There are many reasons why people break up. I think my first real girlfriend and I broke up after we went on a snowboarding vacation with a bunch of other kids and it turned out that I was pretty okay at the sport while she wasn’t. I ended up in the advanced group while she spent the week in the beginners group – somehow it wasn’t the same after that and we broke up. Okay, I think she broke up with me. (Hi Caro!)
Breakups suck. I think I went through quite a few of the possible reasons for a break-up:
For example: Long-distance not working out. I had a girlfriend in California for 2 years (I had met her during summer work in San Diego) but eventually the distance took its toll, despite an internship there in the following year and long stays on both sides of the pond. At some point you need to look each other in the eye and determine whether at 22 you are really going to have a 9000km distance relationship and whether there is any light at the end of the distance tunnel. There wasn’t and so we ended it. I did in this case.
The next relationship ended because I wasn’t ready to settle down yet. I wanted to get an MBA in the States. And going 2 years abroad is a really tough sell to a girl that wants to stay in Munich and potentially have a family. Despite the fact that all things considered, things were pretty good between us. So with that perspective, again, boom. Of course, with 3 months left before I finally went to the States, the same thing happened on a smaller scale – with lots of drama when I finally left. At least that one was easier as we both realized a week into being apart that we were going nowhere, fast.
There was the girl during b-school – that ended because when I moved to Boston, I didn’t want to start off in a new city with a long-distance relationship. And probably for some other reasons as well.
And the last relationship ended because we weren’t headed in the same direction. That’s what too much of a life-stage difference can do to you. If you don’t want to the same things from life or from your mid-term future at least, it doesn’t matter how much you are meant for each other.
So I guess I had to deal with a few breakups in my life. Here is what I have learned:
I haven’t gotten better at them. I mean, yes, I do realize life goes on now (as opposed to my 17year old self). I know I am able to meet other women and all that. But at the end, if you have truly loved someone, you are a wreck. And it doesn’t even matter if you’re the one who initiated the break-up. At least from my perspective.
I guess things are easier if there is a really solid reason for breaking up, like the other person having an affair or really doing something that is tough to tolerate. Hatred helps the catharsis. That’s something I – thankfully? – didn’t have to go through yet, though.
Here is some dude explaining what you’re supposed to do after a break-up, pretty short talk, so hang in there:
Okay, smart TED-talk guy basically says you’re an addict who just got his drug supply taken away from him. And that you need to stop contacting your ex, and looking at social media. Plus, please make up a story that convinces your monkey brain that this break-up is really great for you and the best thing since the invention of sliced bread. Gee, thanks, smart dude.
In comes Facebook. F*** you, Facebook. You do know that function where Facebook reminds you of events in the past? „On this day today, 3 years ago…“ blabla..look at the pretty pictures we found…sod off Facebook.
Seriously. Who came up with this?
Are you telling me your algorithms cannot figure out that I am no longer with this person, and that at least right now, reminding me of wonderful moments with her is the last thing I want to see? – There is also no chance of turning off reminders of events that involved certain people. If there is, please let me know where to find it.
So in essence, and apart from influencing elections, social media messes up our ability to find closure after a breakup. Now go out and buy some Facebook stock.
On a completely different note – I just finished watching ALL OR NOTHING – New Zealand All Blacks, a documentary that follows the All Blacks rugby team through a season (highly recommended, to be found on Amazon Prime). What a bunch of great, humble and fierce guys. „Rugby is a game for hooligans, played by gentlemen.“ I never really understood that quote until this show. I am interested to see how that will compare to the spoiled brats at the football World Cup starting Saturday.