One afternoon I caught myself watching an episode of Sex and the City (Yes, a guilty pleasure of mine.)
On this particular episode, Carrie got dumped by a mane named “Burger.” While Carrie certainly had her share of relationship woes, trials and tribulations, I believe Burger did one of the most despicable acts to her.
That video clip always gets me thinking. Is there s good way to break up with someone you once cared for?
Break ups are never easy. Not for the person who lost someone or even the person initiating the break up. Some feel that there is no good way to end a relationship. It’s already bad enough, so what possible additional damage can be done by how the break up was initiated?
Yet I agree with Carrie here. There is a respectable way to end a relationship with someone. She hit the nail on the head. Emails, text messages, written letter or even the obscure “post it” break up says a lot about the character of a person.
Maybe I am old fashioned. I believe that when a relationship has run its course, it is only proper to face the person and express your emotions. Be real about it. There is no need to sugar coat it. However you exhibit a certain level of respect by being able to look someone you once cared for and tell them in person that it isn’t working out for whatever reason or that one of us is moving on.
I’ve been broken up with in many bazaar fashions. While I’ve never had the “post it” break up, I’ve certainly had some that have left me scratching my head.
I have had the dreaded text break ups. The cowards way out in my opinion. I have been broken up over email, I had one person matter of fact my turn to me and say, “Yeah I don’t want to do this anymore….” and then she went on to finish her drink, order another and act like nothing happened (I quietly left after he next round got to her.)
I have even had break ups where one person just flat out stopped talking to me, no explanation given.
However sad those may sound, there was one particular break up I will never forget.
It was honest, thoughtful and personal. This particular girl went for a walk with me and poured her heart out to me. She said she loved me and she always would. However she also stated that she felt that she needed to be free and explore other life possibilities.
We continued to talk for a bit more. It still hurt and I was choked up through most of it, but her words at the end I’ll never forget. “I’m scared I may be letting a good one get away. However, If our paths are meant to cross again they will. If not, you will always be a special person to me and hold a place in my heart. You are a great person and I wish nothing but the best for you. But for now, I must say goodbye.”
And then she walked out of my life.
I was broken up. I was felt defeated and destroyed after all we shared together and all the special moments we created over such a long period of time.
Yet I grew to respect her even more and her approach. This approach did not leave me with questions. It did not leave me feeling the need to chase after her and interfere with her wishes. If it is meant to be it would come back. If not, we both had our closure.
In the not too distant past, I had a terrible break up. It was mainly over text, and the other person refused to face me in any way. To give things back to each other we had to text and leave things at a drop point. I remember thinking how ridiculous this all was. Especially since when she texted and broke up with me she said, “I’d still like to be friends.”
Well, friends talk. Friends are not afraid to see each other. Friends also don’t lie to each other. I think it was the constant lying that hurt the most. Had she approached me and was honest about her feelings and direct, I felt a lot of the awkwardness could have been avoided. Yet it wasn’t. For about two months, families got involved and it just got uglier and uglier.
Things got even more out of hand because who can ever truly decipher certain short, cryptic texts with a hint of secrecy. I feel a straight forward honest approach could have saved us both two months of awkwardness and me just playing along with the lies I knew were being told. However it ended, and as most relationships do, it ended badly.
My main hope going forward is that my partners are honest with me. Be honest always. Perhaps even that brutal truth and honest approach can avoid the break up all together. Yet so often people are quick to end things on assumptions instead of working it out like couples in love normally do.
Yet I take my hat off to the one who understood the best way to part from another is to look them in the eye and leave nothing on the table. There is no need to treat the other with kid gloves or give a false sense of hope. Simply being honest and mature has earned my respect from someone I once loved and have moved on from.
My goal after all is said and done in a relationship is to honor the time we had together and be able to look back on our experiences with a smile of joy, not frustration of regret.
Treat me like a human like I treat others. Be mature enough to not be scared to hide our true feelings for another. Sometimes a break up is final and we need to know that. A text or email complicates that. A face to face encounter with an honest approach at least let’s us both know what the future may or may not hold for us.
So let us be mindful in how we part from others. It will always be painful no matter which side we are on, but the least we can do is be respectful and honest to those who once held a place deep within our hearts.
Author: Adam Wilkinson