02/22/2016 07:02 EST | Updated 02/22/2017 05:12 EST

5 Bad Breakup Mistakes You Want To Avoid

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Two figures held together by hearts around their waists

Breaking up is never much fun, even when you're the one who's doing the breaking up. It's hard to hurt the other person and of course, it's awful to be hurt.

Breaking up can be horrible, but there are things you can do to make it easier for yourself. I've identified five behaviours that make breaking up a lot worse than it has to be.

If you avoid these five bad break-up mistakes, your break-up will be as painless as it could possibly be.

Breakup mistake #1: Dragging things out.

If you're unhappy in your relationship and you've tried unsuccessfully to make it work, you're only prolonging your misery by not ending things. People tend to indulge in a lot of false hope that a person or situation will change, but if you've tried and tried and your relationship is no better, maybe it's time to cut your losses and get out.

Breakup mistake #2: Break-up to make-up.

If things were bad enough that you or your partner finally decided to end it, getting back together is almost always an exercise in futility that will leave one or both of you even worse off than before. Resist the temptation to get back together, and trust that there was a good reason for you to end things in the first place.

Breakup mistake #3: Making it about you.

OK, it hurts when someone rejects you. It's a blow to the ego, but it doesn't have to devastate you. You need to understand that sometimes, no matter how much you like someone, the two of you are just not a good fit. Instead of personalizing things and then feeling diminished by a break-up, chock it up to experience and move on, knowing that someone else very soon is bound to find you irresistible.

Breakup mistake #4: Jumping right back into the ring.

After any sort of meaningful relationship, a person needs time to process what happened; to lick their wounds and learn what they can from the experience. Otherwise, they're likely to drag their baggage from the last relationship into the next one. Take some time off to sort out your heart and your head before trying to meet someone new.

Breakup mistake #5: Guilty as charged.

If you're the one who initiated the break up, you might be walking around with a lot of guilt for having hurt someone who loved you, and it could be interfering with your ability to let go and move on to your next relationship.

Or maybe you've been avoiding breaking up, because you feel too guilty about causing your partner pain. Think of it this way: you wouldn't want someone staying with you just to spare your feelings, would you? It's kinder to them and to you to cut your partner loose so that you're both free to meet someone who's the right fit, rather than staying together out of guilt.

Breaking up is part of life, so you have to accept it, but you don't have to make it any worse than it has to be.

Avoid these five break-up mistakes, and breaking up will become such a breeze that you'll feel confident to begin the next relationship knowing that no matter how things turn out, you're going to be OK.

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