RELATIONSHIPS: Psychology of Breaking Up

I once saw Gloria Steinem in an

interview and she was talking about how

in Western culture we have this tendency

to try and figure out everything that's

important in our lives very early on in

our lives and we're supposed to like

stick with it so like where we want to

live the kind of work that we want to do

the people that we want to partner up

with and have those intimate

relationships and if you think about it

like way back in the day that kind of

made sense because we had shorter lives

but now we're living longer and we have

more of an opportunity to grow and

expand ourselves that one person might

not necessarily match up with the entire

journey of that with our entire path in

life so it might actually be an

opportunity for in our own lives to

accept that we might have a couple

different loves and great loves in our

lives and that that might actually not

mean any real failure

it's really easy for us to mistake

comfort with compatibility and anytime

that there's any kind of conflict then

all of a sudden it's like whoa maybe

this is a red flag maybe we're not

actually meant to be together and this

is an issue that's not the issue

the issue isn't when our buttons are

being pressed that's actually a good

thing it gives us an indication of where

we can do some of our own work so we can

learn more about ourselves and grow and

heal and when we do that and we have

more of a sense of what that button is

for us then we can let our partners know

and ask for a certain level of support

for some of the things that are really

essential needs for us I'm gonna talk

about wants but I'm talking about things

that we really actually need to feel

safe and loved in a relationship if our

partner can't or won't help us meet

those needs then that is an issue that's

going to be more of an indication of

issues with compatibility and maybe

that's not the right fit for me in a

relationship I have to know that I can

just word vomit whenever I'm feeling

insecure and my stuff gets stirred up in

one of my previous relationships I

remember I was trying to do that and my

boyfriend at the time just kept wanting

to give me solutions and suggestions and

just wanted to fix the issue and I would

tell him I'm not looking for that I

don't need anything to be fixed because

I'm not broken I just need to be able to

talk about these things this is the

solution for me is talking about it and

all I'm really looking for in return is

just for you to tell me you hear me it's

okay I'm normal and I'm not a crazy

person that's it he's still struggled to

be able to do that probably for a few

different reasons but so I knew in that

moment after several times of that

happening that that was probably going

to be a pretty clear indication for me

that we weren't the right fit with a

long history of judgment it's really

easy for us to have higher defenses as

gay people because we've got deeper

wounds and when we have those higher

defenses we're going to be probably even

more judgmental in return and that can

translate into relationships as blame

pointing our fingers you did this wrong

that's not okay why are you pressing my


so that's not really going to be able to

help us find if we're compatible with

someone or not to actually effectively

be able to gauge compatibility we have

to be able to do a few things first

first we just need to actually be very

Gandhi which is be the change you want

to see model very things that you're

looking for from your relationship so

that means for me in the last

relationship that I was talking about it

was about understanding what he needed

for him he just needed me to be able to

hug him or hold him or give him some

sort of physical affection and

reassurance that I still loved him and

things were okay anytime there was any

real conflict between us that was really

difficult for me I didn't want to do

that I didn't want to be close to him

because we were fighting but I know for

him that's what works and I can set my

ego aside and actually be able to show

up for him in that way and then I can

have so much more of a reasonable

expectation that he can do that for me

in ways that work for me and for my own

process after that we also have to be

really clear in a very non blaming or

non accusatory way about what it is that

we're looking for and what we really

need if we know that we've done both of

those things and we're still unable to

get our needs met then we can do

personalized that because we know it has

nothing to do about us we've done

everything that we can do and quite

likely it has so much more to do with

just an issue of compatibility that that

other person our partner either can't or

won't help meet our needs and if that

really is an essential need for us then

that's an opportunity for us to really

check that we know that we've cleaned

our side of the street we know what our

limitations are and we've come up to

that point now we can surrender we can

toss it up I know I've done everything I

can there's no more I can do and I also

need to have my needs met in these

particular ways so now I can let it go I

can do that peacefully I can say I love

you and thank you and goodbye

sometimes saying goodbye can actually be

the greatest act of love because we're

allowing ourselves to get unstuck and

the other person to get unstuck so each

of us

our own right can welcome in greater

fulfillment and love into our lives