"How do I end my relationship? It just feels impossible and I'm so confused!"
This question pops up in my inbox all the time from women who feel in their gut that their relationship is over, but don't know exactly how to walk away. Today, I'm going to be incredibly blunt and tell you the answer:
Just do it.
That's it. There is no formula to breaking up with someone. Nothing anyone says will make you feel more ready to deal with the pain of a breakup. You can talk it over with your friends, you can talk it over with your partner, and you can talk it over with me, but eventually, you'll learn that none of us have the magic words to make any of this easier.
At the end of the day, you're going to have to just do it. In the best way you see fit.
I understand your hesitation and I know it will be hard. I've been there. In fact, most of us have been there. Breakups are painful, uncomfortable and awkward. And they're rarely convenient.
You may have a lot of logistics to sort through first. If you live together, you'll need to find a new place to live. If kids are involved, you'll have to deal with custody issues. Money may be tight, his birthday might be coming up and you may feel guilty because you just celebrated five years together. Surely, you should take the time you need to figure these situations out.
If you're holding on for other reasons, like fear, you might just be avoiding the inevitable. Chances are, you're not going to wake up one morning thinking, Wow! I'm finally feeling good about ending my relationship today! Let's do this! If you're waiting until you feel good and ready to break your partner's heart (and potentially your own), you'll likely be waiting a long time.
And the longer you wait, the harder it will be.
That doesn't mean you shouldn't wait. I absolutely mean it when I tell women to take as much time as they need before ending a relationship. Breaking up is a personal decision between you and your partner, so no one else should make you feel pressured or silly while you're deliberating your options.
(Heck, I stayed in a four-year relationship three and a half years longer than I should have, for a bunch of different reasons, fear topping the list. I certainly have no room to judge.)
I just want you to know that if your mind is constantly thinking about whether you should stay or go, your heart probably isn't 100% in it. And if your heart isn't in your relationship, where is it?
Because maybe that's where the rest of you needs to be too.
Look, this is your life. You get to choose your own adventure. I know that might feel scary to think about, especially if you're worried about choosing the wrong adventure. But trust me, as long as you're listening your intuition, you won't. Your intuition is trustworthy. And if it's telling you to "just do it," you can bet your bottom dollar there's a good reason why.
Stop waiting for the clouds to part with some magical revelation and instead of waiting until you feel confident, focus on building confidence. How do you do that? By understanding that you'll need a sufficient amount of time and practice after diving into something new, like a breakup, before you fully adjust.
Then, you just do it. That's the first step. You don't need to know all the other steps. Seek support and care for yourself, and everything else will fall into place. At first, it won't be easy and it won't feel good either. But if you keep moving forward, through the pain, you'll eventually end up exactly where you're supposed to.
But in order to get there, you've got to take the first step.
Originally posted on akirahrobinson.com. If you are struggling in a relationship, healing from a breakup, or experiencing a long bout of singleness, check out Akirah's new book, Respected: How One Word Can Change More Than Just Your Love Life.