Valentine’s Day may be the day to profess your undying love, but it’s also a day where an alarming number of breakups happen as well, many times due to the added pressure for partners to perform and any subsequent disappointment from “last straw” desires not met. So how do you best pick up the pieces when your supposed-to-be romantic day ends up being a forever split? Nicole Noonan, lovingly nicknamed the Fairy Godmother of Divorce, shares her insightful tips on how you can salvage the most from a breakup not just for you, but also for your now recent ex.
1. End on Good Terms
One of the biggest breakup mistakes people make right from the get-go is making their breakup an angry one. “Never solidify a break up during fight. Don’t use the term we need to talk,” Nicole says. “Sit down with your partner and calmly give your reasons for the break. Make nothing and take nothing said personal.” This allows for easier and more effective future communication.
2. Be Polite
Think before you speak so you don’t say something you regret. “Be honest and not rude,” advises Nicole. “Don’t place blame. Act with integrity.” When two people are only trying to out-talk the other, no real progress can be made, especially when trying for a clean break.
3. Define Your Breakup
It’s easy to take a wishy-washy approach to not hurt the other person’s feelings or to leave things open ended. This only causes further complications down the line. “Don’t leave false hopes or introduce friends with benefit situation. Someone’s feelings will get hurt,” Nicole warns. “Remember your partner’s feelings. Compliment your partner and explain why it best to move on.”
4. Break Up in Person
Much like the famous Sex and the City Post-It episode, breaking up is best done face-to-face. And when breaking up, also be mindful of where you’re doing the deed. Setting can be everything. “A friends wedding or ‘your favorite place’ is not the place to break up,” says Nicole. “Choose some place quiet and comfortable for your partner. Only leave when partner is calm.”
5. Look Forward and Move On
One of the hardest things to sometimes do is leave that familiarity of the past and find new things in life that don’t remind you of your past relationship. “If you live together, move out quickly. Don’t frequent places your ex goes to. Minimize contact. Free yourself to find a new love.”
This Valentine’s Day, keep in mind that it’s a commercial holiday that doesn’t define the other 364 days of your relationship in a year. So hold back on the extra pressure, grand expectations and simply take the day to enjoy the person just for the love you have for them. “Besides,” Nicole quips, “February 16th is a fine day to get engaged.”
Nicole Noonan, CEO of Novitas US, is a nationally recognized divorce expert who was crowned the “Fairy Godmother for Divorcees” by the New York Post. She’s is an advocate for the protection of women and their rights. Noonan can provide the top three reasons, both financial and otherwise, as to why January is considered the ‘best’ time to end bad marriages. As a skilled and passionate matrimonial attorney, Noonan has practiced with numerous top rated divorce law firms, and held the prestigious role of General Counsel at one of New York’s largest real estate firms. Nicole Noonan is a frequent commentator on Bloomberg’s “Talking Stock with Pimm Fox.” She’s also been featured on Good Morning America, Bloomberg TV, and WLNY’s “The Couch.”