Why Civilized Breakups Are Way Worse Than Messy Ones


In all my 21 years of life, I have experienced two serious breakups. And other than the fact that both involved the complex male species and ended in heartbreak, they had absolutly nothing in common. I have experienced the typical “messy” breakup that involves screaming, crying, slapping, throwing objects at one another’s heads, etc., and I have experienced the civilized breakup that’s usually quick and involves much less yelling and tears. In my experience, the civilized breakup is a million times worse than the messy breakup.

In the case of a messy split, you generally know the cause. It starts with you finding out he has a Tinder and ends with you threatening to smash his phone through a wall if he doesn’t tell you about “that girl” he’s been texting. He lied, he cheated, he’s a certifiable psychopath, blah blah blah whatever. In this situation, it gets messy because something happened. In my case, it started with me screaming at the top of my lungs and ended with him throwing my phone out of a moving car on the highway at two in the morning (but that’s a story for another time).

The point is that after that awful experience and even more awful breakup, I’ve never talked to this guy again. And guess what? I don’t want to. He was a lying, manipulative, grade A piece o’ shit, and our incredibly messy breakup made me realize that. I said peace out and never looked back.

However, when the breakup is civil, it usually leaves you with more questions than answers. You get the dreaded, “we need to talk” text while you’re sitting in biology and five hours later he’s at your apartment telling you he just “isn’t feeling it anymore.” He could make a bunch of reasons, but that wouldn’t make it any better.

In this situation, it’s hard to know how to react. You want to be mad, but is it really fair to be mad at someone for just not wanting to be with you anymore? I mean, really, they did nothing wrong. They didn’t lie, they never cheated, and they were a relatively good significant other during the time that you were together. You want to be raging mad, but something inside you tells you that you can’t be. It’s not right.

Once it’s over, he awkwardly leaves, you delete him from all social media, and just sit there drowning in your own thoughts. What did I do wrong? Is there someone else? Was I not good enough to him while we were together?

And for days on end, you wrack your brain trying to figure out where it all went wrong. But let me tell you something: you’ll never figure it out. You’ll never know why they guy you thought loved you suddenly lost interest, but you sure as hell will make yourself crazy by trying to do so. You’ll stare at your phone every second wanting so badly to text him (and inevitably will do so after hanging out with your good old friend, vodka cran). You’ll spend hours thinking about the time you spent together wondering what you should’ve done differently, telling yourself maybe if I did this or this he would’ve stayed. But the truth is, he wouldn’t have. It just wasn’t meant to be.

Things happen and people change, you just have to learn to accept it and move on, as hard as it may be. So yes, messy breakups may be loud and gut-wrenching, but in the end, it’s the “I’m just not feeling it anymore” ones that’ll do you in.

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