Breaking up is hard to do. Especially when you love and respect the person who you’re breaking up with. Sometimes things just don’t work out romantically between two loving, caring adults who get along perfectly. Something is missing. It could be as simplistic as a gut feeling, or it could be something more than that, that you can’t quite put your fingers on. What makes an adult break up all the more complicated, is when there isn’t a clear-as-fuck reason as to why the relationship is coming to an end. Its just ran its course or something of the like.
If you’ve gone through a breakup in your thirties, chances are the first question others ask when they hear the news (shocking or otherwise) is the question “why?” Sometimes they want to know, because you and your partner seem so poetically perfect together and they want to understand what could possibly condone ending such an envious and enriching bond. They want to know how and why this idea of ultimate, true love has failed such a seemingly sweet couple. Other times they just want the details for the to-be-expected gossip purposes, or simply to learn a lesson of what not to do in their own situations. You can usually tell by someones reaction to your split if they are of the former or the latter camp.
The first time going out after a notable breakup, the question tends to emerge when friends, foes and acquaintances ask the apropos ‘Where’s so and so (insert your now-exes name here.) And so it begins. You fumble to break the news in a way that doesn’t say too much but says enough. That protects both your ex, who you’re still friends with, and yourself. And then, their response. If you were in the adult relationship I’ve been discussing here, the likely result is shock. Like literal jaw-dropping, read it in their eyes shock. Blindsided by your news, as you watch them try to accept it in their every movement, deep swallow, as if you just told them your former partner had passed.Talk about a mind fuck, not just for them, but for yourself who has already done the work accepting it is what it is. You now are put in the position of these others to have to help them through the news, offering sympathy. But it gets easier. I promise you. It really does.
If we’ve made as drastic of a decision as to part ways with a loved one, we should own it and be open to letting those in our lives know that it’s over. We ought to be authentic about it, and then move forward. After all, that is most healthy way to deal with a serious change. A split. I’m not saying advertise your new singlehood on your social channels, nor do I suggest sharing intimate details of the decision making process. But if it comes up in convo, if someone asks about your partner – oblivious to the split – be honest with them and yourself.
As adults, we owe it to ourselves and others to live an authentic life. Especially if you are going to continue to keep your ex in your life as a friend, or perhaps a best friend, you need to ensure those hanging out with you guys feel comfortable too. The only way to do that is to own it. Don’t waver. And allow them to soak up this new found friendship. More on that to come in tomorrow’s post on how to help your friends and family after a split, if they’re friends with you both. There’s nothing worse than making these others take sides. Lets be grown ups, you guys.