Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin may have made “conscious uncoupling” cool, but people have been doing it for years without the fancy name. Amicable breakups are the new black. That doesn’t make it easy. Leaving each other in an intentional, purposeful and deliberate way that eases the hard transition for both parties is difficult at best but not impossible. It takes humanity, compassion and a healthy respect for the past and the future. It can be done. But is there another option? Can the uncoupling be…prevented?
Let’s reverse time to that moment when you both looked at each other and decided to mutually close your Tinder accounts. That conversation that takes you from “casual” to “together.” In that moment you made the choice to make your partner numero uno. The chosen one. Your one and only.
In that gorgeous moment, you also made another choice, whether you thought about it or not. You were actively un-choosing everyone else. No more swiping right. No more Match.com winking. No more late night chats with the “backup guy.” It is almost as if you were breaking up with Everyone Else. It was an active, purposeful choice. A deliberate choice. One that gives respect to the past and to the future. Almost like a “conscious uncoupling.” (See what we did there?)
This conscious uncoupling between you and Everyone Else is easy at first. You can’t even imagine giving an iota of time, energy or effort to anyone but your darling. But over time, the uncoupling of everyone else may not hold as strong. At some point it will become, again, a choice. Do you choose to swipe right again…you know…just to browse for Everyone Else? Do you choose to linger in a conversation with that tall, handsome Everyone Else you are supposed to be uncoupled from? Do you choose to stay online a bit longer to see if the smart, blonde Everyone Else shows up?
Please allow me to add that your conscious uncoupling may not be from other people. It is very often Other Priorities. Maybe it is a conscious uncoupling from an overbearing job, an intrusive addiction or your particularly Type A need for the dishwasher to be loaded a certain way. It could be anything that elbows its way to the top of your priority list, where in reality, your partner should hold court.
Conscious uncoupling is an active choice. You can choose to do it every day with Everyone Else and Other Priorities to maintain your relationship, or you can choose to do with your partner it at the end of your relationship. So…how do you choose to consciously uncouple?