Let’s Take A Break Shouldn’t Be A Break-Up

let-us-take-a-break-should-not-be-a-break-upQuestion: We’ve been together for more than 3 years. We had miscommunication problems, but I always felt like we understood each other. That’s why I was shocked when she called me with “lets take a break”. I didn’t see it coming at all. I have emails from her from 2 days earlier saying how much she loved me, so how did she suddenly fall out of love when we did not even have an argument or fight?

I’m trying very hard to just give her space but I keep going from feeling really sad and crying a lot to feeling a lot of anger towards her. Please don’t tell me to forget her and move on. Everyone is telling me to cut her out of my life but no one knows what we‘ve been through together. I still feel that we are meant to be. I just don’t understand why now she’d walk away from us.

Yangki’s Answer: It’s not my intention to sound mean here, but relationships don’t just end (please see my post: Why The Man or Woman You Love Doesn’t Want You Pt. 4). There are always clues before a relationship actually ends, but either you didn’t pick up on them early enough to try to stop the break-up or you were in denial. Some people get caught up on the “feel good” aspect of the relationship not wanting to deal with the underlying problems until one day it just blows up in their faces.

Did she fall out of love? I don’t know, only she can answer that. What I do know is that men and women can and do go from saying “I love you very much” one day to “I don’t want to be with you” the next day because someone can love another very much but feel that the person they love is not meeting their needs, wants or desires, or does not share their beliefs, interests and life goals.

It does not necessarily mean she stopped loving you, it just means she does not want to be in a relationship with you because 1) she’s not happy, 2) she’s lost that “in love” excitement, 3) she met/is interested in someone else 4) she does not see the relationship going anywhere, or 5) something else she feels is not right about the relationship.

Instead of focusing on “…but she said she loved me”, I suggest you sit with yourself and re-examine the relationship in totality. What were the problems in the relationsip? What did she want, need or desire but felt that she was not getting? What do you feel that you could have done but didn’t do to make the relationship better? Etc.

Looking at the relationship as “we had miscommunication problems” alone is not enough. Usually, “miscommunication problems” is a symptom of something else not right in the relationship.

If you’re going to make this work, you’ll need to demonstrate that you “get it”, you have figured out how to make the relationship better and you have what it takes to create a relationship better than the one you had. Anything else is a waste of effort, time and energy.

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21 Comments

  • Very good post on a complex topic. What stands out most to me is “It’s not personal”. Just reading that “it’s not personal” is helping me start to release the anger I feel towards my ex for walking out after 7 years together. He said he wasn’t happy. I’ve been angry at him for not trying harder to make it work, but now I look back and see that he did try. Even after the breakup he tried to keep in touch to make sure I was okay, but I was taking it personally and told him not to contact me. Almost 3 months and he hasn’t made any attempt to initiate contact. Do you think he is not contacting me because I told him not to, or because he has moved on?

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  • Yangki, don’t you think that if a person just wants to have a good time and not ready to commit, he/she should at least let the other person know so he/she doesn’t feel lead on or get caught up.

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    • Yes. One should at least communicate his or her intent from the beginning or when one senses that he or she is not into the other person as much as the other person is into him or her.

      But there are also men and women who even when told insist that it meant more because the other person said “I love you”, or treated him or her a certain way, or did certain things that prove that the relationship meant something serious. It’s hard, understandably so, for them to believe it was good for a while, but it’s now over.

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  • Acting like I don’t care and convincing myself it was her loss doesn’t work for me. I still love her and it’s taking me a very long time to get over her. I’ve tried moving on but have no motivation to seek out other women. That may make me pathetic and weak but that’s just how it is with me right now. Hopefully I feel differently soon.

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    • I don’t think you are pathetic and weak — I actually think you are being authentic and true to yourself and your emotions. That’s strength! Not many people in this world are emotionally honest enough to show up and say… this is who I am and this is what I truly feel.

      Take as much time as you need, everyone grieves their loss in their own way and time. Grief over loss only becomes problematic if over time there is no slightest change in how you feel, the emotions get more overwhelming and unmanageable, or actions and reactions become problematic/destructive. When that happens, one needs help dealing with the emotions and moving past the event causing them. Other than that, take one day at a time… one foot in front of the other.

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