How do you know when to break up with someone? What are the "right" reasons for breaking up with someone and what happens if they don't agree with what you're saying; what if they think your reasons aren't legitimate enough for a break up? What then, Auntie?
What then? Um, then you lock your doors, draw your blinds, and give some serious thought to the potential usefulness of calling the police! Because no matter what your reasons, and no matter what the other guy thinks of those reasons, a person with whom you've broken up is officially your ex-person. And a person who refuses to agree or acknowledge that your relationship is over is officially a creepmobile in the first degree.
Because there's only one "right" reason for breaking up with someone, and that reason is that you no longer want to be in the relationship. Period. The end. And while the details of this decision are certainly significant to you, they have no bearing whatsoever on the legitimacy of your breakup. It's over when you say it's over, and you can say it's over for any reason at all. Which means that you can break up with someone because you don't love him, or don't trust him, or don't enjoy his company... but you can also can break up with someone because you don't like the same TV shows, or because her left eyebrow has one too many hairs in it, or because you hate the way she pronounces the word "spaghetti."
And when it's time to break up, you won't need to be told. Because a good relationship should feel... well, good. And if it doesn't—if it's just difficult, or draining, or uncomfortable, or dull—then all you need is to trust your gut when it tells you that things aren't good anymore. You don't need anyone else to tell you when you're unhappy; you just know, and that's the easy part. The hard part comes after: the part where you blow up your life, break someone's heart, and move on, alone, to whatever comes next.
Oh, and then there's this: if someone thinks your breakup rationale is faulty? Well, hey, he's allowed. But when confronted with the news that a person doesn't want to be with you, the only reasonable conclusion to draw is that you don't want to be with her, either—and that if a person doesn't want to be with you for ridiculous reasons, well, you don't want to be with someone whose reasoning is ridiculous.
Which means that a person who responds to your breakup by claiming your reasons aren't legitimate enough to warrant one has just given you all the reason you need to leave, and never look back.
Have you ever experienced breakup backlash, or been dumped for the weirdest of reasons? Share your story in the comments! And to get advice from Auntie, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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