Finding the Time to Breakup with Samantha Barkoff
Amid the pressures and demands of job, family, friends, and life, it can be easy to put off having tough relationships conversations with your significant other. When do you even find the time to call things off? This week's post comes to us from Samantha Barkoff, LCSW, CEO and Founder of SamanthaBTherapy, who helps her clients build the skills to tackle these life challenges and develop the best version of themselves.
Your alarm goes off at 6:15 AM, you quickly hop into your workout clothes, blindly grab what you need to change for work, run out the door to catch the subway. Your day is client calls, meetings, deadlines, work events, exercise, maybe a quick catch up with friends, and before you know it, you you arrive home, potentially to a partner with whom you have fallen out of sync. In between tense discussions about bills, upcoming social engagements, and what to stream on Netflix, you feel the disconnection that's grown between you but don't have the energy to hash it out. Inertia takes over, and you call it a night. With the covers pulled over your head, you think, "We can make it through the holidays right?" while knowing that each day you stay longer, it will be that much harder to emerge.
You’ve made your decision, but you just don’t quite have the time. So, how do you find the time to breakup? Especially in a society where there is never any time to slow down and just...think.
Breaking up should be easy, right? Most people share their opinion of, “Well, you know you’re not into it anymore so why are you wasting your time? What are you waiting for?” Think about the things you put off because you just really don’t have the time. Laundry, the gym, countless errands that need to be done. Now, imagine something you’re actually emotionally invested in; it makes the situation 10 times harder. Well, there are ways to make time for a breakup. The same way we prioritize and organize our lives in our daily routines is the same approach I help my clients figure out how to actually find the time to break up with their significant other.
The most important thing to do is to schedule a time to sit down and think about the relationship for yourself. The planning you use for your day is the same strategy you need to plan a breakup. I encourage my clients to write things down; they hold you accountable, and when something is in your face, you’re more likely to feel like you need to get it done.
Step 1: Map out 45 minutes to actually allow yourself to think about the logistics of the breakup. Put this in your calendar along with your daily activities.
Step 2: Write out an exact plan of what you want to say, where you want to do this, and how you imagine it will go. Most of the time it does not go as planned, but, this allows your mind to stick to something you have processed and committed to.
Step 3: It’s important to plan something after you follow through with this breakup. Not only are breakups emotional, but they can often times make people feel vulnerable and alone. Hence, why the breakup is already pushed back. Having something planned with friends, family, cowowrkers, etc, can help alleviate some of the pressure of the experience. Make sure that you have something planned on the day you intend to follow through with the breakup.
Step 4: You’ll have regrets, second guesses, all types of feelings around this. Write down exactly why you initiated this in the first place, and keep this as a running list in your phone so it’s present and you stay committed to it.
It’s important to remember that the longer you put this on hold, the more it builds up, creates pressure, and is potentially impeding on you being the best version of yourself. This is your time to take charge of this new chapter in your life. Finding the time to breakup allows you to create your future.
Samantha Barkoff, LCSW, CEO and Founder of SamanthaBTherapy specializes in anxiety, relationships, crisis moments, and life transitions. She can be found at Samanthabtherapy.org