By the time most relationships hit the skids, one or both parties can be so pent up with hostility, anger, and resentment that thinking clearly and objectively might look like “mission impossible.” Once the level of a relationship reaches DEFCON 4, you can just about forget about acting civil towards one another. My advice: chill out, take a deep breath, and take a moment or two to step outside the situation and assess it objectively. Breaking up is hard to do, but there are benefits to doing it amicably.

There are two things to try and remember when parting ways with a partner, and both require a cool head. First, you must acknowledge that there are issues that aren’t allowing the relationship to work. Forget what the issues are, a genuine general acknowledgment is all that it takes to move forward. A plus B used to equal C, but now A has a bunch of variables attached to it that no longer make it work in the equation.

Again, if objectively you know the relationship can’t be saved, it’s time to cut ties, at least romantically, and move on. Keep in mind that no matter what anger, hostility, and resentment you’re feeling now, they are just emotions fresh from the moment. Try and remember the characteristics within this person that made you want to pursue one with them in the first place. In all likelihood, these characteristics still exist.

As a man, it’s time to bring out that dreaded “C” word: communication. It’s time to sit down, talk and pull out the scissors that will detach you from someone you’ve been tied to. Don’t let the first words out of your mouth be, “I want out!” Pick and choose your words carefully and with sensitivity, no matter how difficult. Hurling insults will make anything you say after it meaningless, and your words will fall upon deaf ears. Talk to this person, like you did in the beginning, with the dignity you once showed.

If your soon-to-be-ex is unwilling to be civil and meets your serenity with hostility, its either a lost cause or you really did something wrong. Either way, there’s nothing you can do about it but extend an olive branch before you walk off. (Watch your back though, and make sure there are no sharp objects within reach to be thrown). Maybe she’ll come around eventually, but for now she’s a friend who’s upset with you.

Parting ways on good terms is always a plus. Whether it’s because you’ll gain a friend who knows you intimately or, because you’ll have someone to call on cold, lonely nights (e.g., booty-call!), ‘tis better to have loved and lost… but remained cool.”

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