Starting a new relationship or finding a new love interest is exciting, but this excitement can soon turn to disappointment when we realize they aren’t the right person. Not all new relationships are meant to work out, and sometimes it’s necessary to say goodbye to someone we thought we were interested in.
The best way to turn someone down is with compassion and with respect. Letting them down gently allows you to honor your feelings while also respecting the natural pain and discomfort the other person is going to feel. Breakups don’t have to be emotional explosions. We can cut the cord peacefully and find better ways to transition our interpersonal relationships.
It doesn’t always work out.
New relationships don’t always work out and love interests fizzle. That’s just a part of a life and the natural changing of emotion. What we thought we wanted changes, and the plans we make change too. It’s okay to call it quits on something that isn’t working out. When someone isn’t a good fit, we have to be honest and upfront with both them and ourselves so that we are both freed to find the happiness that actually aligns with our joy and fulfillment.
Is it time to cut the cord on your relationship? There are so many signs we can look for, but the most important lie along the lines of trust and mutual values. Are you fighting more than you used to? Have you started avoiding one another or avoiding intimacy? When you can’t find resolution, you have to find the courage to say goodbye to one another.
We can’t always give our partners what they need, and that’s okay. We have the freedom to walk away and find what we need, the road to getting there simply isn’t always straight or easy. If it’s time for your relationship to come to an end, stop running from the truth and start embracing some brutal honesty. You can let your loved one down gently and find a way to happiness in your future.
Why you should let them go with kindness.
If you’ve decided to let a new relationship go, or you’ve decided to turn someone down — you should do it gently and you should do it with respect. Whether you want to conserve a friendship, or you want to make sure you can both maintain the social circles you love, there are many reasons why the gentle letdown is the best way to go.
Conserve a friendship
Although some relationships don’t always work out romantically, they can still turn into something special when we handle things the right way and allow them to play out peacefully. Letting someone down with kindness allows you to open the door on a possible friendship in the future. Once the initial pain and discomfort has settled, you will be able to come back together over your shared interests as true friends.
Stabilizing inner peace
Breakups and rejections are never a comfortable thing, no matter what side of the line you stand on. It’s not pleasant telling someone “no” and it’s not pleasant being told “no”, but it’s the right answer for our big picture happiness sometimes. When we let someone down gently, we give ourselves some inner peace and stability. Fewer emotional blowups means fewer emotional ups and downs and fluctuations in our own mental health throughout the process.
Maintain social circles
Do you and your partner share mutual friend groups and social circles? It’s hard to say “no” to someone who has the same friends. It’s often necessary, though, so we should do it with kindness and gentleness. Breakups and rejections don’t have to end an eruption of our friend circles. We can maintain these social groups by letting one another down in love.
Respecting your family
Sometimes the person we decide to let go is closely intertwined with our families. Maybe their family has a long history with your own, or perhaps we’ve starting building our own family with this person. In either case, it’s better to end things gently and with respect, so that you are able to maintain those close family ties without causing too much drama or upset.
Letting someone down gently and with respect is a kindness to the other person. It’s also a kindness to ourselves, though. When you end a relationship with class and compassion, you honor yourself by making the transition a more peaceful one. You give your mental and emotional health far more stability and balance when you end a relationship focused and knowing that you carried yourself as a good and caring person.
How to let someone down gently.
Has your relationship with someone come to a natural end? Is a new love interest just not making the cut? You can let them down gently and you can let them down with compassion. First you have to commit to taking action, though, and commit to being honest with yourself and your partner or friend.
1. Don’t drag it out
When it comes to calling it quits with someone, we seem to come up with an endless array of excuses which allow us to drag things out further and further. It’s understandable. Breaking things off with someone is uncomfortable, and you never know how they’re going to react. Be that as it may, we have a responsibility to let our partners know when our feelings have changed, or we’re ready to move on with someone else.
Don’t drag things out or wait until the “perfect time” to call things quits. Sure, you could give it some time, but will that really change anything? No, it won’t really be better after their Nana’s 88nd birthday party. It won’t be better to have “one last” Valentine’s Day or any other excuse you can come up to.
These excuses don’t help you, and they don’t help your partner. What they do is prolong the inevitable and keep you happy in a place that you’ve already recognized as unhealthy and out with your control. Don’t beat around the bush. Once you are clear on your feelings, you need to share them with your partner so that you can sit down and get clear on how you want to move forward and on what terms the two of you are going to manage it.
2. Be brave enough to be upfront
At some point, you are going to have to sit the other person down and open up a dialogue. You can’t just disappear, or sweep things under the rug like it never happened. It takes effort to start a relationship with someone, and it takes effort to end it — no matter what stage we may be in. Find your inner courage and be brave enough to be upfront about what you’re feeling and the action you want to take.
Find a safe time and a safe place in which you can both sit down and speak candidly without being interrupted or overheard. The more comfortable you are in your surroundings, the easier it will be to open up and be candid with one another.
Star with positives and then move on to reality. Let them know what you’ve been thinking or feeling, but leave aggravating or blaming language out of it. If you’ve decided that you’re ready to walk away, then there’s no use arguing to throwing around blame. They’ll have plenty of time to think through their part, and you will have the same. Make the points you need to make and focus on your own feeling and what you really want.
3. Remember to be positive
Despite the fact that you’re bringing this chapter to a close, you and your ex-partner can still find ways to be positive and cordial with one another. A failed relationship doesn’t always mean an unhappy one, or one without high moments. We all have memories of laughter and connection, and it’s okay to share those as we bring things to an end and prepare to move on without the person who has meant so much.
Avoid focusing only on the breakup. Even as you let them down, look for the positive that can still be celebrated. If you love them, tell them, if you think they’re the most beautiful person in the world — tell them. Remind the other person of all the reasons you once fell for them and remind them that people change…it doesn’t detract from our worth.
You have to remember to be positive, especially if you hope to create a friendship from the ashes of your failed romance one day. Celebrate one another, and the life you build together for a time, and know that you don’t have to see the whole thing as a failure just because it failed. Life is filled with ups and downs, and our lives are changed by the endless in-and-out of new people and experiences.
4. Make things compassionately clear
It’s very important that you don’t leave any room for ambiguity or misunderstanding as you let the other person go. Rejecting someone isn’t easy, and it can be very uncomfortable too. You have to make it clear when the relationship is over, though, and you have to make sure that the other person is crystal clear on what your perspective is.
While you should be compassionate, you should also be frank and clear. Don’t leave any room for misunderstandings — if it’s over, it needs to be over. You don’t want them hanging around, and you don’t want to leave the door open on something that doesn’t work.
Be kind, but don’t mince words. Tell the other person how you’re feeling and also express your desire for their happiness. You have a right to your emotions, and you have a right to express them (with respect). Be truthful and focus on the mutual happiness of everyone involved. If you’re not happy together anymore, the best thing to do is go your separate ways.
5. Avoid comfy backsliding
You can’t make a clean break with someone if you keep turning around and making a mess of things. The most common way we do this is by backsliding right back into the familiar (and toxic) patterns which caused us to leave the relationship in the first place. You don’t need to mix signals.You need to be clear with yourself and your now-ex. Things are over and it needs to stay that way.
Avoid going back into all those comfortable old places with your former partner. Don’t give in to the physical call, or the memories that keep you up at night. Even if you weren’t right for one another, you still get used to the presence of one another and having the other person there to talk to or bounce ideas off of.
Comfort is not what we are striving for in this life, though. It’s only a piece of the puzzle. Real happiness is found not in settling for what’s comfortable, but striving for what’s right. The perfect partner is out there, but they’re not going to come into your life until you actively make room for them. Don’t go running back to someone who isn’t right. You’re only blocking the space where the right person should be. Once you’ve cut ties, have enough self-respect to keep it that way.
Putting it all together…
Sometimes our relationships don’t work out. We lose trust in one another and the things we want from our futures change. Although we may love one another deeply, we sometimes have to say goodbye. The best way to do that is gently, though, and with a focus on respect and mutual compassion and understanding.
Don’t drag things out. Once you’re certain things are coming to an end, you need to be upfront and honest with the other person. Letting things linger will only lead to greater upsets. Be brave enough to be upfront and be honest about how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking. Keep things positive, but also make things compassionately clear. You can’t leave room for ambiguity or misinterpretation. That will only make it harder for you both to move on and face forward. Don’t fall into a comfy backslide and don’t allow yourselves to rebound with one another. Once it’s over — it needs to be over. Keep your respect for one another and your compassion in the forefront and remember all the good times you had together. The ending of this relationship isn’t a failure, it’s a change of life. Embrace it and embrace everything that comes next.