A good friend of mine just broke up recently, and when she announced it, I naturally asked “What happened?”
I could almost see her mind racing through the answers. “Well, it was the distance, and he’s been really stressed out at work, and he says he can’t really be there for me as a boyfriend should, and…”
But still, she had that confused expression on her face. The kind you have when someone ambushes you with a break up, and you have no idea why.
I prodded more. Did things gradually get worse? Did you have any idea? How did you feel about it all?
After some retrospection, she finally said “Honestly, I didn’t expect it.”
She continued talking, but in that moment I was reminded of my own breakup. I spent much of the last two years wondering what went wrong.
It was the other guy, it was the sex, it was me still being immature and not a responsible adult, it was my lack of ambition and drive, it was…
“…like one day, he just had a 180 degree change of heart and I felt it.”
“I just feel like he wasn’t willing to face whatever was bothering him. Like, I was willing to work through anything, but he just didn’t want to.”
Look, I said. Whatever the reason was, it was a good reason. There are no bad reasons for a breakup.
People always want to save a relationship because they think that breakups should happen only over big things. As if getting dumped because of how loud you are in the mornings, or how you always mispronounce ‘menu’, or how you’re only allowed to eat vegan food is a bad reason to break up.
Relationships involves two people. Two. Both parties must think the relationship is worth saving for it to continue. The moment one person gives up, or thinks it’s no longer worth working on, it’s done. Regardless of the reason.
But it’s so stupid, you might think.
In a sense, you’re right. You might think it’s a stupid reason to break up just because of that stupid, small thing. But then again – that tells you something doesn’t it?
It tells you that the other person is thinking, “I think this relationship is so petty that I’m not willing to compromise on even this small thing for you.”
When you put it that way – do you really want to be in a relationship with them?
Relationships are tough. You’re going to argue about a lot more than just the small things. If you can’t even sweat the small stuff, how’re you going to deal with the big ones in the future?
So, don’t chase them. If they break up with you over something small, then so be it.
There’s no point in begging, negotiating, or trying to convince the other person to stay, because even if they did, things would never be the same. From that point on, they can just coast through the relationship, enjoying the good parts of it without ever having to reciprocate. Why should they? You NEED them. They don’t need you.
So just let him go, and don’t torture yourself over the real reason he left, because honestly, it doesn’t matter. He was just in your life to show you the difference between him and someone who thinks it’s worth it, and he’s done his part.
Now just get ready for that next guy.