You’re Not What I Need and I Don’t Want to Let You Go: A Breakup Primer

by | Dec 4, 2023 | Healthy Relationships

I’ve been thinking about how wonderful and magical it can be when relationships actually work.

When there’s loads of ease, empathy and enjoyment.  
When playful banter abounds; we laugh easily.
When our nervous systems relax and settle.
When we feel like someone truly has our back, no matter what.  

Break-ups, on the other hand, can be heart-breaking.  Filled with anguish. Self-doubt. Disappointment. Anger. Sometimes even false hope – which keeps us in things for longer than may be good for us.   

When we find ourselves wanting something different than what our partner has on offer, or our partner needs something different than we are willing to bring, we are often compelled into a deep discernment process:  Should we stay, or go?   

This week’s podcast explores what makes break-ups so hard, and how we might talk about that … 

  • How do we uncouple with care and respect?  
  • How do we put to rest our unrealistic dreams in the hopes of finding a relationship that really works?
  • What do we do when we’re invested in someone who doesn’t meet our needs, but we can’t quite let go because we’re hoping for change?  

One strategy for respectful disconnection involves ensuring our needs get met by switching up strategies. Want to learn more? Check out  the full podcast here, or jump to that section by using the show notes below to skip to a specific part.​​​​

Show notes:
(0:00) Intro
(2:45) My partner wants less commitment and I want more.  What do I do?
(12:00)I’d rather have the hope of working towards a future with you than no hope at all.
(23:50) A practical strategy for redirecting emotional needs during a breakup
(30:30) How do positive, encouraging messages fit into NVC?
(36:24) NVC as an outward performance
(37:40) My ex wants to re-engage but I don’t.  How do I disconnect kindly?
(44:40) When you are finished, you get to be done.
(49:00)  Do my needs cause others pain?
(56:00)  The function of the words “I’m Sorry”
(58:30) Outro


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