February is the universal month of love and romance so I thought it’s the perfect time to talk about why you need to break up with your boyfriend. lol.
Everything I say here comes from my own experience and the stuff I tell my friends if I believe their relationship is not serving them anymore. And even they don’t listen to everything I say so, obviously, if something resonates with you take it, if not leave it.
First of all, there are more obvious reasons to break up with someone. Break up with him if you don’t love him. Nobody deserves to be in a relationship where they are not loved for who they are. Break up with him if you find yourself wishing he broke up with you. Break up with him if you are staying in the relationship not to hurt him, you are hurting everyone. Also, why do you assume that he is better off with an unhappy you instead of without you?
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s focus on when to break up while you’re still in love with him.
Breaking up from the person you’re in love with sucks and I did it three times. I put myself and my happiness and my needs over my love, and it was awful and painful but I never regret it. When I look back I see that they are all huge pat-on-the-back moments in my life as they were character building and life defining events for me.
This won’t be fun
Letting go of the comfort of knowing someone loves you dearly is terrifying, but that love doesn’t go away. You’ll no longer have the constant reassurance and after a while you won’t be their favorite person, and your ego won’t like it. But this love, and understanding, and the fact that you know his core, his soul, that you know him better than anyone else; how can that go away? I don’t believe we ever lose it. There is a beautiful verse in a Turkish poem that I can poorly translate as, “because break-up is also included in love, because those who break up are still lovers.”
I feel like after a certain level of maturity we tend to be with wonderful men so we cant just be like “yea dump him he is shit”. He is wonderful, yes he is smart and funny and sex is amazing. I know. You still have to put yourself first.
Let’s be clear. Nobody is going to love you that you the way they did. Those sweet moments you share, the inside jokes, the stupid little things only the two of you get, you’ll lose them. And you’ll miss them a lot. And that’s sad. But you can’t expect everything to be terrible for you to break up. Some things are just going to be wonderful and that’s why you love this person. That’s why it’s a hard decision and that’s probably also why you are reading this post.
A break up is obviously way messier if you guys live together and have to deal with moving out and separating your stuff, but it being hard and messy shouldn’t be a reason for you to stay in a situation that makes you not you anymore.
A toxic relationship doesn’t necessarily mean that he verbally or physically abuses you. It means that you don’t like yourself as much. It means that you don’t feel like yourself, you don’t feel comfortable to show your real feelings. It’s toxic if he brings out your insecurities. Love is supposed to bring out the best in you. Do you remember the first time you fell in love? You were blooming and glowing and you could see it in the mirror. When you’re in a relationship for a really long time, you think that those feelings were exclusive to the honeymoon phase and it’s normal not to feel like a diva everyday. I wanna challenge that.
When this is not the way you wanna be loved
I’ll take you back to 2016 when I broke up with the first person whom thought was the one. I loved him so much it was unreal. He was the smartest, most good looking, talented, incredible person. We were together for almost six years so I didn’t know who I was outside this relationship and I never planned to be outside this relationship because you know, he was the one. He was my first big love and even though some aspects of the relationship were never perfect, this feeling was and I was not going to lose it.
Until I did. It just wasn’t working because, I know this is the most cliche reason but, I didn’t feel like he loved me. He said he did, and I believe that he did in his own way, but that wasn’t how I wanted to be loved. I remember I wrote down everything I wanted in a relationship and it looked nothing like what I had. Then, it was a decision between the kind of relationship I wanna be in vs him. I chose him. It took me a few more months to realize that I’m worthy of being loved the way I wanna be loved and he is not gonna do that. And it’s not because he is a terrible person. He just can’t anymore. And that’s fair.
I didn’t feel supported in my dreams and goals. I didn’t believe he really understood me. I was craving for more attention. I didn’t feel like he enjoyed being with me or thought I was fun to be around. I was sure he didn’t think I was pretty. I don’t care what he said, I care about how I felt. And I felt super awkward and self-conscious and needy, and I shouldn’t feel this way with my person. But I felt alone in the relationship. And to this day I still feel like I broke up with him because he didn’t have the guts.
You deserve someone who brings out the best in you and he also deserves the same, he constantly feels useless and not enough when you are agitated and upset and disappointed in him, and nobody is happy. So you may need to be the courageous one to pull out the band aid.
When you want different things
Now I’m taking you to 2017, where I had to end my “relationship” with another guy I loved. The problem with this one was that we basically wanted different things. I wanted all of him and he wasn’t that invested or interested in us. The decision here was between my self-respect, pride, honor, dignity vs him. This time I did not choose him.
I’m sure everyone finds themselves in this situation at one point in their lives: my happiness depended on one text. My day would suck until I received that stupid text from him. And I had to wait 10 mins before replying because I didn’t want to scare him away. Are you kidding me!?
I remember the day it clicked for me. I was feeling on the edge, anxious, insecure, and I can’t text him obviously because I sounded too clingy the other day but I’m desperately waiting for my phone to ping. And it did ping. And it was him. And it made my day. That’s exactly when it hit me, why the hell does my happiness depend on his stupid text? Why do I feel awful until this guy decides to share one silly little thing that happened to him that day? And why do I have to wait 10 mins before texting him back not to scare him away?
And the pain from my first heartbreak was still fresh so I knew where this was going and I was not ready to be shattered again. So it was a whole different situation, but eventually I walked away from the guy I loved again. When I look back, I see that it wasn’t love love, but in the moment that was love. (Makes sense when you’re 23.)
Does he think you are exhausting? Because someone else will think you are charming. If you don’t feel comfortable being yourself, if you need to twist yourself so that he likes you more, if you feel weird about communicating, if you’re nervous about sending a text, or you wait 10 mins before replying like I did, I don’t believe this relationship is serving you. So yes, you should break up with him.
When you need to choose “you” over “us”
Now join me in 2021 when I had to end my relationship with my favorite person in the world. It wasn’t about him or how he made me feel, it was about putting me first.
Trust me it’s better when he makes you feel shit about yourself, because then it’s easier to detect that this relationship is holding you back from your happiness. It wasn’t as easy for me to see that everything else in my life was falling apart because I was holding onto the best thing in my life. And that nothing had to fall apart if I let this love go.
It’s still too fresh so I don’t wanna go into much detail but, long story short, being with him meant that I had to give up on my dreams, and for quite a while I thought it was worth it. Because this is true love, you do these things for your true love. I could give up on my dreams because we had our dreams now.
But what do you want? What do you need? Where do you need to be? Who do you want to be? What do you wanna do? Do you think you can be whatever you want while still being in this relationship or are you guys holding each other back? If there’s a path you wanna explore but it means losing your partner, you may want to go ahead and give it a shot. Put yourself first so that you don’t resent him further down the line.
When not to break up
I assume you’re a woman in a long term relationship who has been off the market for a while now, and the idea of being single again comes with possibilities. You start thinking about who you could flirt with, some names pop up and you get excited, you’re like, breaking up could be fun! Well this is usually when you are not ready to break up. It sounds more like you’re just annoyed that your boyfriend isn’t currently aware how lucky he is to be your boyfriend. (Also, how dare he?) But the right moment to break up is more like, “I don’t care about anyone else, I just want to be happy with him, is it too much to want the old days back?” That’s kinda when you break up.
So don’t break up with him to be with other people. You’re breaking up because this relationship is not serving you anymore. It has nothing to do with the cute guy in your building. Those things should be like little bonus sides of not being in a relationship, not the biggest reason.
Also, this can be a rough patch and you may just come out stronger from this. I read that in that case to ask yourself if the last six months of the relationship was the whole relationship, would you still wanna be in it? And if you woke up tomorrow single and you didn’t have to deal with the talk, the move, you’re released of everything, would you pursue him and try to win him back?
And it may not be time yet. Everything happens in its own perfect timing. If you guys know that you don’t bring out the best in each other lately but you love each other so much that you wanna try and work it out. Then don’t break up. I was miserable for 8 months before breaking up with my first big love. I wasn’t ready and it wasn’t time. It’s fine.
Being single definitely has a learning curve but promise you’ll be fine. I assume you’ll listen to a lot of Taylor, I created a playlist ready to go while crying and over-consumed “the 1”. But after a while you’ll resonate more with Ariana; thank you, next.
And journaling. Journaling helps with anything in the world I’m a huge fan of journaling, but especially while going through a break up. You can write the stuff you wanna tell him instead of texting him. It keeps a record of your feelings and emotions and it’s often fun to look back and read them. I realized that had this pattern like one day I’m awesome and like this is the best thing I did for myself, I am strong and independent and the next day it’s like, WE WERE STH DON’T YOU THINK SO?
Go out. See random friends, go on dates, meet new people, talk to that guy you thought was hot, have fun! You don’t have to jump into anything but it feels refreshing to meet people as the new you. The way I see it, the you that was his girlfriend is dead. Definitely give yourself time to mourn the relationship and the old you, but you are a new person now, and this is a new chapter. You’re gonna decide what you’ll be like next. So mourn what’s lost but also, happy birthday!
It’s really not the end of the world
At the end of the day, just because something ended doesn’t mean that it wasn’t real. You already know this but not every relationship is meant to last forever. I see every relationship, friend or lover, as a story that enters my life, takes me on an adventure, teaches me stuff, makes me feel and do stuff, and ends when it’s time.
And in a way, it never ends because it lives forever in the person you’ve become. You guys shared something nobody else did and nobody else knows that side of him and you may think like you can’t share this side of you with anyone else. But you can. I think I just had to do it a few times to see that break ups don’t kill me, it sucks for a while but eventually it stops hurting and you come out a stronger new person. Also, I’m glad that I didn’t wait until I despised them because all these boys hold a special place in my heart and I feel so grateful to be loved by them.