Why Are Amicable Breakups So Hard?

Breakups of any kind suck, whether it’s a friendship, a romantic relationship, or even a familial tie. When things go wrong, we can get really hurt.

The unfortunate part about dating is that real relationships and love require vulnerability. It takes a lot of work to truly open yourself up to someone and allow them into your life, your heart, and your spirit.

But the statistics don’t lie — 9 out of 10 relationships are destined to fail and out of the 1 in 10 relationships that lead to marriage, half of those marriages end in divorce.

It’s all sort of terrifying and yet we keep dating. Sometimes we find someone who fits our needs almost perfectly when we find them. But what happens when they no longer fit our needs? How do we manage a breakup when nothing is really obviously wrong?

As you get older, you start to realize you can, in fact, break up with someone you love and remain friends. Sometimes people truly are just incompatible — maybe they have conflicting career goals or life plans. We all deserve partners who are looking for similar things and fulfill our needs.

Combining all of the best advice I’ve heard, consider the following when dating:

1) We date a reality, not a potential. Who they actually are in the present is what you have to work with. Although imagining who and what they could be in your life is amusing, it sets unrealistic hopes and expectations that can lead to resentment and disappointment.

2) When someone says or shows you who they are, believe them. Take people's words at face value; if they meant something different, they would have said it or explained it. It’s easy to interpret someone’s shitty statement into something not as bad for our own ego's sake, but that also leads to disappointment and further heartbreak during a breakup.

Amicable breakups are, in my opinion, the hardest type. When there’s no big fight, no abuse, no screaming red flags, it’s easy to be comfortable in the relationship despite it being incompatible with your goals.

In theory, they should be the easiest as they're drama-free. But in a society where women are taught to fight for the attention of men, when a relationship just isn’t working we can feel crazy for just letting a relationship go.

I’m all for compromise in a relationship, but you shouldn’t be compromising who you are. Your goals for yourself are completely valid and you shouldn’t try to fit someone else’s mold, despite how appealing the white picket fence might look.

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