Relationships are hard. Constantly working together to live in harmony requires patience and constant attention. There are plenty of good things that happen when two people get together. The safe feeling you get when you know that someone will always be there for you is a human necessity. So is procreation, and we all love to practice for that. I’m all for relationships. Nothing gets my heart singing like the sight of one of my friends in love. But, in my most humble opinion, you should break up with your boyfriend or girlfriend.
This strategic breakup is not necessarily definitive. It could just be a test run. You can consider it a “wake up call” of sorts. This one single test of faith could revive your entire relationship. The optimal window of time is right before you are about to go through a big change. Going away to college, moving for a summer internship, graduating and accepting a job, anything that is life-altering and majorly stress-inducing. These are times in your life when it’s ok to be selfish. While it is nice to have a person to lean on, it is important to have the confidence to be able to do things on your own. The only way to attain that is to actually do things on your own.
This isn’t for everybody. This isn’t for someone who is too afraid to break up for good. This isn’t for someone who is in a perfectly resilient relationship. This isn’t for someone who wants a hall pass (even if you sit next to a cute intern all day). This is for the girls who needs a chance to focus on themselves before they can focus on someone else. Move to that new place, settle in, and establish yourself as your own person. That’s the best part of going somewhere new: starting over. If you were a shitty student in high school, you can pick up the slack in college. If you were quiet and timid, you could be more assertive in your job. Little changes that have been on your resolution list since you knew what a resolution was can finally be addressed when all of your energy is focused on yourself.
Once you feel like you are in a solid place, you can revisit your relationship. Then, and only then, can you spend any time factoring another person into your life. Not only have you changed your relationship’s character, you’ve also changed its geography. It may feel like you can pick back up right where you left off, but the sting of being left will linger in your partner, and you will have just experienced complete independence. This is when you talk about what nobody wants to talk about: your feelings.
Seriously consider the effect that a relationship would have on your new life, not your old one, without considering the feelings of the other person. If you felt so much better without them and you know that it’s the best thing for you, then cut it off as ASAP as possible. Even though you’re not supposed to consider their feelings, be a decent human and stop leading them on just because you like the attention. But if you wake up every morning with a hole in your heart and a pit in your stomach, then it’s possible that if both of you are willing, then you can make it work. Not only that, you can objectively look at what worked and what didn’t and fix things that you didn’t even realize were causing a problem. Either way, it will benefit you, and we’re young enough that we’re allowed to still focus on just that.
I believe in love. I believe in loving yourself above all else. I believe in the fact that timing is everything. If this is not a good time for you to be in a relationship, then it’s not worth suffering over. You wouldn’t get a dog if you knew you would never be around to take care of it, and that goes the same for a relationship. A boyfriend or girlfriend is not someone who will wait for you to come home to play with him/her. Hopefully, they have enough self respect to walk away themselves. Rather than dragging out a relationship for as long as possible until it dies a slow and painful death, you should cut it off with the knowledge that in the long run, you are saving both of you pain and suffering. But like I said, that’s just my opinion..