How To Set Relationship Goals And Limits
Criteria of Positive Goals
If your goal doesn’t have the potential to meet these criteria, chuck it. You are heading down the wrong road. Breakup goals should:
Make you feel better after the split
Reduce your pain
Be something that you can achieve
Be carefully considered
Be realistic in light of your relationship history
Prevent you from becoming vulnerable and committing acts of revenge
Keep you in control of your destiny
Serve your purpose and secure your end results.
Signs of Foolish Breakup Goals
Be careful! Breakup goals are tricky. Don’t be cute, overly ambitious, or silly when making up your list. Steer clear of breakup goals that:
Serve no purpose
Make you feel good for the moment but pose future harm
Compromise your emotional well-being
Cannot possibly be achieved
Are hastily adopted
The Post-Friendship Goal
The phrase, let’s be friends, is frequently a generic breakup clause. It may in some instances reflect a genuine goal of one party. However, whether or not friendship is a realistic option for people who have been lovers remains to be seen. After all, to transform a romantic relationship into a friendship is no easy task. It requires:
The ability to look at each other differently.
The potential to eradicate sexual, love, and romantic ties by both parties.
The absence of a plot to draw one back into the romantic part of the relationship.
The capability of two post-lovers to remain emotionally intimate in a platonic way.
The desire to spend time with one another minus the romantic attachment.
Gender Differences Get in the Way of Friendship
First and foremost, just because you aren’t enemies doesn’t mean you are friends! Friendship has specific characteristics. For women, friendship means a certain degree of emotional intimacy, a sharing of secrets and ideas. Male friendships, however, are more action oriented and geared toward doing things together.
A majority of men have difficulty making the transition from a male style to a female-style friendship. If a friendship arises after a breakup, it tends to be more participatory than full of advice, emotional sharing, and support. But when a guy or gal meets a new romantic partner, how much time are they willing to devote to a friend of the opposite sex? More often than not, it isn’t much.
Requirements for Friendship
In special cases, there is the potential for a genuine, meaningful friendship. What it usually takes to develop is:
Time for the romantic relationship to completely die.
Neither partner harboring ill feelings about the breakup.
He or she not assuming the role of a jilted lover.
Preexisting conditions that already have the foundation of a good friendship in place.
Both parties arriving at the decision to part at the same time.
The introduction of separate love interests.
The understanding and permission of new romantic partners.
Walk Away and Take Your Pride with You
In any set of circumstances walking away with your pride intact is a goal worthy of your consideration and determination. However, in one particular situation it becomes particularly poignant. If you are positive that your relationship is heading for a breakup or that your partner is trying to get rid of you in one of those inconspicuous ways described in previous articles, Gender Differences, go for the preemptive strike that puts you squarely in control.
To accomplish this you must be the one to:
Initiate the discussion about your relationship.
Confront your love interest with what you feel are his or her intentions.
Read all the signs and signals.
Break up first.
Maintain Control Over Your Destiny
No doubt a breakup can be devastating, particularly if it is with a serious lover whom you thought would be an integral part of your future. However, rather than allow anyone to assume control over your destiny because of a broken heart, think about maintaining control as one of your goals.
It works both ways. Peter nearly flunked out of medical school when Penelope gave him up for her old boyfriend whom she married shortly thereafter. Fran, devastated by Fred dumping her, had to take a year off law school to get her head together.
If you get dumped, it isn’t the end of the world unless you tell yourself it is. Whether you find yourself in a satisfying relationship or one that ends abruptly, stay on course. Remember you are an independent human being. Don’t let anyone but you alter the course of your destiny.
Don’t Suffer Injurious Losses
We’re not talking possessions here, although do plan your breakup so you aren’t stripped of those either. What we are getting at are those social and professional gains you’ve made that may be related to the guy or gal you no longer wish to be romantically involved with. You want to break up in a way that the friends or business associates you’ve made or the contracts you’ve landed aren’t rescinded when you are no longer his or her love mate.
If any of the following goals appear on your preliminary list, strike them now. They fall squarely into the negative stockpile of worthless goals that need to be torched.
Hand holding. You want to break up in a way that enables you to maintain your ex’s support in the same loving manner during an upcoming crises or rope them into taking you to your best friend’s wedding. This goes beyond friendship and is predicated upon leading someone on. Therefore, you act less than truthful and lower the boom only half-way until your needs are met.
Place holding. Go back and do your homework. Place holding implies breaking up but keeping someone dangling with other fish in the water. That’s unfair. There is nothing wrong with wanting to date others, but it calls for honesty when breaking up. You can’t have it both ways. Breaking up entails the risk of permanent loss. Be prepared to incur that consequence at your expense, not your partner’s.
Ruining a life and reputation. That’s too severe in most ordinary cases. Everyone makes mistakes, and in an indirect way you may have contributed to your lover’s wrong-doing. There could have been times you closed your eyes to the truth or didn’t keep them open wide enough.