Is It Still a Breakup If You Were Never Official?

Unfortunately “dating” as our parents knew it has become less and less common. Some blame it on social media, how competitive the workforce is or our generation’s sense of entitlement. Either way, there’s a pretty good chance that if you have a boyfriend, your first interaction was drunkenly making out at a house party or a bar. It wasn’t a date.
In fact, nowadays it’s perfectly normal to have been “talking to” (aka sleeping with) a guy for months at a time without going on a single date. This usually isn’t a good gauge of judgement on his character (though it would be nice to go on a date or two…) because it’s unfortunately just the way dating has developed over the years. You make out with a guy at a party, you text him on and off for a couple of weeks, you sleep together and hang out…but he’s still not your boyfriend.
So, what happens when you’re “talking” to a guy and it suddenly ends? Or, if one of you simply loses interest and decides it isn’t going to work out, does this mean you’ve broken up? If you find yourself having trouble labeling a relationship or defining your status with a guy, imagine how hard it can be to explain everything when it ends.
“We’re not really texting anymore,” or “I haven’t seen him in a while,” will suffice for your curious girlfriends when they notice you have been sleeping in your own bed, but what about the way you feel? Should you be equally upset when a guy you are “talking to” ends things, as you would be with an actual boyfriend? When is it heartbreak and when is it a casual goodbye?
For starters, it is completely normal to wonder what the hell is going on and if what you are feeling is normal. Whether its physical or emotional, women tend to get attached to someone else a little easier than men, especially if you two have been sleeping together. That said, when things end with a guy you weren’t technically dating, there is a way to decide if what you’re feeling is normal. The way to do so is to try to base your feelings off of how involved you two actually were.
For example: If a guy tells you upfront that he is only looking for something sexual and only wants to see you after midnight or when he’s drunk, there’s a pretty good chance you two aren’t going to get serious anytime soon. Therefore, when things end, it isn’t really a breakup. If you can handle the “friends with benefits” setup without getting attached, by all means, carry on. However, if you see yourself developing feelings for a FWB, try to end things with him before he ends things with you. This will keep you from getting hurt and help you find a guy who wants to see you all day, everyday—regardless of his state of inebriation.
But if you and a guy text/talk a decent amount, spend time together, say things like “I miss you” and “I like you,” AND you’re sleeping together; when this ends, it is completely normal to feel the same heartbreak as you would with a boyfriend. Men are scared of labels these days, and our generation has adapted to the idea that a “label-less” relationship is in the norm. Therefore in this scenario, it is a breakup. Someone pass the ice cream, because even though there was never a label, it still sucks just as bad. Even if you are the one to end things, breakups are never fun.
So, when deciding how to feel when things get rocky with a guy, just ask yourself: How serious were we? Did he ever say he liked me? Were we more than a one-night thing? Could I have seen myself dating this guy down the road?
[Lead image via Aleshyn_Andrei/Shutterstock]

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