How to End a Relationship Without Regrets

Posted on June 1, 2017

When a relationship ends, what often remains are regrets. Regrets are emotional burdens which can weigh one down, and deter a person from feeling carefree. Robert Taibbi outlined three main sources of regrets and steps you can take to avoid the burden of regrets.

1. Regrets over the ending itself
This is where one feels haunted and regret saying things that he or she really didn't mean to say, in the heat of an argument or during an emotional meltdown.
What to do:
Apologies should be made for the hurtful comments. You can do so through a call, or a message through text and email. Make sure to make your intention clear, that you are not trying to start up the relationship again, but simply to apologize for how it all unfolded. It is also important to forgive yourself, and take it as a lesson learned, instead of punishing yourself by being haunted and regretful.

2. Regrets over lack of closure
This is when one have many nagging questions unanswered, and that he or she did not get a chance to fully get everything off the chest.
What to do:
Find an opportunity to speak up. You can write an email, or have a serious face-to-face conversation to say all that you wished you had said or pose all the questions you did not get to ask. Again, it is important to make clear the intention, that you are not trying to start up the relationship again, but simply to connect the dots in your mind before you can finally put a closure to things.
However, if it is impossible to reach out to interact with the person ever again, you can write a letter that you will never mail. In the letter, address it to the person, write down all that you wish to say. Then, write another letter in reply to the first letter, of things you wish the other party would ideally reply. This can be emotionally powerful and healing.

3. Regrets over not trying hard enough
These regrets are haunting thoughts that maybe you should not have quit when you did, that you wished you had given the person another chance. These regrets are generally stirred in two different ways: Some come much later after the end of the relationship, while others are more recent, that lingers within weeks or months of a breakup.
If you are regretting your decision suddenly after a long period of time, look at the present life. While the regret may indicate a lack of closure, regrets that surface suddenly may suggest that it has less to do with the relationship and more to do with the life you are in now. We are continually recreating our pasts because we continuously look back with our changing emotional states. If our lives are going well, the breakup tend to be a good decision. If, unfortunately we are struggling in our lives for whatever reason, we may look back and wonder if we made the right choice back then.
On the other hand, if your regrets have always been lingering, step back and decide on what you do or do not want to do. Ask yourself this question: Do you really want to make the effort to give it another shot because you care about the other and the relationship, or is there a danger that you are falling into default mode? Are you possibly being driven because you are actually fearful about the future and finding another relationship, and so are drifting back, albeit with mixed feelings, to the old one? If you sense you are drifting because of fear or loneliness, you may want to stay planted where you are and look ahead as best as you can. But if you decide in your heart that yes, you do need to give it one more try to see if it can work, or to be able to really leave without regrets, then go for it if the door of opportunity is still open.

Endings are painful and grief is inevitable, but regrets can add to this challenge and emotional baggage can weigh you down. It is important to decide what you need to do most to leave without regret.

Category(s):Ending a relationship issues, Relationships & Marriage

Source material from Psychology Today

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