Q&A: How Do I Walk Away From A Two Year Relationship?

Dear Juliette,

How do I walk away from a two year relationship?

My Dear Reader,

My first instinct is to ask what the reason is for the break up. Do you just not love her? (For the sake of writing I will assume you are a man wanting to break up with a woman, if it is the opposite, I’m sure you will still get the idea.) Or is it something deeper? Something that you can’t live with, annoys you, a fight you can’t get over, you are interested in someone else, there are so many reasons, big and small.

I am going to assume you don’t have kids together. If you have kids, I recommend talking to a relationship counsellor and try as hard as you can to work out your differences. As a parent you have a responsibility to your child to give them the best living situation to grow up in that you can muster, and that living situation is generally with both their parents present to take care of them as much as humanly possible. It occurs sometimes that the parents living together does more damage than good to a kid, but that should be decided by both parents, with the help of their respective families, and with the recommendation of more than one appropriately educated counselling professional.

So, assuming that there are no children involved:

It has been argued countless times in the past if the right thing to do during a break up is to tell the truth. Well, I have mixed feelings on the subject depending on the precise reason for the break up, since it normally comes down to me telling a man exactly why I am breaking up with him in the heat of the moment. That is how it goes with me, but I am no ordinary cat. Break ups can be split into two categories: someone you don’t want to hurt because they didn’t do anything wrong, and someone who drives you crazy who you can’t stand. There is obviously a grey area but most break ups can be split into these two categories in order to decide the best way to handle it.

In case of the need for a break up with someone you don’t want to hurt because they didn’t do anything wrong, you want to be sure to deliver the most calculated, softest possible blow to her feelings and ego. This is the type of person you may not want to tell the truth about the reason why, depending on your reason. If you simply do not love her and feel you are wasting each other’s time while you should be out trying to find your own true loves, that is a hard thing to hear, but in the right words, such as “I don’t think I can make you as happy as you deserve to be” or “I see you with greater potential to be happier with someone else who is better suited to you” or something like that, those phrases are the truth. You do believe that. She might get mad and hate you, but let’s be fair, there is usually a pretty good chance of that in any break up.

If she is a sweetheart who you dread hurting but there are harsher realities which are the real reason you don’t want to be with her, think about whether or not her life will be improved by telling her the truth. If you believe she will benefit from this jarring fact-facing in her future relationships, even if she hates you for having told her, do it. It is better to hurt her one time at the end of a dead relationship than for her to go on through countless more relationships not knowing what the real reason is that men are leaving her. You will feel like an asshole, but maybe she will later see that you did it to help her.

Now, in the event where you are breaking up with the you drive me crazy and I can’t stand you type, there is usually a prominent reason for the break up which you will not mind telling this person forthright. A person who you are no longer in love with (if you ever were) who you cannot stand to be around, you will probably want to tell the reason why you are breaking up, and she should probably not be surprised. Once again, if you think her life will benefit from you telling her the truth, do. If it won’t, take the high road and use an easy one liner to derail any new needless fight starting. Sum up the reason in one sentence and unless you want to sit there and discuss it, don’t make it accusing or insulting. If the reason is, we fight too much say: “We need to break up because we fight too much.” Done. You can add the same pleasantries of her being happier with someone else, but just be aware that if she isn’t ready to end it, if you give her any reason she doesn’t like, she will probably try to argue out of it.

However, if there is no benefit to telling her the reasons why you are leaving, even if the girl drives you nuts you might not want to hurt her feelings. So once again, use the “I don’t think I can make you as happy as you deserve to be” and try to make it a clean cut. Try to avoid a final showdown.

Regardless of the method of the break up or type of woman that she is, don’t offer to be friends unless you mean it. That almost never works out unless a great amount of time goes by between the break up and the friendship, and it only works for two people who both mean it. If she still wants to see you or talk, tell her you need time to get over the break up and that you should not talk to each other for a while.

If possible, get all of your things you may have left lying around at her house together so you don’t have to go back or ask for anything more from her. If you live together, plan to move the same day you tell her and do it fast. There is a small chance your girl will have seen it coming or will be cool with it, but don’t count on it. Depending on the type of person she is, and what you mean to her, prepare for both an all out war and an emotional breakdown. Be sympathetic, but don’t stick around too long, and be firm with your decision.

If you are asking a mystery lady on the internet for advice on how to do this, you must have your mind made up, so don’t back down. Best of luck for a smooth departure.

Anonymous and hassle-free, Juliette gives her honest opinion regarding online dating, and modern relationships. All questions submitted will be answered no matter how idiotic, or sexist, or crass, or naive, or bewildering. So don’t be scared…no one will know it’s you she’s mouthing off to if you ask a question you can’t ask anybody else. Juliette wants to scream her advice over the rooftops for the good of all mankind, so bring forth your questions dear readers! Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to Juliette’s blog to ensure you get your answer.

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