Was This Break Up Out of The Blue?

Name: Amy
State: NJ
Age: 23
Comment: My boyfriend of almost a year broke up with me last week. We went home to my Mom’s for Christmas and he spent the holidays with me and my family. Why would he spend the holidays with me and then break up with me a couple weeks later? Did the trip home freak him out?

 

I don’t really have much info to go on here. What I do know is that no break up happens out of the blue. People don’t wake up one morning and decide to end their relationship. These things usually involve a decent amount of thought.

My guess is that he was contemplating the break up for some time. He agreed to go home with you for the holidays maybe under duress. Or maybe because he was hoping things would improve. Or maybe just to maintain a sense of normalcy in the relationship.

While it might seem cruel that he went home with you when he was already considering ending the relationship, he may have been looking out for you. It’s possible he didn’t want to put you in a situation where you’d be embarrassed or have to answer a lot of questions. Let’s face it, the holidays are a lousy time to break up with someone. It compounds the the hurt and feelings of loss, as everybody around you seems to be in love and happy. So I’d give him a little break on his timing.

However, like I said before, breaks ups rarely happen out of no where. Usually the person doing the breaking up realizes over time that the relationship has no long term potential. Or they recognize a possible issue or deal breaker that wasn’t present in the early stages of the relationship. You sort of hope against hope that the problem will resolve itself or that it’s not as big of a deal as you think. With time, though, you realize that the problem is one that you can’t work through. You’re really just buying time with that person, knowing that things will inevitably end. It’s especially hard to walk away from someone that you know – without this one glaring flaw – is a really good person whom you love and care for. This is a good argument for waiting to commit, by the way.

There are others who get in to relationships knowing they have an expiration date. They ride the relationship out until they can no longer justify allowing their partner to believe that the relationship has serious long term potential. These are the selfish people. They’re thoughtless. They enter in to a union quickly and effortlessly knowing that there is an escape hatch should things become difficult.

I’m not so sure that the trip home was the impetus to the break up. It could be that he went home and saw that your family had a certain level of expectation on the relationship. Or maybe he was unsettled by your family dynamics. I’d think if either were the case and his thoughts about breaking up with you started there, the break up would have occurred at a later date. Not two weeks later.

Also possible is that your guy was waiting for an ideal window of opportunity. Say, when he knew he’d be out of town and therefore not around to deal with the actual fall out. He waited to end the relationship at a point where he could distance himself from it. And you.That’s what selfish people do. To the end, it’s about them.

You don’t mention his reasons for breaking up. To be honest, they’re pretty irrelevant and probably not totally accurate. If he said that he wasn’t ready for a serious relationship, then I’d say that’s a pretty good indicator that he always knew the relationship was temporary and was waiting for the opportune time to end things  so that he’d suffer the least collateral damage. A year is a long time. Somebody truly not looking for a relationship probably isn’t going home with you for the holidays. But somebody selfish who is going along for the ride until he can no longer ignore the truth – that you’re getting quite attached to him – might. There are too many missing details here so I can’t say for sure what his motives were.

Men have a pretty unique ability in that they can endure a relationship as long as it’s not totally miserable.  They wish to avoid drama. They will go along to get along hoping that the kinks will work themselves out or she leaves first. (Or they find work arounds to help them though, like cheating.) That’s why so often women are blindsided by a sudden split. Sure there will little things here or there that raised some flags. But we sweep them away hoping they were isolated incidents.

This break up did not happen out of the blue. It was percolating in his brain for some time. Whatever the catalyst was, it doesn’t matter, as he ended it. He obviously realized that the relationship could not be salvaged. Or he just decided now was time to lift the hatch and escape. The decision is done. Trying to analyze will only keep you stuck. So mourn the loss and then begin the process of moving on.

 

 

 

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18 Responses to “Was This Break Up Out of The Blue?”

  1. Crotch Rocket Says:

    “Why would he spend the holidays with me and then break up with me a couple weeks later?” There’s an unwritten rule that you don’t break up with someone during the holiday season. So, I think the most likely explanation is that he decided the relationship was over a month or two (or maybe even three) ago but put off ending it until now.

    “Did the trip home freak him out?” I find that unlikely, though it probably did affect the timing. If it were something that happened during your holiday trip, it’d probably take a while longer to sink in, and then he’d end up having to wait until after Valentine’s Day.

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    • DFL Says:

      It probably didn’t freak him out. But if the relathionship has gone sour, the experience of having to put up a front for the partner’s family might be the last straw.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

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  2. Saj Says:

    Many guys just really hate having to hurt someone even though they know the relationship isn’t working out and out of fear of having that ultimate confrontation so they let it go on longer then it should. I agree he was being kind by waiting til after the holidays to do the deed but I bet he had a date set to break up with you for quite a bit now.

    It’s sad that at the point when things started to turn sour he decided to check out rather then talk to you about things and trying to fix it but maybe it felt like too much work or he deemed you a lost cause. It’s hard to say. It wasn’t out of the blue though and he was probably emotionally preparing for this for a bit.

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    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      “he decided to check out rather then talk to you about things and trying to fix it” Who says he didn’t talk to her about it and try to fix it? In the past, when I’ve broken up with girls who thought it was “out of the blue”, it was always due to some issue I had brought up repeatedly but which she dismissed as unimportant (to her) and/or was unwilling to compromise on.

      What seems to confuse women is the time gap between such disagreements and when the relationship ends, so they never make the connection. In reality, he was disengaging from the relationship the entire time, and the last step was informing her.

      “maybe … he deemed you a lost cause.” Most likely. A guy rarely walks away from a relationship he still thinks can be fixed; he walks away because he’s tried fixing it and it didn’t work–or because he’s found another one he thinks doesn’t need to be fixed.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

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      • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

        We don’t even know how he framed this “relationship.” For all we know, he told her up front he wasn’t looking for a serious relationship and she chose to ignore that because he was behaving in a way that resembled the opposite intention.

        he walks away because he’s tried fixing it and it didn’t work–or because he’s found another one he thinks doesn’t need to be fixed.

        Or he walks away because he had always planned on walking away and just found the right time to do so that was convenient for him.

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  3. jaclyn Says:

    There are a lot of possibilities here, and we don’t have enough information to discern what might have happened. He might have been unhappy in the relationship for awhile, and just didn’t want to break up with you right before Christmas, when you would have to explain to 4 aunts, 12 cousins why your boyfriend isn’t there. Or he may have commitment issues, and being around your family highlighted how many people might be expecting him to propose (I have no idea if you or your family actually wanted him to propose, but I’m just telling you what he might be feeling).

    I was in a lot of dysfunctional relationships, and the thing that helped me the most was to analyze them and find the red flags that existed early that I ignored so I could avoid making the same mistake in the future. When I was 25, I dated a 23 year old med student who broke up with me after dating for a year by telling me he couldn’t marry me for 14 years (he planned to spend the next 14 years finishing his MD, PhD, residency and fellowship). Unsurprisingly, this guy had always had issues with commitment. I just ignored the red flags in the start of the relationship. After that, I made it a requirement to only date men who were settled in their lives and career and who had a positive view of commitment (men who have positive views on commitment tend to view married friends admirably, instead of feeling sorry for them). Given your age, it is quite possible that you just found a guy who wasn’t ready to commit and would have bailed eventually.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

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  4. Howard Says:

    This is a hard one to truly know for sure. The one thing I would advise the OP is to be more aware next time. Nothing doesn’t really happen that sudden. People have a way of letting us know subtlely but we tend to ignore. The other thing is that guys don’t give ultimatums and veiled ultimatums like women do. Most guys feel like they are giving away their power when they do that. So when they alert a women to something they find amiss, it rarely comes as an ultimatum or veiled ultimatum.

    What compounds things is that guys don’t like to make waves with something that’s valuable to them, someone to have sex with, especially if that person is the only situation they have going for sex. Of course when another situation becomes available things change. So a woman may be doing a number of things a guy finds offensive, but he just bides his time and gets her back by walking on her eventually.

    I suppose the lesson from all this for all of us, men and women, is to stop living in our own heads so much, and pay attention!

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    • grace Says:

      Yup. OP, I wonder how this man treated you? I am not saying he was mean, but I’ve certainly been with men who in hindsight, I could see that they weren’t that into me because of their somewhat lukewarm actions in our relationship.

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  5. Selena Says:

    Why are you more concerned about the timing of the breakup than the reason for the breakup? Do you think if you hadn’t taken him home with you for the holidays he would have stuck around? Could you be using that as an excuse not to deal with the reason(s) he ended the relationship?

    I agree with the others that the trip probably had little to do with it. Breaking it off was in the back of his mind for some time – he just waited until the holidays/trip was over to avoid dealing with excess drama and feeling shitty about himself for ending it during that season.

    I think you’re better off doing some retrospection and introspection as to what wasn’t working in the relationship and what, if anything, you might do differently in a future relationship. There were likely signs and signals towards the end, and also along the way, that he wasn’t as invested as you were. Maybe you weren’t the best match, but you ignored that to keep the relationship going. Maybe you didn’t communicate as well with each other as you could have. If he’s around your age, it’s entirely possible he just didn’t want to be so serious at this stage in his life. Whatever was going on – examine it, determine if there’s anything to learn from it, and move along.

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  6. Robyn Says:

    When it comes to walking away from a relationship, some people (guys as well as girls) will only do it once they have the next one lined up – they can’t stand to be alone and/or without a steady supply of convenient sex.

    It is entirely possible that the timing of lining up the OP’s “replacement” worked out to be after the holidays because the “replacement” was away for the holidays too.

    In my personal experience, it’s better to end a relationship before the holidays. It’s really painful having to put up a front of “happy loving couple” amdist relatives and friends.
    But then you have to be OK with going solo to holiday parties etc. Which may be more painful for some than putting up “the front”, so they wait until after the holidays to end things.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

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    • Howard Says:

      Beautifully said Grace. The power outage analogy certainly applies as to why people get so mad when they get dumped. It means the dumping party had the oportunity to line up the next one and is continuing on seamlessly with service. While the dumped party has nothing lined up and has to put up with a disruption of service.

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      • Howard Says:

        Sorry Robyn

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      • DFL Says:

        Nah. That is just a made-up reason for why you are upset after being dumped.

        If the partner has the next one lined up, you’re upset because he already looked for a “replacement”.

        If the partner dumps you without have a “replacement”, you’re upset because of “Am I so horrible that he’d rather be alone than with me?”

        Getting dumped sucks, in any case
        You have every right to be upset. You don’t need a silly reason for it.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

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  7. grace Says:

    I agree with Moxie that there are a lot of missing details. Also, when it comes to relationships (of any kind) but in particular romantic relationships, there is very little rationality.

    Don’t worry about why he broke up with you because it won’t matter. Just gather your support system around. Time will heal your hurt. Better luck next time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

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    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      “when it comes to relationships … there is very little rationality.” Spoken like a woman. For a guy, it’s completely rational; that’s why women have such a hard time understanding men: y’all make things so unnecessarily complicated and irrational that y’all simply can’t believe it’s so simple and rational for us.

      If a guy believes that life with you is better than life without you, he’ll stick around. If not, he’ll leave. That’s it.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

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  8. Badger Says:

    “Men have a pretty unique ability in that they can endure a relationship as long as it’s not totally miserable.”

    I think both genders have the endurance – men will endure a bad relationship if the boat is not rocked, i.e. stably boring without drama. A woman will stay in a lame relationship if there’s no better option presenting himself.

    As to the timing, there’s never a good time to break up – you just never find a moment in life where all your loose ends are tied up and nothing future is planned (e.g. theater tickets, family holidays, weekends away).

    As for “why would he come to the holidays,” he’s damned either way. If he breaks up right before, he’s a jerk for ruining the holidays…if he breaks up after, it’s “why did he lead me on??”

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  9. Badger Says:

    “Who says he didn’t talk to her about it and try to fix it? In the past, when I’ve broken up with girls who thought it was “out of the blue”, it was always due to some issue I had brought up repeatedly but which she dismissed as unimportant (to her) and/or was unwilling to compromise on.”

    I can empathize with CR in that in my last LTR breakup, a big motivation for finally ending it was that my GF continually refused to acknowledge that the issues I was bringing up were problems. I asked for a short hiatus, and she seemed totally unperturbed by this, as if it didn’t portend huge problems of its own. I decided at that point that it wasn’t worth arguing any more, if I had to rationally convince her that our problems were problems it was going to be an uphill climb for the rest of our lives.

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  10. Mark Says:

    Sorry OP.

    I hate to say it but you really don’t give enough information to say one way or another why he did it.

    I echo what Moxie said as well as her reasons.

    Hope things improve in the future.

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