Did I really want to break up?

When it comes to relationship advice, our elder says asking friends can complicate matters. Here’s what to ask yourself instead.

Dear EWC:

Hi! I just recently ended my first relationship and I’m very conflicted in whether I made the correct choice or not. Things were taken out of proportion on both ends when it happened and is most likely the reason we broke up. I didn’t intend to break up with him when I did. I just wanted to talk about us but it ended up coming to an end.
I’ve had a few days to think about us and our relationship and I’m conflicted; do I really want to get back together with him or not. I felt like I needed to take time to focus on myself but I was extremely happy those few months I spent with him and honestly think we could have worked to better our relationship. I’ve been so upset the past couple days just thinking about him and I don’t know what to do. I think I find out what I want and then contradict everything and it just makes everything more confusing.
I try to go to my friends for advice but they are each saying different things which doesn’t help me figure out what I really want. We are currently friends and stay in touch and when we have a conversation it makes me miss him even more. I really just don’t know what to do at this point and just need some help. Thank you so much!

Good-Listener replies:

Your situation is complicated; I don’t need to tell you that. And, agreed, much of this has to do with what you want. As you know, everything (or most things) in life is a compromise, especially relationships. However, you broke up for a reason, and, it’s possible those reasons were very valid, and your inner self was telling you that you deserved better. This is what you need to figure out.

Sometimes women will put up with all sorts of bad behavior (even abuse) in order not to be alone. After a break up, they are scared and tend to romanticize what went on and feel it “wasn’t that bad.” Often they try to go back when it was truly that bad. This may not be the case at all with you, it’s just an idea I want you to think about in case it does apply. It could also be that you genuinely love the guy and feel the break up was more your fault. Again, I have no idea, and can’t answer those questions, only you can.

The very first thing you need to do is be really honest with yourself in what happened, how you felt during the relationship, how you feel now, and what you think you might gain if, in fact, you guys got back together. Clearly you’re still friends and in communication, so there is something there. By the way, I always found it almost more confusing when I had an issue with a guy and went to my friends. If you ask 10 people, they will give you 10 answers, and often they are telling you what THEY would do, not what is right for you. We all tend to do that a little, but I prefer letting a person take all of the facts, be honest, and make their decisions.

If you want to see if you can resume the relationship, then quietly, calmly (and without your phone) try to discuss what happened. I don’t know how he will feel, but an honest discussion may be in order. However, don’t do this if you can’t handle being disappointed. In other words, if things don’t turn out the way you want and you’ll be so devastated that you can’t eat, sleep, etc., then I would hold back. No matter what happens, your life will move forward and you’ll be fine. I know it sounds pedantic, or like a cliche’, but these things DO make you stronger and you learn from them. I sincerely hope things work out the way you want. Good luck!


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