Allison [name changed] asked me to help her with calling an end to a relationship of five years, that she was clear she was unhappy in.
Even though Allison was the one choosing to end the relationship, she was fearful of how she would handle the break-up. She worried she would struggle with low mood in the aftermath, as a newly single woman.
Beyond dealing with the emotional demands of going through with the break-up, Allison wanted to move on from some recurring patterns in her romantic relationships, so she could have a truly new kind of relationship on the next round.
With my help, Allison identified the aspects of breaking up that felt the hardest to her, so we could shift both her mental perspective and her emotional experience of these. As a result, Allison spoke with surprise of how easily she was navigating the up-and-downs that generally follow splitting up.
Once Allison had got over the immediate aftermath of ending her previous relationship, we discussed how she had approached dating in the past, and what she wanted for her next romantic relationship. Allison developed a clear, detailed portrait of the kind of person she would want to bring into her life.
Next, we made sure she knew, both mentally and emotionally, what this person would appreciate about her, so that she would feel on the level with this very desirable potential partner. We checked which of the skills relevant to dating Allison needed to boost, in order to have an enjoyable time with dating, and addressed those that she felt were her weakest link.
Over the course of six weekly sessions, Allison prepared for announcing her break-up, weathered the emotional roller-coaster, got to grips with her new single status, and made ready to date enjoyably.