ending a long term relationship

don’t even ask me to put a number what makes a long term relationship, because it would be useless.  some people count it in years and some people feel like a few months is f.o.r.e.v.e.r.  so no.  i won’t give you a time frame.

what i will give you is a definition.

long term relationship: noun.  verb.  adjective.  being in a romantic alliance with some you think is super neat for so long, your lives are intertwined and some of your personal belongings probably reside at each other’s houses.

when it ends, undoing that intertwining can be less like untying a knot and more like an episode of Dexter.  only i really hope you don’t keep a blood sample in your air duct.

long term relationships can often mean long term break ups.  or what i like to call “dating purgatory”.  it’s that state of limbo where you feel like you’ve invested so much in the relationship that a clean break is impossible and possibly even unwise.

you’d be wrong.  twice.

here’s a fun little factoid for you.  the odd’s of both of you being on the same page about “a break” is so small, you’d need to be Ryan Seacrest to see it.  almost always one of you is hoping that the relationship will miraculously repair itself by spending less time together.

geez sharideth, when you put it that way, it sounds nutso.

right.  it is.

the other person though…brace yourselves…is just too much of a coward to come out and say that he/she (but probably he) wants to move on.  he/she (but probably he) will drag out the inevitable, because owning up to having just wasted invested so much time in one person and then realizing it’s not really what he/she (but probably he) wanted is scary and he/she (but probably he) is a) spineless, b) wants to minimize the other person’s pain by dragging out that pain for another several months or c) doesn’t believe either of those things are true, but they totally are and the sooner you get your head around them, the better.

i’ve already written about how to break up with someone a few times, but the main points can be found here:

there’s nothing worse than a bad break up

and here

how to survive a break up

but there are a couple of things i want to add to those.

1.  get your stuff back – do not leave your copy of Skyrim at her house just as an excuse to see her again.  have her box up your crap and give it all back in one go around

2.  do not “what if” yourself to death – sleep…good.  committed to an institution…bad.  let it go.  don’t dwell on “wasted time”, think about “lessons learned”.  breathe in the free air and don’t shackle yourself to history.

3.  don’t mope – find something constructive to do with your time.  be too busy to be pathetic.  all that stuff you haven’t gotten around to?  get around to it.

okay?  okay.

i’ve said it before but i’m really into quoting myself so…

your relationship died.  you didn’t.

funny thing about time, it keeps moving forward no matter how long you keep looking back.

ever had a long term relationship end?  how did you handle it?


12 comments on “ending a long term relationship

  1. Love it!

  2. visitingmissouri says:

    I had the best break up ever with my last girlfriend. We had been on and off for two years and started a mutual savings account for the furniture we would buy, bought a nice, expensive set of pans (that she ended up with, spoiler alert) and were committed to an adult relationship. Apart from the on and off stuff. After two years of trying, we realized we wouldn’t grow old together and broke up.

    It was when I told her I met somebody else that she went crazy and acted jealous. But the break-up had seemed perfectly mutual up to that point.

    • Jennwith2ns says:

      Yeah. I had one of those. Sort of. Only messier, but still seemed mutual until I met someone else. Complicating factor: ex’s son attends the camp I run. So all week I’ve been dredging up the past–even though I am now married to someone else. Thank you, Sharideth, for reminding me of perspective.

    • Yeah perhaps it was more of an ego/pride thing. ie what he’s over me already? What makes her better than me? In fact whats wrong with me? Why are we breaking up again? Why aren’t I worth mourning over? Also perhaps slight anxiety that you have moved on so quickly and she hasn’t. Sometimes break ups mutual or not need time to breathe. I hope all is well now though..?

      Check out my blog for my new book Mr Wrong at dingdongitsmrwrong.WordPress.com I would live to hear youdr thoughts 🙂

  3. Jenn says:

    Ours was 9 months long, thankfully in many respects we had been friends for longer before that, yes the break up was hard, I initiated it but in the end I think we both knew that our lives were moving apart rather than together whether for that season or life. It took a while and it has taken work but we both love and respect each other and so we have been able to reinstate our friendship.

    Be gracious, and hold your tongue regardless of the side you are on, dumpee or dumper, because it is easier to move on if you don’t make things worse, even if they do. And no that doesn’t mean you can’t vent in private to your best friend, just don’t air everything out publicly

  4. Haley k says:

    I only dated one guy before my husband, and as my first relitionsjip, 1 year was ‘long term’ for me.
    He tried the ‘taking a break’ bit at least…3 times. ‘really?’ you’re surely thinking. No I didn’t catch on, begging him to stay with me.
    He finally broke it off before moving off for grad school, and I lost it, seriously. Every red flag to avoid I smashed into (except giving his stuff back, I passed that test).
    But I aired out our drama to EVERYONE. I even spoke to leadership in our church about arranging a time to oversee our ‘reconciliation’.
    Psycho ex girlfriend? Guilty as charged.
    I dragged out my moving on process for 2 years. He met a girl, got engaged, and married inbthus tome frame. Pathetic.
    But one thing that definitely eased the process for me was moving home (we dated in my college town). When I moved back to my hometown, I was away from all the places and memories we had made, and back where I had some memories before him. I know everyone can’t get up and move, but it worked out for me.
    Also, I deleted my facebook for several years. It was really nice being off the social media map, escaping the temptation to stalk my ex or publicly lament my single loneliness.

  5. Melonie M. says:

    The longest breakup for me was 2 1/2 yrs. Funny how physical intimacy can really drag things out:(But God is Good and blessed me with a good husband

  6. asoulwalker says:

    I only had bad break-ups when I didn’t keep my hands to myself in the relationship. True story. All the other ones were relatively painless and were not dragged out. Who knew that keeping your pants on could have such sweet benefits!

  7. Point #1 this is great. I’m going to make a co-worker read it.
    Point #2 It’s funny to me how people love to get into the shared banking. I’m married and don’t have joint accounts. She takes care of the bills, I give her a money transfer every two weeks, and as sure as I am that she’s ‘the one’ and we’ll last forever…….. still not doing joint bank accounts. It’s a dumb way to express love.

  8. […] ending a long term relationship tell your friends:TwitterFacebookPinterestStumbleUponEmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in relationships and tagged advice, blog, dating, funny, humor, marriage, men, relationships, satire, twitter, women. […]

  9. Better, Faster, Stronger says:

    After 4 years. She broke up with me on my birthday. I told her to grab her stuff while I left for a walk. Came back to a note on counter (figured it was my Dear John letter). Turned it over, and it read “Flush first, wouldn’t flush for me.” She had clogged my toilet, and there sat a single piece of sh…

    It sucked, bad. Now I’m better than I’ve ever been. Funny how things work like that.

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