She wanted a break / break up

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2013
She wanted a break / break up
Mon, 09-09-2013 - 7:33pm

This might all seem odd to some but I'd like to see if anyone else has had this experience, what happened, any advice etc. So my gf and I have been together for just 6 months up until, like, yesterday. We both kind of moved fairly fast and it was a whirlwind. We both love each other very much and really are also each other's best friends. We never fight, and everything up until now between us has literally been perfect. However, now she needs a break. We had already discussed that maybe we needed to put the brakes on and slow things down but then she wanted "a break" and basically to finish with me. However, and here's the tough one, she still really wants to be friends. I really wish I could, but I can't for now. Even right up until our final conversation it was "I love you" "I love you too" "Think about being friends" "OK you think about if you really want to end this" "OK we have a lot to think about" We've agreed to "go dark" for about 3 weeks and then meet to see how I feel about friendship, how she feels about starting over with a relationship etc. She has been honest and open with me - telling me she is sad, confused, unsure and lost. I'm trying not to keep any hope of romantic reconciliation but the following keep running round my head: "Absence makes the heart grow fonder" "If you love something set it free. If it comes back it's yours. If not, it never was." How have others fared with this sort of scenario? Is staying friends with an ex ever a good idea (I've never done that)? I'm OK and doing slowly better than I was and I'm completely OK with and understanding of her reasons but it is very hard. Any ideas?

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010
Mon, 09-09-2013 - 9:18pm

If you're not comfortable with staying friends then don't. When the split is not wanted by both parties its hard for the one who didn't want it to continue as friends. Your feelings haven't changed, you're still in love, you still want to be together, you still want her as more than a friend. Right now your feelings are probably too raw to tolerate seeing her but not being able to "have" her, hearing how her life is moving forward without you, etc.

I've never stayed friends with an ex. There's one that I could have, bf from HS into college. We were in different cities seeing each other one weekend a month and growing apart fast as we had new experiences and met new people. We both could see that the relationship would not endure in the long run so we ended it without either of us feeling destroyed. Because of the distance, trying to stay friends wasn't practical...this was before social media and people needed to make an effort to stay in touch.

I know people who have managed to stay friends, sometimes it works well but sometimes its very difficult and painful for them. I don't understand why they want to put themself through that, except that it seems to be the "fashion" for people of a certain age. I do understand that its harder to not stay connected with an ex, when you have common friends on FB etc.

As for revisiting your relationship, tread carefully. Some couples get into a pattern of breaking up and getting back together without truly understanding why. IF she says she wants to get back together, I recommend being very clear on why she broke up, why and how she feels differently, and (privately) how many times you will endure this. Sometimes people love each other but just can't make a relationship work, other times they can work through their issues and get back together happily.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-25-2013
Fri, 09-13-2013 - 10:02am

It's a bit ridiculous for her to think that 3 weeks apart will be a deciding factor of getting back together or not. If someone was willing to let me go at any point, I'd have to admit that they are just not that into me. I wouldn't want to be with someone unless they were 100% confident they wanted to be with me. It sounds like you were a good boyfriend and you did nothing to create this demise. You don't give the reasons she wants to break up. I'm guessing maybe she feels too young and wants to play the field before getting serious, or that she tried a relationship with you and cared about you, but something's lacking like passion. Whatever the reason, she had her chance with you and is choosing to end it. 

I would tell her that you need to have closure and you're choosing not to have a friendship with her. Do not keep each other on facebook. Do not phone or email or text. You need to move on. Your future gf won't appreciate you remaining friends with an ex. Your emotional energy will be going toward your future gf, whenever that day comes. You can't open the front door when you've got your foot stuck in the back door. Good luck.

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Fri, 09-13-2013 - 11:57am

I agree with you 100%.  Especially this:  "If someone was willing to let me go at any point, I'd have to admit that they are just not that into me."  If someone loves you, why would they need a break?  If it's getting too intense, maybe they say, "I've been missing the time I normally spend on myself or with my friends, so can we maybe take a night off during the week to just do our own thing?"  But if someone really wants to be with you, they don't ask for a break.  Especially not after six months. 

As for being "friends," I really question what "friends" means.  In a case like this, it usually means "I like to know you're nearby and still want me while I go do my thing, because maybe at some point I'll want you back."  "Friends after breakup" is for people who are an integral part of a tight social circle, where putting someone out of your life would make socializing very awkward for the rest of the group.  Or, for people who have been together for many years and have grown apart in terms of life goals but still enjoy each other's company, and after so many years of being together, the sex/romance is the least part of the relationship.  I do not see any reason to try to be "friends" with someone you have spent intimate time with for just six months, when there are so many other people to be friends with in the world.  You don't need the security blanket of that kind of "friend."