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7 ways to break up smart

Are you in a relationship that just isn’t working, but don’t know how to approach a split? Kathryn Alice, author of Love Will Find You, provides expert advice on how to get past a break-up

Break-ups are inherently messy. There’s no getting around the grieving time that has to happen.

But many of us have made a split unnecessarily hard – either beating a dead horse or getting overly dramatic or holding on for far longer than you need to.

Read on to learn how to create a smart break up and get on with your life more quickly.

So, are you doing the right thing?

It’s easy to second guess yourself when you’re realising it’s over. Sentimentality, fear of being single again and an insidious phenomenon we’ll discuss in a moment, all muddy the waters. Here’s how to know if you’re doing the right thing.

  • Make your decision from the right place. Don’t decide when you are really upset. Wait until you have a centered moment. Only then can you see clearly.

Don’t decide when you are really upset.

  • If there’s any doubt, sit with it a bit longer. While you’re never 100 per cent sure, waiting for clarity is a good practice.

How do I know it’s time to break up with my partner?


Here are some signs:

  • If it has not felt right in a while. It’s not making you happy
  • You’ve been settling. He’s not all you’ve wanted, and you’ve been trying to make him fit
  • The relationship tears you down rather than lifting you up
  • It has been super dramatic and there’s no easy flow to your time together (or the relationship itself) – this can be exhausting and energy-draining

How will this break up impact on the kids/ my career/business?

sad kids, 7 ways to break up smart, by

That’s up to you. When I work with people, I ask them to compartmentalize. Reserve time in your day to grieve and deal with emotional fallout. And then, tuck your break-up into a corner of your brain and concentrate on the work at hand. Very few of us have the luxury of going down a black hole, and it’s actually very healthy to get on with your life.​

When I work with people, I ask them to compartmentalize. Reserve time in your day to grieve and deal with emotional fallout.

One newly single mum I worked with reserved her daily shower time to bawl her eyes out. Then, she’d dry off, ready for work and get the kids off to school. During lunch time, she’d allow ten minutes to wallow in grief before focusing back on work. She successfully navigated through this time while allowing for her feelings and shortly met a wonderful man who fitted right in with her kids. They’re now happily married.

How should I think it through? The Insidious Phenomenon

 thinking things through, 7 ways to break up smart, by

Think things through fully and from a centered place. When attachment flares, it can keep you in a relationship longer than you should be. Remember that insidious phenomenon I promised to reveal? It’s called “attachment.”

We’re hard-wired for attachment from birth. As babies, it ensures our survival to get attached to our primary caregiver (often our mums) and vice versa. But as grownups, we have to watch attachment.

When we fall in love, we get attached. Part of us feels like we may die if we have to let go. The relationship can feel like an addiction even when our heads know we need to move on.

So we need to watch those triggers that bring up the attachment and pull us right back in just when we think we’re free.

Luckily, there’s an easy way to dissolve attachment. I use a combination of guided meditation, release ritual and focusing elsewhere to get rid of attachment in those going through a divorce. It’s proven quite effective.

I use a combination of guided meditation, release ritual and focusing elsewhere to get rid of attachment in those going through a divorce.

One client had been pining away for her ex- for nine years. She kept her life on hold for almost a decade! We did the release process I specialise in and focused on life beyond the ex (who had long ago remarried). She was finally able to rid herself of the attachment and shortly met a nice man who she’s now engaged to. She got her life back once we finally dissolved her misplaced attachment.

Look for the signs I’ve mentioned as clues to whether it’s viable. If it’s not, we need to be ruthless about cutting it off, planning for a grieving time with heightened emotional care-taking necessary and a proper release.

It’s good to plan for your break-up – almost like you’re ill. Get more sleep, eat regularly, take walks outside, allow time for grieving, gain distance from your ex- and get some distractions in place to keep your mind off of it.

When should you start dating again?​

There’s no set formula on when to date after a split. At first, it’s hard to even imagine being with someone else. But if you allow for your grieving and do a good release, you can be dating in just a few weeks. It helps to move on as soon as you can. It’s a distraction and can be great fun.

When you break up smartly, a split can be surprisingly painless. I hope you’ll try this technique if you’re faced with it and no doubt, things will look brighter before you know it.

Kathryn Alice is author of the bestselling book Love Will Find You: 9 Magnets to Bring You and Your Soulmate Together, resides in Malibu, California, and is happily married with four boys. She’s well known for helping others get beyond a divorce or split. Find out more about Kathryn’s work at


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