My friend talked to me about her boyfriend problems recently. She told me how tough things have been for them lately. She told me she was sad and feeling bad about it. And then she asked me a question.
“How did you know when to break up with him?”
This question flew me back to 9 months ago — back to when I broke up with him.
Let me start by saying that I was so sure we were deeply in love. We were together for two years and eight months. We did so many things for the first time together. We enjoyed each other’s company a lot. The first year had been really smooth, but the latter went on roughly. We were fighting a lot. And then we’d patch things up, but not really fix the issues we had. We simply swept them under the rug and moved on. This went on for another few months until I woke up one day and broke up with him.
So, when did I know?
1. Non-stop fighting
Fighting, on some level, can be healthy. But fighting on every level is just deadly. There were times when we’d fight about where to eat, what to eat, what to watch, and what to do. Fights about why things were the way they were would come up, too — from why some people are annoying for me but not for him to why I’m wearing something and why he’s wearing something different. The fights would be endless. Well, it would end with the phone call being dropped or someone simply saying “Ugh! Whatever!”.
To be fair, I was pretty much the one fighting him most of the time. He just kept quiet. And then it annoyed me more, so I went on and on and on with the fighting. I was never really the type to throw a fit. In fact, I’d try to understand the situation. But I changed to being someone I hated.
It all boils down to understanding each other. And when you can no longer understand each other, then that might be one sign.
2. Broken promises
“I promise I’ll see you this Saturday.”
Saturday comes and no sight of him to see. When reasons are given every time a promise has been broken to make things “okay”, then why stay? While some reasons are valid, you can only take so much. I could only take so much. Then, I could no longer take much more.
You don’t say “I was busy” only for people to find out you were partying that Saturday.
“I’m not happy, but I’m not sad either.”
When you’re not happy, it may mean you’re sad. But when someone says, “I’m just feeling normal”, then you should start worrying.
When one is happy and the other is sad, there’s hope that things can be better. When both are sad, there’s still hope because you want to be happy again. But when one of the two is sad and the other is feeling indifferent, then hope may not be there anymore.
I would take “sad” more than “eh” anytime. That would have made me feel like there’s hope to save the relationship — that there’s a reason to keep going because the other one is still willing to make things better.
Indifference is that dangerous feeling you need to avoid. And when you can’t avoid it anymore, then maybe it’s time to move on.
4. There’s no point.
When you’ve been feeling like you’re not growing as a person anymore, then maybe it’s time to break up.
Why would you stay in a relationship that doesn’t have a point any more? What’s the point of staying in the relationship? Why are you in the relationship? To remain miserable?
When the only reason you have to stay in the relationship is that it’s comfortable and the past years would have gone to waste, it’s really time to break up. Any shouldn’t be a reason to stay.
5. No more “what-if’s”
A month or two before we broke up, I was already thinking about ending the relationship. I’d find myself running to the office bathroom, crying my eyes out because I was just extremely sad with how things were. But I’d also end up thinking about the “what-ifs”.
What if things get better? What if he changes for the better? What if I can change things for the better? What if this is just a phase we need to go through? What if we’re really meant to be? What if I don’t survive life without him?
All these questions are valid. And it’s okay to ask yourself these “what-ifs”. I did. I thought about them a lot. These were the questions that made me hold on onto our relationship.
Until I woke up that day last year and thought: I can’t take it anymore. The “what-ifs” were gone.
Well, one “what-if” popped up — What if we’re meant to be?
I answered myself, “if we’re meant to be, then destiny will find it’s way to bring us back together.”
That’s when I broke up with him.
If there’s a single ounce of hope. If there’s still that feeling deep inside you that things can be better. If there’s that feeling like you are just too in love with him. If you feel like you’re only going to regret breaking up. If you feel like you’re still going to get back together. If you simply just can’t let go, DON’T. Stay by all means.
But when you wake up and you can no longer take more than what it is. When you wake up and you’re ready to face the consequences of your decision — it’s time to let go. It’s time you find yourself and eventually your happiness.