I’ve been in enough breakups in my life, and as much as I don’t want to admit it, I’ve done more than my fair share of pulling back after getting in deep. I’m not sure if I had a fear of commitment, if it was something that genuinely bothered me about the other person, or if it was some combination or lack of these two. Or maybe if it was just that I felt I should be with someone, if I was merely co-dependent and they happened to come across my radar when I had no one and was out looking. And I feel bad after it ends, regardless of who did the breaking up with whom, but I feel so much worse when it’s the girl who has broken up with me, because in that instance I don’t have closure. What is it about us as human beings that makes us want to hit the heartbrakes when things don’t match our expectations?
It’s not you. It’s me.
Love is a two-way street, and if you find yourself traveling down a one-way there are usually so many signs before the inevitable end. Does he still spend time telling you how beautiful you are? Do the two of you still appreciate the time you spend together, or is it just habit? Those are big yellow flags telling you to slow down and observe instead of going full speed ahead thinking that the two of you are in the same place. People change. It’s disregarding or being oblivious to that change that creates the avalanche that can knock your relationship on its ass.
I just need my space.
This is probably one of the most devastating. I mean, space from what? Am I simply a leech who has sucked onto you and now you’re trying like hell to scrape me off? Is space just that important to you or does it mean I’m simply smothering you? I think this one is a huge cop-out because if you truly need space from someone you claim to love, then you should be able to talk about it and work out just when and why you need alone time. That can be worked out. But to say that it’s the sole reason you’re not going to be with someone you claim to love anymore, perhaps it wasn’t real love in the first place.
You deserve better than me.
Yes, I probably do, but you’re the one I want to be with. I mean, we both know the world’s not fair, so why try to make something fair that isn’t? It’s not inconceivable that one person in the relationship may have stronger feelings, and may “deserve” someone who has the same intensity of feelings. But if you want to be with someone else and they’re the person for you, then you make that work. You don’t try to foist that person off on someone else under the guise that they can “love you better.” Being all down on yourself might have been the “in” thing in the 1970s but talking it out and reassurances from the other person can go a long way to making things copacetic.
I think we should see other people.
This is the classic “fear of commitment” breakup line, and it’s so obvious too. This is especially true because generally the person saying it has already been seeing someone else, and he wants to make that his “regular thing” instead of whatever you thought he had with you. But, ironically, he’s the same guy who would have gotten insanely jealous and threw a fit if you had come to him with the exact same line. Go figure.
I think we’re moving too fast.
It’s actually a valid line, but it’s not an excuse to take the proverbial break. “Too fast” means the other person isn’t sure that you’re the one, and before you go picking out fine china and wedding invitations perhaps you need to take a reality pill. Honestly, this is the one that is brought up last, after all the other lines have failed. What can you honestly say as a response to this? Well, then, let’s slow it down? How do you even go about doing something like that while still maintaining a relationship that still has potential? If you’ve figured it out by now, please let me know.
So, why do people feel the need to get out of relationships that seemed like they were working just fine? The key word to that sentence is “seemed.” Every relationship is like a trip on the open road. You can put the roof down and let the wind go through your hair, and just keep driving without focusing on the destination. But the second you start thinking about where you’re actually headed, you realize you like just driving endlessly. That’s when you hit those heartbrakes, when you shut down and another relationship takes that exit ramp.
The solution is communication, from the beginning on through. That way if things aren’t working you’re talking it out and moving on amicably, and no one is surprised by one of the aforementioned breakup lines deep into what you thought was a solid relationship. In my humble opinion.