Real Live College Guy: He Broke Up With Me, Then Changed His Mind

We all need a little guidance now and then, so whether you’re stressed about a fling gone wrong, a recently wrecked relationship or how to handle a stage-five clinger, Real Live College Guy Dale is here to help you navigate the college dating scene.

My boyfriend of nine months recently just broke up with me, but the next day, he texted me asking if we could go on a break for two weeks instead of breaking up. He was confused when he broke up with me, saying he didn't want to break up with me and he loved me, but ended it by saying we should be friends. What does he actually want? My friends say I shouldn't get back with him if he does decide he wants to be with me. What should I do? –Ending it? at Exeter


Think back. Have you ever made any sudden decisions based on fear, anger or really any emotion? Have you ever regretted those decisions because you made them when you weren’t in the right frame of mind or maybe because you jumped to the decision just a little too quickly?

I have. I definitely have.

While I don’t know this guy, I think it’s reasonable to say he did — or does — love you. But, for whatever reason (maybe you said or did something to irk him or make him unsure of your relationship), he made the sudden decision to break up with you. I can relate. I did the same thing with my first girlfriend. We had been together for almost a year, when one day she did something to really piss me off and I just told her that I couldn’t do “this” anymore, whatever “this” was. I made a rash decision, and the next day, I regretted it.

The difference is that I didn’t try to patch things up or take a Ross-and-Rachel style “break.”

Instead of taking a break, I committed to the breakup. What’s done was done, and while it turned out to be better in the long run, it most definitely caused a fair amount of heartache for a few months afterward.

I think more than likely he made a sudden decision and realized his mistake. I think sometimes couples do need to step back and examine their relationship. I think you two need to sit down and have a mature discussion about why he felt the sudden urge to break things off. Moreover, while I’d love to tell you to make it nonconfrontational, if he beats around the bush and doesn’t give you a direct answer, then you definitely need to confront him and demand one. You put nine months of your life into this relationship, and you deserve an answer.

If you two decide to take a break (but remain in contact) and put things back together, do it. Your friends do not decide how you live your life, and while it’s nice to think that your friends always have your best interests at heart, they may not always understand the entire situation. This decision is yours and his to make, not theirs.

Long story short: I can’t actually tell you what he wants. I can give you the different variables that might have played into his decision. I can tell you why I did something similar to what he did and how it worked out for me. But I can’t tell you exactly what he wants — that’s something you and he have to sit down and figure out.

Best of luck!

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