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Add Breadcrumbing to 35 Ways to Tell If It's Over

After deciding to close the door on a relationship, be careful not to weaken.

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Heart Break
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When you feel greater peace in solitude than you do when with your partner, it may be time to say goodbye. You may reason to yourself, at first, that you should stick it out. You might also tell yourself that when you first met, you believed that the two of you had been touched by the same star. Then you remind yourself that love became tense instead of joyful. Togetherness felt like a chore. You decided one day that the relationship was unambiguously over. You both talked about this. For a while, it felt as if you both had made the right decision to separate. Then suddenly the “breadcrumbing” began.

Unlike ghosting, in which a person simply disappears, breadcrumbing is a practice in which one person simply strings along a past or potential partner. During the holidays, old beaus seem to pop up out of nowhere. While it may seem flattering at first to hear from them, eventually it is someone throwing you a few crumbs to keep you on a string, so to speak. When a former lover comes back into your life, or the person to whom you have definitively said goodbye" returns—remind yourself of why you ended the relationship. Be wary of breadcrumbing. Here are 10 signs of “breadcrumbing” from The Power of Positivity.

After reviewing "35 Ways to Tell If It's Over and How to Tell Your Partner" in August 2019, there was little to add to the original published in 2012. Here are some thoughts to help you stay centered when you find yourself following breadcrumbs.

How can you tell if your relationship is unambiguously over?

These 35 questions and thoughts should factor into any decision:

  1. The most important question to ask yourself is this: In your heart of hearts, do you believe that he or she is the right person for you?
  2. If your answer is, “I’m not sure,” you may, in fact, be sure that the person is not right but you are afraid to be alone. Instead, ask this question: “Is this person just the one for now?"
  3. If he or she is maybe right just for now, then consider the following thoughts and decide how to proceed.
  4. Make a promise to yourself that you will wait one week before saying, “It’s over.” You can think about when you began to question the relationship; that is, what pushed you over the edge.
  5. Before saying anything at all, write down five qualities about the other person that helped you to fall in love. Was it kindness, empathy, the ability to listen, generosity of spirit, honesty?
  6. Write down at least two experiences that brought the two of you joy. Now ask yourself, “Can we find that place of happiness again?”
  7. Write down the general pros and cons of the relationship.
  8. Review your list using the weighted average: You've made a list of 10 positive qualities and only one negative, but the negative is something so significant or fundamental to you, it will outweigh the positives.
  9. Review your notes and ask again, “Is it time to say, ‘Goodbye?’”
  10. Now, ask yourself, “If he or she were to be breaking up with me, what are the words I would want to hear?"
  11. Start to prepare what you might say, from a positive position: “We have shared happy times together.” Then give two or three specifics.
  12. Next, state the reality: “Something is not working between us.”
  13. Express your need: “I need to move on.”
  14. Be willing to listen, calmly, to the other person’s reaction.
  15. Decide in advance not to argue. Do not try to counter angry words. Simply listen and say, “I know this is painful.”
  16. Also, acknowledge how difficult is it to say the words, “It is over.” Explain briefly that you have considered your decision carefully.
  17. Be firm: “I am not telling you this so that you will do things differently. I am telling you this because I feel that this is the end of the road for us.”
  18. Decide in advance how to answer the other person if he or she asks, “Couldn’t we give it another try?" Or "Could we go to counseling?"
  19. In considering your response, realize that "another try" is often dependent upon conditions. Ask yourself how many times there were promises to “make things right” in the past.
  20. If you think the relationship can be salvaged, you love the other person, and he or she is serious about making that commitment, counseling might be a good idea.
  21. If you can agree to counseling, go into the sessions with an open mind.
  22. When you see the therapist, avoid turning the sessions into finger-pointing exercises by airing a laundry list of complaints.
  23. Be honest, but also be kind.
  24. If you have decided in advance that therapy would be out of the question, repeat that "It's over." Maintain an honest and kind attitude.
  25. If your partner asks if there is someone else, then whether the answer is yes or no, consider replying, “This is not about another person, it's about us.”
  26. Be aware, however, that if there is someone else, then the longer you keep (or have kept) that fact from your partner, the longer it will take for you both to heal.
  27. And if there is someone else, know that infidelity can be either a deal-breaker or a wake-up call. Therapists know the benefits that couples can derive from therapy, even after infidelity, if they've committed to saving the relationship.
  28. Know whether your partner would benefit from a prolonged goodbye, or from a quick end.
  29. Understand the consequences of a prolonged end—it can sometimes open the door to guilt or manipulation, or for your partner taking a “victim” mentality. "How can you do this to me?”
  30. Understand the sincere hurt and anger the other person is feeling.
  31. Remain calm at all times.
  32. Reassure the other person, again, that he or she is someone with whom you have shared a great deal of joy—but that now it is time to move on.
  33. Consider recounting again at least two special moments that you shared together for which you will always be grateful.
  34. Remain firm if he or she responds, "Then why can’t we try again?”
  35. Even if ending the relationship is what you wish to do, prepare for an empty feeling inside.

To fill in the loneliness, here are 10 Tips on What to Do When You Have Nothing to Do.

Copyright 2019 Rita Watson/ All Rights Reserved

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