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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Breaking up for the first time

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Author Topic: Breaking up for the first time
Djuna
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Hi there - I haven't been around much recently, sorry about that. I've been having a pretty rough/busy time of things but it's been getting better lately.

Today I'm at the point where I'm going to break up with my long-distance partner. Ze's in senior year of college now, like me, and feeling the stress, which I understand, but ze went silent on me for the last ten days, and before that things had not been at their best for a while. It's not the first time ze's disappeared, once that was to do with hir drug use (which ze quit after that time, in fairness) and other times I feel like it's out of not being very considerate of my feelings. Last month ze said ze wanted us to "focus on our friendship" until we could be in-person again, which I was upset about but could understand, interpreting it as taking a break. However, ze said it wasn't taking a break, and when I asked for us to have a period of that for me to adjust to the new situation ze said no. I only heard from hir a couple or three more times after that, I think, and we had another argument about what was going on.

I had sent hir a Facebook invite to a party I was having during last week (this was a cute thing, despite being on different continents ze sent me an invite to hir birthday party last month too). That was when ze hadn't sent me a message in a few days, and ze RSVPd the "not attending" option without sending a message. I decided to just wait it out until ze eventually got in touch, but it didn't happen, so I sent a message yesterday saying "Hey, quit being a stranger. This isn't okay."

I just now got a reply saying "I'm not trying to be. I'm just so overwhelmed. This is what I was trying to warn you about." I'm not sure that this is something ze's warned me about, unless hir having done this before counts, and I definitely have told hir that my abandonment issues are something I've been working on in therapy for four years and are not about to go away any minute now, but oh well. I want to reply with this:

"I understand, but if you're too overwhelmed to have contact, I need to break up with you. I'm open to us getting together again in future but I have specifically told you that I need to not have someone go silent on me for long periods of time and that is what you have decided to do, for whatever reason. I don't want this to be a fight - can I suggest we take a period (I feel like a month) not talking to each other so we can get our space (so I can get mine, at any rate?) If you have a different idea for how long or something like that I'm open to discussing that, but I'd like to figure it out today. I have been angry and upset about you shutting me out repeatedly and I really just want to move on.

Joseph"

Could I get some advice on that? I've never really broken up with anyone before - this is my first long-term relationship, really - and I don't know if that's an appropriate message to send.

Much love, folks! [Smile]

[ 10-09-2011, 02:49 PM: Message edited by: patrickvienna ]

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“In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I don’t know what I am. I don’t know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.”

Posts: 1269 | From: London, UK | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Saffron Raymie
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Joseph! *hugs!*

I think it was an appropriate message for the situation, considering you're feelings of abandonment. Ze knew about them.

However, perhaps leave out the 'I'm open to us getting together again in future'. I know it feels so harsh but, it could help to make a clean break with no comnfusion; a definate end. Maybe, to be more assertive, you could remove the 'I don't want this to be a fight' and also 'can I suggest' and replace that with something like 'I need [a month without talking]' because a cooling off period would also make a cleaner break.

Much love, really hope you're okay (love your friendly posts here.) I'm here if you want to talk it out.

[ 10-09-2011, 03:12 PM: Message edited by: RaeRay2112 ]

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'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

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Djuna
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Thanks, RaeRay. I know what you mean about 'I'm open to us getting together again in future'. I went back and forth about whether to put that in, previously we'd had a conversation where ze said that hir understanding of the expression "breaking up" means "knowing you'd never be able to see that person as anything more than a friend." (Quite how someone could know that is beyond me, but okay). That's not what I mean by breaking up; we still have plans that are probably taking us to the same city next year for grad school. I'm very confused. I might take it out.

[ 10-09-2011, 03:12 PM: Message edited by: patrickvienna ]

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“In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I don’t know what I am. I don’t know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.”

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Saffron Raymie
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Sorry, I just edited my post before you posted. I'm sure you have, as you've been a volunteer here so long, but have you read Heather piece on breaking up?

It says: "Don't make promises: A breakup isn't the time to talk about what kind of relationship you'll have later, or about if you might get back together some other time or in some other way. What you're doing right now is finishing the relationship as it stands. Talking about future maybes when you're breaking up only makes a breakup feel confusing for everyone, and is something that can keep people from having a finality they need to let go and move forward. People also tend to feel differently about what they want post-breakup a few days, weeks or years later than they do in the moment. And if and when promises made don't come to pass -- as they often won't -- it can double the heartbreak.

If later down the road, you want to talk together about a friendship, or revisiting the possibility of trying again with a romance, you can do that later."

Here's the link to the article, but I's scroll all the way down to the bottom to the part about breaking up: http://www.scarleteen.com/article/crisis/should_i_stay_or_should_i_go

[ 10-09-2011, 03:23 PM: Message edited by: RaeRay2112 ]

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'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

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Djuna
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Hmmm, that's really good advice, I'll rearrange it that way. I totally read that article, I knew that advice - not to talk about the future - was in my head from somewhere but I couldn't remember from who. [Wink]

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“In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I don’t know what I am. I don’t know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.”

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Saffron Raymie
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Hehe she gets in your subconscious. [Wink]

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'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

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Djuna
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Heather is more than welcome in my subconscious (not that I can control that from this end, anyhow), as are you. Thanks very much [Smile]

Ze just replied to say "fine joseph. thats probably best." Doesn't seem like ze has much to say so I guess I'll leave it at that.

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“In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I don’t know what I am. I don’t know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.”

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Saffron Raymie
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We're here for you, buddy. *squeezes!*

It's probably time for some serious self-care, too, take lots of time to do what normally comforts you. [Smile]

[ 10-09-2011, 04:04 PM: Message edited by: RaeRay2112 ]

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'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

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September
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I'm so sorry to hear about that, Joseph! I see you've already sent the message, so it's too late to advise, but I just wanted to say kudos to you for listening to yourself and asserting your boundaries so well. For many years, I had a long-distance partner who was prone to bouts of disappearing without warning or explanation, and though it hurt me a lot, I never quite worked up the strength to stand up for myself. So, even if it sucks right now, you did the right thing by ending it. Ze may well have very good reasons for being preoccupied, but it's not fair to shut you out and you deserve better than that.

Big *hugs* to you!

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Johanna
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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Djuna
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Thanks very much for the support! Big *hugs* right back. [Smile]

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“In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I don’t know what I am. I don’t know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.”

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Djuna
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Do people think it's a bit nuclear to delete hir from Facebook (temporarily) in this situation? I don't really want to see hir updates any more, or hir showing up in my chat sidebar. I'm able to remove some of hir visibility but not as much as I would like, and I don't like that ze can still see what I post. I feel like if I do that I should send a message explaining, but that would kind of go against having asked for us not to talk.

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“In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I don’t know what I am. I don’t know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.”

Posts: 1269 | From: London, UK | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Saffron Raymie
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In my opinion, deleting someone on facebook - or deleting an entire facebook account - can be a vital part of emotional self-protection. When we're in a period of critical healing from a relationship and having a timeout to cool down and rebuild our lives, we really don't need the person-in-question's social and personal life rubbed in our faces. Especially as facebook can be used to arrange things that make us feel better and help us heal.

As you have both agreed not to communicate, perhaps it isn't neccessary to keep a window for communication open at this time.

You aren't doing it out of spite, and if ze ever ends up thinking that you are, well, that can easily be cleared up by letting hir in on your motive, after you have that cooling off period.

[ 10-10-2011, 03:51 PM: Message edited by: RaeRay2112 ]

--------------------
'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

Posts: 1285 | From: England | Registered: Oct 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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