How to have a ‘successful’ break-up at university

University is a difficult time to be in a relationship. You’re away from home for the first time and everything from your taste in music to your plans for the future can be in flux.

You may find yourself unhappy in a relationship, and if you do, don’t break up in Teviot. It’s unkind to your partner and any of their tutors who may be looking to quietly grade papers in the Library Bar.

Choose somewhere where you can be heard at talking level, but not so quiet that everyone in the establishment has to tune you out. Chocolate Tree on Bruntsfield Place is the best break-up destination in Edinburgh with just enough conversation, little student traffic and comforting hot chocolate at the ready.

Once you’re there, it’s okay to be honest. Try to frame the conversation around yourself – a break-up is not a productive time to criticise your partner about the small things. Try to leave any specific wrongdoings in the past and frame the conversation around what you want for your life. It’s human instinct to seek out a specific time that things went wrong, but most often, break-ups aren’t about a specific tick or tiff, they end because one person is looking for something different going forward.

Even if one specific event cinched the decision for you, try to isolate why it is important in terms of your values to try to clarify your own boundaries and standards going forwards. The more mindful and self-reflective your articulation is, the easier it will be to accept.

After the fact, try not to feel guilty. Not every good relationship lasts a lifetime, and not every person is compatible with every other person. You have a unique life path, and thoughtfully putting that before an imperfect romantic interest is a mature decision that will likely benefit you and your ex-partner in the long term as you both refine your goals and develop as people.

Disconnecting at this point is healthy – there is no need to obsess over how your posts will come across to your ex or to waste time looking for subliminal messages in their Instagram stories. Thinking about them is natural even when you ended the relationship but try to limit it in favour of focusing on the present and your future.

Invest time in self-care and good friends.  Every relationship comes with something worth cherishing from particular precious memories to your weekly cuppa with their mum, but ending the relationship isn’t rejecting everything that came with it. You can value someone, learn from them and even love them without owing them anything or wanting to be with them, and that’s okay.

 

Image: Little potato via Pixabay

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