When the author, Frank Love, contacted me requesting a review for his book How To Gracefully Exit A Relationship, the questions that instantly I asked myself were, ‘this book seems to be for someone who is in a relationship and I certainly am not in one. So, what purpose would this book serve for me? And would I be able to review it properly?’ Although, I wasn’t really sure, I did take a gamble of agreeing for the review because the theme/core-subject of the book was relationships, the theme that this blog stands for, and am glad that the gamble paid off.
The book is very short. It consists of just 95 pages if we exclude the preface and acknowledgements. I was again apprehensive about it and thought to myself what could have author written in so less pages about relationships, break-up and such topics which are deeper than oceans and vaster than skies.
We say that great writers have this ability of adjusting vast amounts of information in a nut-shell and that is what Frank Love succeeds in doing. He has covered so many things in the little that he has written.
He frankly confesses that he has no formal education about the psychology and he is no professional either. Whatever he has written in this book is based on extensive research, conversations with friends and people in general, observations of (love) lives of people around him and his varied experiences with his (various) relationships.
He offers advises in a step-by-step methodology that are practical, easy to understand and apply in our lives. But, one thing to be kept in mind is that all the steps are easier said than done. However simple they may seem to read and however easy them may seem to apply, when we actually get to the business, they will seem really hard. But, if we successfully manage to apply them, we will have dignified and peaceful relationships.
The author starts off with a statistic that half of the marriages that take place in U.S end up in a divorce. And almost 75% of third marriages end in a divorce too.
(In Indian context, this is simply impossible. Not many would dare to go for a divorce because of family or society pressures. Let alone getting a divorce for the third time.)
The underlying point is that an average person suffers at least 2 major break-ups in his lifetime. The number can be much more if we include the less-serious relationships that are norm these days.
The first and foremost thing he tells us is that no relationship is perfect. And that not every relationship will last forever. He advises that we should enter any and every relationship with an idea that, that relation may not last and we may have to end it some day. Although, the breakup won’t be painless, but going in with this attitude makes it easier to tackle and deal with the problems as and when they arise.
(SRK and his “love is forever” adage is good only in movies, novels and fairy tales. Doesn’t apply in real life.)
In the course of the book, he talks about various things like, getting dumped or dumping someone, attitude towards Monogamy/Polygamy and how to deal with the issues surrounding them, about attitude post-breakup, about dealing with breakups peacefully without hard (no pun intended) feelings, about space and respect towards your ex.
Some important points he stresses on are
- There is no ideal relationship. There is no perfect relationship. There is nothing right or wrong in a relationship. It’s all about compatibility and whether you both are mutually benefiting from the relationship or not.
- He also says that dumping someone doesn’t mean you are better or being dumped doesn’t mean that you are a loser. It simply means that you both aren’t ‘the one‘ for each other.
- It’s better to discuss the ‘terms & conditions‘ before entering any relationship. (By T&C, I mean) About your expectations, desires, future plans and also about his/her’s.
- About not mistaking your “investment” in the relationship as your “sacrifice” and realizing that nobody owes anybody anything in any relationship.
Each chapter opens with a motivating quote that you always concur with. Also the anecdotes, studies or surveys that he includes in the book are both awe-inspiring and thought(s)-provoking.
If you go by the title you may imply that the book is generally for people who are in a relationship and are contemplating a break-up in near future. IT IS NOT SO.
This book is basically for three kinds of people.
1) Who have never been in a relationship.
2) Who have been in a relationship but aren’t in one right now.
3) Who are in a relationship.
To sum it up, this book is equally applicable to every single human being on the earth. There is something for each of the kinds.
Never been in love, searching for love, first love, in a relationship for (xyz) years, just married, married for years, have kids, whatever stage you are in your relationship, you’ll find something that is applicable to you either to make your relationship better or to clear your mind on certain issues or to decide your future course of action.
Highly recommended. For new perspectives and for happy lives. 🙂
Connect with the author here – Frank Love