Reader Question: How do you tell a soulmate you are not in love with them anymore? We have been together quite a while and I still love her, but I’m not In Love with her. I know we’re soulmates, but I just don’t think we’re meant to be together long term romantically. How do I break up with her without losing her in my life forever?
It’s true that soulmates are not always forever mates. At their core, soulmates are purpose-driven and their purpose in our lives may last a moment or a lifetime. Still, it’s good to do a little soul-searching before jumping out which is different from just thinking, or even feeling, it through. Losing that loving feeling may be sending you a very different signal from what you think. Here are a few things to consider:
All relationships ebb and flow. Even in a happy healthy relationship, you may feel in or out of love at various times, but that by itself does not mean you are no longer In Love with each other or that it's time to break up. It may be no more than the normal cycles all relationships experience. The cycles are ingeniously designed to help you both grow as individuals and as a couple, if you are wise enough and savvy enough. Regardless of what is going on, this feeling is calling something to your attention. It is important for you to dig a little deeper instead of just running with what seems obvious, but is in reality a very superficial assessment.
That feeling may be calling you to GIVE more love in a manner that is meaningful to your Beloved. It is amazing how making that one shift can completely rejuvenate and refresh even the stalest relationships. A lot of times, when one half of a couple thinks they have fallen out of love, what’s really happened is that they have gotten out of the habit of giving meaningful love which has broken the natural cycle of giving and receiving. They broke it and they can easily fix it by restoring the flow and the flow is restored through giving. (If you want to understand this principle better or learn better ways to implement it, read or listen to The Five Love Languages.)
Is a Breakup Really What You Want?
Which brings us to a critical question: If the love were somehow rekindled, would you still want to leave?
There is also a bit of a Red Flag in the phrasing of the question, “How can I tell her without losing her in my life?”
There is no mention of telling her in the way that is most considerate and least hurtful to her. It sounds as if you want to leave her AND keep her. There are essential subtleties at work here. Yes, if you choose to break up, you want to do so in a way that is kind and compassionate and holds the possibility of re-framing your relationship. At the same time, you must fully set her free to make her own choices. There is no guarantee that she will want to remain friends or maintain contact, and you cannot force her to do so.
Begin by checking in with yourself. Question your real motives. Be brutally honest. Make sure you aren’t being selfish in the sense of wanting to have your cake and eat it, too.
If you decide to leave, doing so in a way that honors the love you once shared and does your part to remain friendly or at least cordial is the ultimate goal. Therefore, if you do decide to leave, put her feelings first to increase the odds of keeping her treasured friendship. Yes, it is absolutely possible to re-frame the relationship if both of you are willing. You can release the parts that are no longer working and go forward with the parts that are. You may even find that she was feeling the same void which opens the door to a kind and candid conversation which will allow the two of you to decide together.
Open your heart and mind. Listen. Really listen. This conversation, focused on what’s good for your relationship as well as each of you as individuals, holds the key to either rekindling the love or breaking up compassionately. That’s your goal.
No matter which way things go, it’s crucial for you to remember that you cannot control her feelings or her reaction. Prepare yourself. Be ready and willing to calmly and lovingly accept her response and respect it as true to her. Even if she is angry and hurt, which are possibilities, treat her with the kindness, compassion, respect, and the fondness due to someone you care about.
If a Breakup Is What You Want
At this point, if you have searched your heart, examined your motives, looked clearly at the root causes and not just the surface restlessness, and have decided it is time to end the relationship, here are a few suggestions for smoother navigation:
- Prepare yourself. Do one last check-in, this time considering worst case scenarios. Are you ready to risk a permanent end? If that is her choice, can you handle it without bitterness or revenge? The person doing the breaking up is often blindsided by the reaction of their partner. Think of the various possibilities and plan out your own kind responses. That will give you a framework for staying kind and compassionate if things don’t go well.
- If you are sure about breaking up. Don’t drag things out. And for god’s sake, don’t ask to “take a break.” In most cases, limbo is far more painful and damaging than a clean break. Get in or get out.
- Quietly make any necessary arrangements. Find yourself a new place to live, for example. Or if the two of you are living in “your” place, give her ample time to make her own moving arrangements. You may even want to consider moving out temporarily while that is happening.
- Choose a decent time for the conversation. There is no such thing as a perfect time, but there are definitely times to avoid – in the middle of a fight or during a crisis like death, illness, or job loss.
- Never break up in front of other people. This is a private matter. Involving others will only make things messier.
- Never break up via text or email or even on the phone.
- Don’t blindside her. Lead into the conversation gently, yet clearly. It’s OK to say “I want to talk with you about something important.”
- Be honest, but not harsh. This is not the time to bring up all your annoyances. Avoid criticizing and blaming. Choose your words. Plan in advance if that helps. There is usually more than one way to express something so pick constructive instead of destructive words. Make sure you understand the difference. Commit to being patient, calm, and truthful, then stick to it.
- If you want to stay friends or at least remain cordial, say so. But only if you really mean it. Be prepared for the possibility that she will be too hurt to consider that right now. Don’t try to force it and don’t slam the door shut just because you aren’t getting your way in the moment.
- If you two do decide to break up, once it’s done DO NOT pester her with texts, phone calls, emails, Facebook posts, or any form of contact even if you have decided to stay friends. That sends a very mixed message. Give yourselves a little breathing room. Your relationship won’t rearrange itself in the blink of an eye. You’ll be charting new territory. No need to rush in.
Breaking up isn’t easy even when you are certain it’s in everyone’s best interest. It’s definitely one of those times when a little Golden Rule goes a long way. In order to act with as much integrity and gentleness as possible, start by being certain of what YOU really want. And keep in mind that one possibility is that things have become stale and you would still want to be with her if that stalemate could be broken. Whether you decide to release or rekindle, focus on being calm patient, kind, gentle, and honorable. That way, you won’t end up regretting your own behavior.