We often drag out dating because we’re afraid to hurt the other person’s feelings—or we go the opposite route and just ghost someone. Neither is necessarily mindful. Here’s how to let a potential partner go.
If you’ve been dating mindfully for a while, you know when something feels like it fits versus when it feels forced. Dating, in general, is the process of uncovering if a certain partner’s magic feels right for you, and then seeing if that aligns for the long haul. This can stir up anxiety and dis-ease because it requires a release of control around knowing the outcome. And, if you are sensitive to other people’s feelings, you may also feel a bit of pressure to show up a particular way for a potential partner.
Applying Mindfulness to Dating
Mindfulness is about evoking presence and intentionality in our actions. When we apply the same thought process to dating, breaking up and moving on happens from a real space of compassion. It may not make it easier initially, but over time it will help you and the other person move on more quickly and find relationships that serve your individual truths.
Dating is the process of uncovering if a partner’s magic feels right for you, and then seeing if that aligns for the long haul.
In order to confidently and mindfully end a relationship, you must first examine your true reasons for wanting it to be over. How do you tell the difference between genuine lack of interest and running from intensity and fear? You tap into your core desire, by really examining how you feel. What is being pulled up for you in this relationship? Is the person ticking off all the boxes and yet you feel a lack of excitement? Perhaps it is worth exploring if this is a pattern for you. If in past relationships you found ease and alignment triggering, inspiring fear of waiting for the other shoe to drop, for example, this may be worth sticking it through. They may still not be “your person,” but rather a truly valuable mirror for you, through which you can examine old patterns.
Recognize How Not to Compromise Your Truth
Perhaps this person is kind, funny, and wonderful, but you disagree on some very important personal issues that would impact your future as a pair. Again, you ask yourself what it is you really want. Are you compromising your truth in favor of this relationship? Could you see yourself continuing to make that compromise years down the line without resentment? By answering these questions honestly, you will have a solid answer about what your genuine level of interest is in this person, irregardless of their other beautiful qualities.
Ask yourself what it is you really want
Whatever your reasoning is, once you have a clear no (after some mindful consideration) it is in your and your partner’s absolute best interest to end the relationship in a compassionate way (meaning, without haste). Unnecessarily dragging out an inevitable break up will cause you emotional distress, and give the other person unrealistic expectations. If you’ve ever been ghosted, you know the unique sting of that inconsiderate blow. This is why, as mindfully as you worked out why the relationship is not a match, you bring that same level of awareness to what you do with that information.
Breaking Up Mindfully
Unless you fear a real chance of the other person’s total irrationality or the relationship is long distance, you do this the old-fashioned way. Read: in person. Be clear, kind, and deliberate. You don’t necessarily owe them a long-winded explanation, but you can say that you feel personally that the situation can’t work for you and you know that the best thing for you both is to let it go gracefully. No psychoanalysis or any promises you can’t keep (including ones of friendship, unless that is your intention) are required here. Simply the decency of an honest conversation, with direct intentions of how you’d like to keep in touch (or not) are all that is required from you.
Now, you have no control or responsibility over how the other person holds this information. This may be a fear for you as well, that their sadness or anger would be difficult to deal with. And while this is a possibility, you have a lot less to feel guilty for when you have spoken your truth authentically. No matter the reaction, you get the relief of knowing that you did the right thing. Additionally, once you have spoken your truth, if you feel like maintaining communication would be counterproductive for you, you can communicate that as well.
Each break up, and the reasoning for it, is unique. There is not a guidebook on how to accomplish a difficult and potentially painful conversation without any upset. However, as a mindful person you get to take ownership of everything in your life, from celebrations to difficulties, from the inner strength of following your own truth. From that space, ultimately, the person you are walking away from will respect you and you allow yourself to be energetically available for what it is your heart truly needs.
Cara Kovacs is a third generation healer, second generation oracle, and Sex, Love & Relationship expert trained by Layla Martin. Named as 2019’s one of “35 People Under 35 To Watch In Wellness” by Wanderlust, she combines modern science with ancient healing and spiritual philosophy to help bring people to truth through love. Past featured events have included Bustle Rulebreakers ft. Janelle Monae & The Big Quiet, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Wanderlust Festival, partnerships with Employees Only, Root Mamma, Salt Witch Studios, Soho House, Freehand Hotels, LadyBoss Social Club, Alchemist Kitchen, and more. She is an official card reader for The Poetry Society of New York and has been featured in Time Out, Cosmopolitan, Bustle, and Elite Daily.