I've never broken up with anyone. And no one's ever really broken up with me. No- I'm not indefinitely dating everyone I've ever gone out with...I just never bother to define anything to begin with. That way, when it's over, we can both go quietly to our separate ways and appreciate what we had without causing a fuss. I call it, "the easy out." When one of you eventually realizes that things will not progress beyond a certain point, that individual naturally backs things down, dials the relationship back, and begins to pull away. Sometimes that person is me. Sometimes it isn't. Either way, there is an inevitable pull that creates distance; a distance that you must choose to either fight in order to stay together, or let it go and allow the relationship to dissipate into the thin air from whence it came.
When the distancing begins, the calls become less frequent, the time becomes less intense, and the contact feels less important. If he is the one to pull back from me, I figure it's message enough that he's just not into it. And quite frankly, I'm not interested in convincing someone to work harder in order to be with me. So I let him go and call it a good run. Conversely, when I'm the one pulling away, and he doesn't argue it, I figure it's letting him off the hook easy. He doesn't have to feel the awkwardness of me explaining that I don't feel as strongly for him as he does for me, he doesn't need to witness my tears or emotional ramblings, and neither of us has to come up with excuses to make one another feel better when we know that, ultimately, we won't have much more to say than the bottom line: This relationship is over.
Some would call not breaking up the chicken$#!% way out. I figure quietly disappearing just makes ending things easier on both of us. Don't get me wrong...if someone really felt the need to discuss the end of our relationship, I'd be willing to take the time to end it all cordially. But isn't the mere virtue that someone isn't fighting to keep the relationship together telling enough? If it were a relationship worth salvaging, I would assume that both parties involved would pull equally hard toward each other in order to stay together. I mean, isn't that the only way people do work out? When they both fight equally hard to keep it together? But that leads us into the concept of "closure"- another term I don't put any faith in. But that's a whole 'nother post altogether...
That seems to me the only discussion worth having: one where you decide to work harder to keep it all together. If you have to have a talk in order to end things, well- everything you need to know about the state of your relationship is probably already understood, and then it becomes merely stating the obvious in a likely less-than-honest way, which is, "I guess I don't like you as much as I thought I would." So no matter what, that relationship is already over, or, in the words of Jack Handy, "If you drop your keys into a river of molten lava, forget 'em, 'coz, man, they're gone." Of course, if it makes you feel better, you can recall the ancient Chinese proverb, "If you love something very much, let it go free. If it does not come back, it was never meant to be; if it returns, love it forever."
ps- No, I haven't broken up with anyone...obviously. I just realized a lot of these posts lately are related to break-ups. There are a lot of them going on right now, but these posts aren't about anyone in particular. This just happens to be a topic that seems heavy on everyone's lips...and you do know how I love controversy to get y'all talking. I'm sure we'll move on to something else soon- feel free to offer up your suggestions.