“For better or for worse”
“Through thick and thin”
“In good times and in bad”
When you’re in a relationship, that’s the bare minimum. At the very, very least, you can reasonably expect your partner to be there to work things out with you. So imagine my friend’s surprise when she had her first argument with her boyfriend and for a week afterwards he went incommunicado. It was a little to do with different priorities, and a little to do with expectations. But it was just a disagreement, the kind of discussion that couples have in order to establish boundaries and to align themselves with what the other wants.
When he finally got back in touch, he didn’t mention their discussion. It was resoundingly ignored.
They went on holiday together. All appeared as per usual.
After this lovely time away however, things started to get a little confused. He was acting like all was normal, but on going on what she thought was a double date, she was met with the question from the other couple, “so do you two work together?” And they didn’t mean, was that where they met – they genuinely had no idea that she was seeing him, let alone his girlfriend.
Bumping into a mutual friend a few days later, she mentioned the dinner and was met with a surprised “Oh? You guys are still together? I thought he said you guys broke up?”
The final straw came when a friend called to say that she had heard from another friend on the grapevine that he told everyone they had split up months ago.
At what point should she have assumed that they were officially not an item anymore? And why hadn’t he had the decency to tell her that they had apparently resumed the status of friends with benefits?
The non-break-up break-up is possibly the most cowardly, disrespectful way of breaking up. No discussion, no meeting of minds, just one not very brave person letting others do their dirty work. And somehow, in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary, my friend still feels that she has an obligation to have a conversation to really ascertain whether they have broken up.
“No!” we all cry, in simultaneous horror. “You have! You are single! Move on!”
But still, something inside us seeks closure. We want to hear from the source what we already know – because we want to move forward, be happy, and have no regrets of what’s left behind.
Image courtesy of stock.xchng