Break up, not down

There is a saying that has been banded around the business world for over a decade – “…don’t sweat the small stuff – and it’s all small stuff”.

The signature line of the late Richard Carlson has no less meaning in the world of online dating – especially when it comes to breaking up with someone who you’ve met through a dating site.

Whether you have decided to take your relationship offline or its peak has been an elevated form of communication via your laptop or mobile, splitting up with someone is never easy. Even when you have no sense of feeling left for your partner, human nature takes over and a sense of guilt can have you procrastinating, even re-considering, when you know deep down it’s time to call it a day.

Well, don’t. With every relationship, whether it remains in the domain of the dating site or you have taken it a stage or two further, you have to stay true to yourself above all. Honesty is the best policy – I know it’s a cliche, but as soon as you accept that fact, the rest becomes small stuff.

What is at the heart of the break-up?

There can be a multitude of reasons why you want to call time on a relationship, but those can be filtered back to one of the three C’s – change, commitment or compatibility.

At the heart of any of those sentiments is the need for honesty. You can beat about the bush all you like but your partner not only deserves but will also appreciate (eventually) you being straight up with them and citing the reasons why you feel the need to move on.

Change, for the better

There’s change, and there’s compromise. It’s important to enter any relationship with your eyes wide open and, if you make promises, stick to them.

Do your homework before you enter into any relationship – if your potential partner has expectations, or you do, be sure that they’re practical and achievable. Do not be surprised if the relationship fails if the parameters for change are unreasonable from the outset.

Commitment may take a little time

Do not expect commitment immediately, especially if you’re dating someone who has been around the block before.

Your partner will want to build up trust before giving themselves over to you completely; forsaking all others is one of the biggest sacrifices one person can give to another.

Compatibility matters

Dating site profiles are all well and good but, let’s face it, there’s a propensity, even an expectation, to exaggerate details about yourself so you must expect other members to be less than 100% truthful about theirs.

Read between the lines in their answers to your prompts and ask the questions that matter to you, not what you think is expected of you, to get the best results from online dating.

Breaking up is the end of the road and is difficult for both parties. Nothing in life is guaranteed, but the more groundwork you put in beforehand could possibly delay the inevitable indefinitely.