship.”
If you’re pretty sure that the relationship is coming to an end, but you haven’t had the space and time you need to be sure of what you need and how you are feeling, let your partner know where you are at mentally and what you need to work through it. Just be sure not to give them any false hope. Save this text for when you really do just need some space to sport things out.
5. Give them a heads up about what you want to talk about.
“Hey, this is a really hard text to send you, but I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and I’ve realized that you and I just want different things and it’s time to move on. If you want to talk some more about this I’m available, or if you need some time to process it on your own I understand that, too.”
Is your partner the kind of person who wants to have some time to process their feelings privately? Give them that chance by sending a text that clues them into how you are feeling and gives them the option to take the time they need to sort out their own feelings before you talk.
Once you’ve texted your truth and had any follow up conversations you both needed, the next step is to cut off contact for a while to allow one another to heal and move on. As licensed marriage and family therapist Nicole Richardson previously emphasized to Elite Daily, it’s the kindest thing you can do post-breakup. ”If you really care about them and want to minimize their hurt, let them know that you hope you can be friends someday. And in order to make that happen, you will need to make a clean break and not keep in constant contact because that will only drag the hurt out," she said. While ending a relationship is rarely easy, at least now you have some ideas of how to do it with as much kindness as possible so the healing can begin.
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