Four years ago, when you broke up with your ex-boyfriend of over a year, you were devastated. Fresh out of a co-dependent relationship (which you hated), you were back in an independent world. A friend suggested a book, “It’s Called a Break Up Because It’s Broken.” You sobbed your way through. You called him 600 times (ok, not that much but enough, trust me). When you finally moved on, you vowed to never do it again.

Four years later, and one broken seven-month relationship later, you pulled out the same book. But, this time it felt different. Yes, you were devastated. Yes, there were tears (private tears…  ok, so maybe a few in front of your sisters, him and your mother) but there’s also the recognition of a feeling.  A gut instinct telling you this isn’t right. A voice fighting for your validation-a drive much stronger than your insecurities. Yes, you get the urge to text him. Yes, you look at your phone, hoping for an answer different than your currently reality. But, after your moment of weakness subsides, you hold fast to the truth—it’s called a break up because it’s broken. Ultimately, relationships end when two partners don’t fit. The only resolution is dissolution when two individuals can’t comprehend each other’s needs.

The man you just dated was unbelievable smart, unmatched in his determination, a generous friend/son and wickedly funny. But, a fear of change or maybe even love, kept your relationship in a stand still. Recurring fights quickly came to the surface, eclipsing many joyous moments shared. You both felt validated in your convictions. You felt justified in your stance against a title less relationship. He held fast to the current arrangement. As your relationship progressed, and his lack of commitment persevered– new insecurities eroded a shaky foundation. Minimal commitments (with momentous begging) justified absent when present time with your friends and family.

Unfortunately, he struggled with social anxiety, which is a severe and debilitating disorder. As an individual who had to overcome your own bout of social anxiety, you know how painful it can be. However, any time you brought the issue to the table, offering help or open ears, you were shunned or informed of your lack of empathy.  When you asked to be treated as a team mate, begging him to let you in, you were told you could not comprehend the pressures or demands of his career. After foregoing many plans or accommodating rescheduled/delayed date nights, you felt BEYOND offended at his accusations. In addition, after countless dates transpired into nights out on the town with his friends or co-workers, you felt annoyed at his lack of understanding of your own basic needs in a relationship. Every short coming of your relationship somehow always found its way back to your shoulders.

You both held your ground—fighting for own version of the ideal relationship, relationships shaped by different values and needs. Now, having opposing needs/desires does not make one person right or wrong. He is not wrong to fight for his convictions nor are you wrong to fight for your needs. But, when two partners can’t resolve recurring issues, the future is bleak. Sometimes we wonder, could it be different? Maybe if you  didn’t scream at him that one night, you wouldn’t be over? But, no matter how the situation unfolded, it will never change your current incompatibility. But, even when the truth comes to the light, the reality stings. You fell in love with a person (and I’m sorry to say Lu) but ultimately it didn’t work out. There’s no quick fix to overcome the pain or no potion to erase any memories. Yes, you will miss each other. Yes, you will eventually move on. No, you do not regret it. Ultimately, you will both find what you are looking for.


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