Five Important Pieces of Breakup Advice

I am not naive. I know that no relationship is the same, and so to answer this question with any kind of direct statements would be nothing but naive. I also know that no relationship is black and white, and each one consists of individual nuances unique to the couple. For the guy and the girl, or any combination of the such, any point you get to past “friendly dating” means there are intense emotional strings that tie the two together. Breaking up is one of the most difficult things to do in life, no matter what kind of emotional disposition the two of you have in the relationship.

A person usually comes to the point of wanting to break up when he/she doesn’t see a real future (up to and including marriage) for the relationship. He may see the girl as “bad for him.” She may see him as “too clingy” or having no real potential to start a family. To be frank, it doesn’t matter who in the relationship feels this way, when those thoughts creep in it can be quite legitimate grounds for a break up.

I don’t presume to be able to write a full-fledged “breakup guide” because, like I said, no two relationships are the same. But I can try to help a little bit. Keep these five things in mind when planning to deliver the bad news.

1. Do not procrastinate.

Do not drag out a relationship because you are looking forward to that Valentine’s Day date or going to see that big concert together (or, you know, prom). Critical relationship events are worth more than that. That kind of thinking will only serve to damage the two of you and it forces you to endure high stress a little bit longer. Sure, breakups cause more immediate pain, but it is far better than long term speculation and stress caused by suspension. 

2. Suspension is an incorrect strategy.

Do not give the person you are with any false hope. Don’t say “maybe sometime in the future” or “I just need some time.” Allow the person to simply move on; time to adjust and try to rebuild his/her life. And try to avoid jealous when seeing them talking to other people. Most importantly, don’t say “I love you” during a breakup to try to console him or her. You don’t, or you won’t forever, and that’s okay.

3. Off and on relationships suck.

 You can’t “ween a person off of you.” On/off relationships are the ultimate form of keeping people in suspense, and I’m pretty sure should be classified as torture. Am I saying you can never ever get back with that person? No. You never really know what will ultimately happen in your life. But don’t count on it. Sometimes, like Summer and Tom from (500) Days of Summer, it’s just not meant to be. Instead, try to let new relationships develop organically. 

4. You may not be able to salvage the friendship.

I’m so sorry. As important as this person was to you, breakups are often the self-destruct button for a friendship, no matter how close you two were before the relationship. This is often an unavoidable consequence of a breakup, and there’s often nothing you can do about it. Breakups come with a price, and this is often it.

5. Avoid Rebound Relationships

Rebound relationships make a lot of people mad. They make your ex mad, you mad, and the person you got with mad. Have you ever heard a happily married person say, “I married a person I was in a rebound relationship with?”
No?
Me neither.

I know it’s tough, but eventually you will move on. Just like with a death or injury, the pain subsides eventually. Time passes, people change, and you eventually find the person you’ll find true happiness with.

Yes, I Do Believe in Soulmates

 

Idealism runs deep in my veins. I believe there is a mountain of evidence that human beings strive to be good. And I believe that life, despite its routine and consistent pain, is a wondrous marvel to behold. I believe that a greater force exists to provide and allow joy in the life of even the most disparate ones of us. And I believe ardently in soulmates, the most idyllic form a relationship can take.

Soulmates are real. Two people, designed exclusively to compliment and supplement the other, existing continuously in a life-long cycle of love and loyalty to one another. Continue reading

My Valentine’s Day Playlist

Every year, I cook a romantic dinner with Nikki. This year is no different, and it’s how we’re celebrating Valentine’s Day. What breaks the silence and tinnitus better than music? Most of the time I use Spotify to play sweet love songs that are meaningful to our relationship, but this year is going to be a little different.

Gone are the lyrics, I’m aiming for a much more ethereal experience this year. I’m going to light my salt lamp and several candles, and turn on music that helps inspire focus. This will help guide the conversations, and help us communicate with one another on a deeper level. There’s nothing that guides very real emotions to the surface better than music tinged with nostalgia and thought.

Because I’m awesome (okay, maybe not awesome), I’m going to link the Spotify playlist below. Use it for whatever you like, but you run the risk of actually having to talk about your feelings.

 

Word count: 157

Photo credit: stayonbeat.com

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ARF’s (Alternate Reality Friends)

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“In another life, we could have been together,” he says in a heartfelt moment. Then, he walks away with the girl left standing there. She’s heartbroken, sobbing, as a sense of finality washes over her. And yet, she also feels a sense of inner peace. Alas, in that moment, they have become Alternate Reality Friends.

Everybody has them.

Alternate Reality Friends, or ARF’s for short, are people that you could have been in a long-term relationship with if something else was not stopping you. Most of the time that stopper is another relationship, but it could also be a career or even a divine calling. It doesn’t matter what it is, there’s simply an understanding that two people will never get into a relationship. But you could have, under a different set of circumstances.

Here’s the requirement of an ARF: there must be a reverence for the other person. While definitely not a crush, the mental components of a relationship must exist. The software, if you will. These could include:

  • Attraction
  • Proximity
  • Easier than normal conversation (chemistry)
  • Harder than normal conversation (nervousness)
  • An abundance of childhood memories

Now, to make this clear, ARF’s are generally a bad thing. Yes, the thoughts may be innocent, but nothing sparks jealousy like an ARF. If you’re like me, and in a committed relationship, Alternate Reality Friends are people you want to keep at arms length. Don’t give your bf/gf/husband/wife any reason to think that you’re into an ARF.

Don’t send them private messages over Facebook.
Don’t text them often.
Don’t talk to them with more spunk than you talk to your significant other.
Do NOT hang out with them alone.
Ever. 

If there ever is a time when you know you will be engaging with an ARF, make sure to let your significant other know. It helps to build trust in the relationship.

This isn’t to say you must eliminate them from your life, but it is to say you must be very systematic. The key to hanging out with an ARF is to make sure your significant other knows he or she is ranked higher on the totem pole than your ARF. The best tool for this is the double date. There is a high probability that your ARF is in a relationship. Take advantage of that by allowing the relationship between the four of you to grow.

Alternately, you could just never talk to your ARF’s again. That works too.

Special Five Year Anniversary Post

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Today is April 15. Most of the world knows it as Tax Day, bane of procrastinators and independent contractors everywhere. I, however, know it as my dating anniversary with my wonderful girlfriend, Nikki.

Let me tell you a little about what we did for our anniversary.

We got married.

Nah, just kidding. You see, while Cupid, the Greek god of affection, may have it in for us, Hymenaeus, the Greek God of marriage, seems to have other plans.

And no you literalists, I don’t actually believe in the ancient Greek gods. I was just using them as entertaining examples. I believe in the one true God. Moving on.

No, we didn’t get married. We did, however, go to Atlanta.

Oh, did you know that Atalanta was the Greek goddess of running? Sorry, I got off on a bit of a tangent there.

I wish Nikki and I could have done much more for 5 years, but being the starving college student that I am, funds are at a premium.

We helped the Braves win 6 to 3, by the way. We both had a great time.

So I suppose you want to know about gifts. Well, this was mine:

603620_770924356253952_3477130855683763702_nI wrapped it in dates from my Books-A-Million calender club calender because, isn’t it obvious, it was our date. Inside was a video game she’d been wanting forever. I also got her some Braves swag: a Braves tank top and cap. See the picture above.

And what did she get me? Well, she went all out…

d.19360502She got me this mizpah necklace. We both now wear one half every day.

In short, mizpah means watchtower. The necklaces symbolizes God (the real one) watching over us while Nikki and I are separated. God put us in each others lives to honor him, and these necklaces are a symbol of our mission to do just that.

I don’t know where I’ll be in five years. But one thing I do know is that, barring catastrophe beyond my control, Nikki will be in it.