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Ever heard the term love isn’t enough? As harsh as this phrase seems, it’s an unfortunate reality every person who has every been in a serious relationship must face. It’s one thing to go into a relationship being aware of this, but to actually break up with someone you love, knowing the relationship can’t go the distance to marriage, can be a different type of heartache and confusion. Through the pain, you have to find a way to communicate effectively to your partner, who may be caught off guard.

“The most important thing you can do for them to show compassion is to explain why you love them but don’t want to marry them,” Dr. Joshua Klapow, clinical psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show, told Elite Daily. “If you can answer the question for yourself then you should offer that to them.”

This process is going to require some deep introspection.

“Ask yourself this: ‘Why do I not want to marry them and what would make things different?'” Dr. Klapow advised.

“Ask yourself: ‘Have I had the conversations clearly and specifically about what is not working and what is working?’ If you love the person, then you need to be very sure that you are very clear about why you don’t think it is going to work.”

After you get clarity with yourself, let your partner know the truth, and understand it will be a hard road to healing.

“There is not an easy way to break up with someone you love,” Dr. Klapow said “Recognize that there is a decent chance you are going to hurt feelings.”

Now, the other option is to give it some time. Relationships aren’t stagnant, and they can morph into something stable that you could one day view as marriage material.

“Not everyone knows they want to marry someone early on,” Dr. Klapow says. “The evolution of a relationship, time, and experiences can change your mind. You may not want to marry them now but the ongoing dating may actually change your experience. It’s very important to be clear with your partner about where you stand about marriage, why you don’t want to marry them now, but also what they can do to change that”

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