Updated: May 14, 2018
The phrase "It's not you, it's me" is probably hands down the most bull&*%# excuse for a break up that I’ve ever heard. I’m sure many would agree with me.
I remember it oh so clearly… I was completely head over heels for this guy and had a feeling he was going to end things but I wasn’t expecting the ultimate cliché phrase. At the time I saw it as an attempt to let me down easy and an excuse to roam the proverbial fields for potential female prey.
What I’ve learned over the years, though, is that some people actually mean it! Sometimes it’s not you it actually is me! Some years ago, I reached a poignant point in my life where I realized I was putting up with actions and excuses from the men I dated. More importantly, I was allowing them to continue to be in my life when I really had a say on whether they stayed or not.
So, in a weird twist, when I heard the “It’s not you, it’s me” excuse, it was actually what I should have been telling him! I was the common denominator with the men I chose to date and it wasn’t until I realized it, that I also realized I was in charge of making that change to someone better and more importantly what I deserved. So where does one begin to make the change? Here are a few steps that can help with that process.
Confirm your decision to leave (or stay)
Sometimes we make hasty decisions based on emotion, which generally don’t end well. It’s important to let the situation calm down and logically think about the decision you are going to make with a clear mind and open heart. Sometimes you may find out that leaving is the best option and in others it may be deciding to give it another chance. Either way, you want to make sure you have weighed the pros and cons in a factual manner to the decision you have made. Don’t make it based completely on emotion.
Determine your next steps
Now that you have decided what you are going to do, you need to decide how to do it. If you have been together a long time, have children or married and plan to leave, it may be more complicated than a short-term, dating relationship. Regardless of the complexity of the relationship, write your next steps down to make your actions more concrete, real and increase your chances of actually going through with it.
You have made a decision and determined how you will execute that decision. It is now just as important to express that decision to the other party and clearly! If your soon-to-be ex does not completely understand what you are saying or what you mean, then you cannot have closure and move on. Speak your mind and confirm that he or she understands what you are trying to say. This also gives he or she a chance to respond, so be prepared for what he/she may have to say.
Emotionally detach yourself
This is SO important! Making a decision does not mean a thing if you have not emotionally detached yourself from that person. Memories, calls, discussions, reminiscing about things, songs, TV shows, all of these can emotionally drown you in the break up. It can affect every aspect of your life and not necessarily for the better. Delete or put the photos somewhere you can’t access easily, don’t stalk his or her social media (or his or her friends for that matter) and begin looking towards the future in a positive way. Think about all the good things that will come out of this situation and how much better you will feel as a result. Know that the current negative feelings are only temporary and there are better things in store for you.
Cut the cord completely!
This is equally important as the previously mentioned steps. Cutting anything cold turkey takes a lot of self-discipline and control and it’s hard as hell! Especially if you spent every waking hour with that person. But you can’t move on until you let go completely and that often takes cutting off all contact and that means everything! Phone, email, social media, other friends... EVERYTHING!
You can do this!
Break ups are never easy, especially if you weren’t the party who initiated it but if you find yourself in the same negative situations, maybe it’s time to take a look at yourself and see where there are areas for improvement. Maybe it is you and not him or her. Most often you will find that you deserve more than you are receiving, and that in itself is a huge accomplishment!