Breaking up in your 30s
Getting dumped sounds dramatic. He broke up with me though, so technically it’s an accurate statement? I guess I could be proud that up until now I have only done the breaking up with, rather than be broken up with.
Is that something to be proud of though?
Or does it rather mean I’ve played it quite safe, making sure I only enter into relationships with people who liked me way more than I liked them? This is flattering for a while and feeds some unconscious need for adoration and affection that I now realize I’ve always had, but the reality set in eventually: I don’t actually like them enough. I don’t see myself spending the rest of my life with them.
Usually by the time I broached the subject, I had been mulling over it for weeks, and — quite unfairly — already slowly trying to distance myself emotionally in order to ease into the breakup.
I remember one particular situation in my 20s where I broke up with someone in two parts. Mostly because I didn’t have the heart to actually be decisive about it in the face of their despair. So I gave it another week of “thinking,” all the while knowing what I needed to do. I’m not sure if at the time I thought this was kinder for the other person. But it definitely made it easier for me.
Well, I can only call it karma then when the same thing happened to me recently. Everything he said points to a breakup, yet he couldn’t say the words, and when I asked “are we broken up now?” He tried to ease into it by saying not yet. He will think about it a bit more.
I knew what was coming though, and I felt angry and annoyed that he couldn’t pull the trigger. But then upon reflection I remembered myself doing exactly the same. Touché. I guess I can’t really be mad about it.
And I think this is what’s different about breakups in your 30’s. You’re a bit more emotionally mature and self aware. While my brain can’t help to think of all the things he did wrong, I also tried to empathize with him while asking myself what I did to contribute to this sad ending.
Abusive relationships aside, it generally takes two to kill a perfectly good connection.