The non break up break up: is it really over?

“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

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3 thoughts on “The non break up break up: is it really over?

  1. I thought I had heard it all …

    From my experience I guess it is easier to file things under experience when you have gotten answers that have given closure, and then move on.
    Though I guess in that circumstance I would have probably confronted the dude much earlier and if he wouldn’t been able to produce a coherent answer, I would have told him to get lost.

  2. I think that I have too much pride and dignity to hang around. If I got the slightest inkling that a guy wasn’t interested, I’d drop him like a hot potato. I’ve never figured out why women will continue to pester or harrass a guy that doesn’t call or text them back, and will make up excuses for them (“dog ate their phone” or “they’ve just had an emergency work trip to Mongolia”) – as soon as a guy doesn’t text me back after two tries, I’m outta there!

  3. This seems to be a tactic of a lot of guys. My niece is going through something similar to this but still doesn’t get it. Her ‘boyfriend’ has been seeing her, while at the same time, still hooking up with his ‘ex-wife’. What kind of crap is that? And she acts like she owes him some big obligation. I don’t get it.

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