It’s no wonder there are so many songs about break-ups because they twist and turn your heart in ways you never knew possible. Coming of age in the 90’s, the Violent Femmes song Breaking-Up fills my mind: “Why did you have to go, and leave me on the floor, about as sick as a dog, I’m feeling my face, like a bleary-eyed hog, why’d it have to stop, with so much good undone”. Though it is par for course in most relationships. We break up with everyone until we don’t. Simple as that.
There are the good breakups. The healthy relationships where both parties are emotionally mature, the relationship is purely just a melding of ‘are we a match’. There’s no insecurity or vulnerability. Both people know how to behave like adults. When the end comes, it’s not because some egregious situation, it’s typically not triggered by anything other than time. Enough duration has passed that you both have completed your assessments and this is not forever. You still love this person, you still respect them and think the world of them, and because of that, you don’t want to tie up either of your lives in something that isn’t forever. A sincere, healthy good bye takes place.
And then there are the bad breakups. Chances are the relationship was riddled with drama and uncertainty ‘does he like me’ ‘why didn’t she call’ ‘he should have done X’ ‘if she loved me she wouldn’t have done Y’ and so forth. Trust was probably a distant memory and insecurity the cornerstone of the relationship. The end is typically a catastrophe, going down in flames. Someone did something so foul it finally pushes the envelope for total meltdown. You may still love the person, but you’re so hurt by what took place, maybe even a little confused, that you both walk away, sometimes in a fit of rage.
Admittedly, I feel really blessed that most of my relationships were in the ‘good breakups’ category. I seemed to be a magnet for good quality guys. I attract them, they attract me. We had good happy times together. For years I didn’t know what it was like to be vulnerable or insecure in a relationship. I didn’t understand how a girl could be called ‘crazy’ or how my friends could feel nervous during relationships. None of it made sense. Though once I had my taste, it all came together and I could finally relate. I knew why they felt what they were feeling and why it was so difficult. I finally understood.
My friends often ask how to tell the good guys from the bad guys…here’s what I share:
1) good guys will respect your boundaries
2) good guys will take accountability, realizing it takes two to create conflict
3) good guys won’t restrict who you can and can’t be friends with
4) good guys will support your dreams, champion you to the finish line
5) good guys won’t keep you guessing, they’ll be upfront and honest with you
One of my favorite relationship blogs once said, if you’re constantly worrying and wondering then it’s probably not a good healthy relationship. Well said.