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Breaking up is an act of love as well

Breaking up is an act of love as well. Maybe this sounds paradoxical, but sometimes you have to love somebody so much that you have set them free.

A few weeks ago I had a ‘returning conversation’. Not returning in the sense of having the same conversation with the same person over and over again, but in the sense of a conversation I have more often with people. I met this guy who didn’t love his girlfriend anymore. He had discovered that that special feeling for her had disappeared more than a year ago. Still he was with her. I asked him why. He said: “Because she still loves me. I don’t want to cause her any grief. It feels very egoistic to end our relationship.”

I’m always amazed when I hear answers like that. Well, I’m nowadays. I was guilty of this in the passed as well, but I’ve lived and learned. For me staying with somebody and pretending you love them, while it isn’t true is cheating as well. You’re lying to your partner. Maybe you don’t do it with words.Maybe you don’t tell them you love them, but with your behavior you lie as well. Pretending everything is okay, when it’s not, is also lying.


Is it egoistic to break up a relationship when you don’t love your partner anymore? I don’t think so. If you truly want the best for your partner, if you really want them to be happy then they deserve a partner that loves them the way they love their partner. And you’re clearly not that person anymore. Breaking up is an act of love as well, because by breaking up you give them the chance to find happiness again with somebody who loves them back. You set them free. Maybe on the moment you do it, it’s hard. Maybe they don’t want to be free, but as soon as their grieving is over and they can look at it with some distance they will admit that breaking up was a good thing to do.

Act of love

There are more reasons why I think breaking up is an act of love. When you say: I can’t break up with my partner, because I don’t want to make him/her unhappy, you are implying that your partner’s happiness is because of you. Isn’t that a bit arrogant? So you’re the reason your partner is happy? That’s a big load to carry and a big statement to make. An unhealthy one as well. Shouldn’t love be unconditional? Didn’t Osho say: The capacity to be alone, is the capacity to love. It may look paradoxical to you, but it’s not. It is an existential truth. Only those people who are capable of being alone are capable of love, of sharing, of going into the deepest core of the other person – without possessing the other, without becoming dependent on the other, without reducing the other to a thing and without becoming addicted to the other. So according to you, your partner can’t truly love. Again: I think it’s a big statement. And is that the truth or is it an assumption you have made?

What are you doing to you?

Last but not least: what are you doing to yourselves when this is your attitude? Do you put your life on hold, because you think somebody else will be unhappy? So you sacrifice your life for somebody else’s happiness? Shouldn’t you love yourself so much that you put yourself first? Only when you are happy and strong you can share your happiness and love with other people. We can only give if we have abundance. Not if we are lacking, because we are sacrificing our own needs. 

As I said before: I have this conversation more often. Maybe it has something to do with being a yoga teacher and talking about love and fear often. When the people I talk to, speak with their partner, they often find out that it doesn’t come as a surprise to their lover. If you hardly have sex anymore, if you interest in what your partner does, is fading, if you life together as friends, as brother and sister, it can’t be a real surprise. A relationship should be ecstasy. There should be regular moments where you want to tear the clothes of your boyfriend’s or girlfriend’s body. If you life together it won’t happen every day, but at least one out of three days you should feel intensely happy to be together. If not, why be together? Maybe you want to keep sharing a house, keep bringing up your kids, but set your partner free. Let him or her find true love again and open yourself up for true love as well. Because isn’t true love one of the most beautiful things in this world? 

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4 Responses to Breaking up is an act of love as well

  1. Avatar
    Esther Verwoord 12 February 2016 at 11:09 #

    It’s the natural way to do but I don’t see a lot of people make the choice you suggest: stay, just to share the house and maybe take care of the kids together AND set each other free. In most cases we settle for what we ‘have’ and act as if nothing hás changed, keeping each other locked in chains…It’s cruel but people do it to each other all the time. And it’s not a good example for the next generation they’re raising. Good thing is: somebody somewhere breaks the chain eventually. It’s nature. Nobody fools nature.

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    John Kraijenbrink 12 February 2016 at 17:52 #

    Thank you for sharing. I think it’s often fear as well. Fear to be alone, fear not to find somebody new. People rather settle and be unhappy than being alone. Strangely enough.

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    Samsara 15 February 2016 at 17:16 #

    Wonderful thoughts! Thank you.

    Fearing to be alone or maybe fear of losing something in the split (or divorce) is why I often see people yoked who otherwise no longer feel the love. Love is no longer the reason they’re yoked, but a subconscious choosing of their perceived lesser evil, so to speak.

    I was in a long term relationship (before finding my soulmate) in which the love was, at first, kinda there in that he fulfilled a need I had at the time, except that – in truth – once his mask came off, I stayed out of convenience for a few more years. My particular fear was not being able to afford (mentally) to leave my animals or afford (financially) to bring them with me.

    In a wonderful moment of clarity, it occurred to me that I would be lonely in this relationship for the rest of my life (or my animals lives) OR I could embrace the suffering of loss I would feel and not be lonely anymore.

    I chose the suffering (loss of my animals) of my perceived greater evil. I can’t say the last 10 years haven’t been speckled with those memories of loss BUT I can say that the suffering wasn’t interminable #1 and also #2 my Ex went on to father another life due to my realization and subsequent choice.

    As for me, my Soul Mate (who calls me the same) – and not in the gag me yuck faux-romantic sense, but the true love, equally yoked, seeking each others’ happiness, and yin-yang sense – and I have had a life for the past ten years that I’d not thought really existed or was even possible had I not experienced it for myself.

    So yes, there is much to be said in valuing and honoring the truth of oneself and the other, despite foreseen suffering. At least, this is my philosophy.

    And, also, I created the (pardon the plug) Codependent Recovery Facebook Page because it was only during THIS recovery process was I able to have my initial moment of clarity while in relationship w/ my now-Ex. I was reading a recovery-oriented book one day when the light-bulb (almost literally, lol) cartoonishly popped over my head.

  4. Avatar
    Zakaria 22 February 2016 at 13:02 #

    Your body changes daily, and it depends on many variables. That’s an important fact to know in a yoga practice, which translates to dance: some days, your body can go farther than others. I may get my forehead to the floor in a pose today, but I may only be able to bend forward a little bit tomorrow. That doesn’t mean I’ve lost all my progress. That means that my body only needs that much nourish today. Even when your over-arching trajectory is upwards, there will be little hills and valleys along the way. One data point isn’t a trend. It’s okay if you were out of juice last night it happens. The important thing is that you did practice, even if you had the don’t-wannas. You’re working at it, and your practice is growing.