At the beginning of this school year, my junior year, I met the most amazing senior guy. (I'll call him Ken.) He was sweet, attractive, and best of all, seemed to like me as much as I liked him. We had a few bumps along the road to dating, but we finally became official.
That was about 3 months ago. He is my first serious boyfriend, and although it's been a short time, I truly believe that I love him. Now here's the problem: Ken is leaving for the army in 7 months. He plans to make it his career and stay for his entire life, like his dad. A couple days ago, Ken texted me and told me that if we were to stay together longer, it would just hurt more when he left. He told me he had decided to break up with me.
I tried to convince him that having to pretend to be friends with him and seeing him every day at school would be much more painful for me than having the closure of knowing he's off making a life for himself, but he told me I'm in denial. Even when I said we didn't necessarily have to break up at the end of the year, he said long distance relationships don't work and he doesn't want to be held back if he meets anyone in the future. I can tell he is only saying this so I won't beg him to change his mind.
Auntie, what do I do? He's telling me that he's breaking up with me because he loves me! There's no closure! In my opinion, being afraid of breaking up is no reason to break up! I've talked about it with a couple of his close friends, and even they told me he's being an idiot, and it's not like him to do this. But when they try to talk to him about it, he tells them the same things he's telling me: "He knows it's for the best". The worst part of it all is he tried to have this conversation over text. What do I do?
Well, to begin with, you can wake up to the gut-punching terrible reality that you're desperately clinging to a guy who not only doesn't love you, and not only doesn't want to be with you, but doesn't even respect you enough to come out from behind his phone and tell you so directly.
And then, you can put on your comfiest pair of sweats, queue up The Walking Dead on Netflix, and spend the next several days binge-watching zombie apocalypse porn while crying into a gallon tub of ice cream—or whatever else it takes to get past the immediate horror of your heartbreak and realize that this guy, much as you love him, is no effing prize.
I'm sorry. It hurts like hell, I know, to be dumped by someone you love. But refusing to accept the truth, and shredding your dignity into the bargain, isn't going to make it hurt any less. It's over. The flimsiness of his argument, the lack of interest in long-distance relationships, the decision to do it all over text, his friends' assurances that they think he's crazy: these are tiny, insignificant trees in the forest of your breakup. And as tempting as it is to demand a compelling reason, a better conversation, or a sense of control as your relationship comes to an end, you aren't owed these things—and they won't change anything. All the reason this guy needs to end your relationship is a desire, however irrational or misguided, to do so. All the closure in the world won't unbreak your heart. All you need to know is what you already know: he doesn't want to be with you.
And a person who doesn't want to be with you is a person you don't want to be with, either.
Which is what I hope you'll remind yourself in the coming weeks, while you focus your attention on other things and let the pain work its way through your system. It may not be comforting, at least not at first. But the one thing about this breakup that you get to control is how you handle it—and the one gift you can give yourself is the ability to look back on it without cringing.
Well, that and a giant bag of Cheetos.
Have you ever been dumped for unsatisfying reasons? Tell us in the comments! And to get advice from Auntie, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.