Happiness · Personal

When Should You Break Up?



Last night a friend of mine stopped by to eat dinner and watch a movie. As I was preparing some salad to go with a take-away chicken and chips, I asked, “how is your boyfriend?”

“He’s got a new job and moved back to Sydney,” she said.

“Already? That was fast!”

He had only moved down 5 months ago to live with my friend, and as far as I knew, they were supposed to be living together for at least a year to see if they would work as a couple. I suppose when the right job comes along, you have to take it. However, there was more to the story…

“Since April he moved into his own room for “self-preservation”, we stopped eating meals together, he wasn’t affectionate at all or wanting to touch me but when we went out in public he’d put his arm around me. It got to the point where I would want his friends to come over because at least then he was nice to me.”

My warning bells started ringing – actually, my alarm bells rang long before this.

You see, this isn’t the first time my friend and his man have tried a relationship. They first met at University and things were going really well until, after returning from a holiday to his home country, he broke it off. As far as I can remember, he claimed that it wouldn’t work because a) he was moving cities and b) their cultures and background were too different. I understand, long distance is hard and sometimes conflicting ideals get in the way, but I know my friend and she is the kind of woman who could make anything work.

So they went their separate ways until a year later when he started messaging her. He claimed to be missing her a lot, wanting to give things another shot and was sorry for breaking up. My friend was strong – she didn’t really want to give him the time of day but feelings are hard to ignore.

And so, he moved back to our city and in with her.

The first few months were okay but not really that smooth. She would ask me, “how often do you and your partner fight?”

“Well, sometimes, but not very often. We tend to talk about things that are bugging us without getting too offended. Everything is out in the open most of the time.”

She went on to say that she and her boyfriend were fighting pretty consistently. There were times when he would get so angry he wouldn’t speak to her for a week. He would cut himself off from her without explaining why.

And so, as we stood in the kitchen together, she said, “and so now, according to him, we’re on another break – calling the shots as usual.”

“I think you should call it off,” I said. No real need to beat around the bush on this one. “You deserve a lot better.”

“But I’ve put so much time and energy into this relationship – can I just throw it all away?”

What do you think? Am I right?

What would you tell your friend if she (or he) came to you for advice?



2 thoughts on “When Should You Break Up?

  1. I think that’s a really difficult call.

    On the one hand it’s good to be honest with your friend but on the other, if they choose to make it work, potentially you could have a cloud above your friendship in the form of “she doesn’t like my boyfriend”.

    It’s difficult.

    If you’ve always had that kind of relationship with her then there’s nothing wrong with continuing in the same way with brutal honesty but if you haven’t then you run the risk of maybe loosing her a little if they decide to stay together and make it work.

    Despite having an extreme closeness to my best friend, we would never say to each other ‘you need to leave him’ because at the end of the day only we know what’s right for ourselves and what our partners bring to the relationship. Feelings are hard to fight xx

    1. Yeah, it’s hard. I mean, it’s not that I don’t like the guy – I’ve never met him so I can’t make that judgement – but I just want her to be happy and at the moment she doesn’t sound like she is.
      I don’t want her to stay in something because she’s scared of being alone or just because “so much time and effort” has been put into it.
      I know what it’s like to not be happy in a relationship but stayed because of love, but I am way happier now with someone else.

      Thanks for your comment!

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