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  • Olivia Sanders
    Olivia Sanders

    Wanting to Break Up but Paralyzed by the Unknown

    When one is faced with making a hard decision such as a break-up, the subsequent uncertainty of the future can seem overwhelming and a precipitous decision can be made much worse by the feeling of being alone in the situation. The unanswerable questions swirling in one's head can seem absolutely paralyzing. How do you know if a break-up is right for you? Will your life improve or be worse off? If this break-up is necessary, how do you go about doing it? What will the fallout look like? It’s easy to become so preoccupied with these out of control thoughts that you can't make any progress.

    It’s ok to recognize that a break-up is complicated. Acknowledging that making a decision of this magnitude will have far reaching implications can prevent knee-jerk reactions. There are many people who have gone through this journey before you and knowing that there is hope from their shared experience can give you the courage to take that first step towards creating a better life for yourself.

    Take time to thoughtfully consider why you believe a break-up is right for you in the long run. You don't need to be perfect and have all the answers, but having a basic understanding of what led you to this point can help you remain grounded while considering the biggest question of the moment: should I stay or should I go? Looking at the big picture instead of simply responding to what’s going on in the present can bring clarity and direction.

    Giving yourself space to be honest about how a break-up would affect your friends, family, and other relationships is important. Confusion arises when we isolate ourselves and only look at the role of the two people involved without considering the impact on everyone else. Is the change worth the remaining pain? Could a different course of action create the same future outcome with less disruption? Consider these questions mindfully before proceeding.

    Once you've taken all this into consideration, think about who you can turn to for support during this time. Everyone processes grief differently, and it's okay to get extra help when needed. Talk to trusted friends and family who will listen and provide invaluable guidance. Though difficult conversations will be necessary, having someone there to guide you through the difficult moments can reduce fear and anxiety and significantly increase your sense of well being.

    If all else fails and you still don't know what to do, offer yourself kindness. Mistakes will be made and emotions often fluctuate, but that doesn't mean you're wrong or that you can't recover. Allow yourself to move forward, even when it's uncomfortable. Remind yourself that life won't remain the same and no matter the outcome you have the capacity to take it day by day, step by step.

    Breaking up isn't easy, but preparing for it doesn't have to be daunting. Taking the time to be honest and thoughtful, assessing both the options and the possible implications, and considering all the people involved can give you invaluable insight and provide perspective on how you want to move forward.

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