How to Leave the Dork

man viewing a sunset


  1. The number one thing we have to do before telling someone we are going to leave a romantic relationship is to decide that your partner actually has become an irreversible “dork” and there is not one thing that could be said that would convince you otherwise. Yo-yoing back and forth with someone’s emotions by retracting your commitment to leave will only serve to prolong suffering — for both of you. Make a list of all the things you like and don’t like about the “dork.” Look at the “don’t-like” list. How many of your values are being violated? Most? Time to leave the “dork.” Time to PLAN.
  2. Now, put your feet where your emotions are. You have made the monumental decision that you would be happier if you weren’t with your partner anymore. At this point, most people become anxious and sad. Tell a trusted friend about your decision. Decide how you want to leave. Abruptly? Kindly? Rudely? Could care less? Usually, the most satisfying way to leave is with dignity. Never break up via text or the phone. If your URR was abusive, safety is the most important consideration. Practice what you are going to say.
  3. Do your homework: find a place to live; make copies of documents such as tax filings, take photos of belongings and bank accounts; contact an attorney or paralegal who specializes in family law — the initial visit is usually free; create a budget; be realistic about areas in which you will have to financially cut back; what about the children and school?
  4. Make an “I’m Leaving You Conversation Checklist” and practice it. This will provide you with your plan. Schedule a time and place to meet in private — sometimes a public place is best. Make an outline of what you want to say. Tell your “Dork” the main reason you are leaving your unhappy romantic relationship (URR) and stay on topic. This is not a time to vent other resentments. Be honest — not about what a “shmuck” you think your “dork” is, but about your main reason for leaving. Admit that you have made mistakes too. Apologize, but do NOT try to justify or explain yourself. Be ready for your URR’s negative responses. Make a contract with yourself that no matter how cutting his or her remarks are, you do not need to address them — stay on YOUR main reason for leaving. Write out a moving schedule and give your URR a copy. Make a list of items you would like to take with you. Give a copy of this to your URR. Then LEAVE! Be ready for tears, begging, blaming, promises, threats. Be ready for anger, yelling and name-calling.
  5. Leave Your Dork knowing that eventually you will be happier.

© 2018, Ann Schiebert. All rights reserved.

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