Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Why does breaking up suck so much? No, I don’t mean the broken hearts, the swapping of past birthday / anniversary / Valentine’s gifts, or the empty void on his half of the bed. I mean, why does the actual act of breaking up suck so much?

You’re in a relationship. Obviously, there’s something compatible between you and your partner. But once the break-up hits, BAM! Everything changes. It’s very difficult to get back to the friendship level, if possible at all.

Breaking up doesn’t just mean you’ve lost a mate, but a really good friend as well. In fact, you’ve probably lost several friends, because now it’s taboo for either of your own friends to associate with the other’s ex. It could also mean you’ve lost a confidante, a study pal, a Guitar Hero partner (or the entire game, if it was his!), a personal chef, or whatever your now-ex used to do that made the relationship special.

It also means a definite disturbance in many, most, or all of your daily routines. Whether you called each other every day to talk through your commutes to school, or you were living together, suddenly, there’s something missing. And even if the break-up was necessary or inevitable, that void is a gaping hole in your life. That keeps getting bigger. And just won’t go away.

If you think about it, breaking up is kind of like quitting a job: when you quit your job, you find yourself alone in a sea of opportunities. But which one is right for you? You might stay unemployed for a while, or you might bounce around from job to job for a little bit because you can’t find another decent job. If you’re lucky, you might fall right into a perfect new career. In either case, when you leave the first job, you change your routine, you see less of your former coworker-friends, and you have to actually quit.

But, sometimes leaving a job isn’t so bad. If you leave on good terms, you get to put in your two weeks notice. Everyone knows it’s coming. Suddenly, the irritating bits aren’t so bad because you know it’s almost over, and you can reminisce about the good times you had over the years. On the final day, you get to hug everyone and promise to keep in touch, and maybe even go out and celebrate by drinking your face off. The best part? Leaving a job on good terms might leave the doors open; you might be able to saunter back in and say, “I made a mistake, and I’m ready to come back.” Or get a glowing reference for the future.

Is it possible for the breakup to go the same way?

If only we could give two-weeks’ notice to our mate. Get in fourteen more days of the good stuff, hell, maybe squeeze in a lusty goodbye screw, and then leave with a clear conscience. We’d have plenty of time to clean out our metaphorical office– i.e. the drawer he cleaned out for you in his dresser– and say the things you really want to say before you go back into the dating scene. Plus, if we can call our former employers for networking, references, or career advice, maybe there would be hope to dial our exes when we need the sage advice only a former bedmate can give. Or, just maybe, some cute friends we might be able to meet?

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