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How do you know when (if?) you should break up with someone?


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My situation is a bit long and complicated, so I'm going to try to keep this brief. I guess my basic question is, how do you know when you should end a relationship? I've only been in two (currently in one) and have been broken up with both times. The current girlfriend ended it last July, but we ended up getting back together in November.


Which is where a lot of the conflict/concerns/worry/whatever else comes from. I was devastated when it ended. It was bad. Real bad. We went from planning on buying a house and all of that other long-term stuff, to, literally the next day, her being scared she was "missing out on something better" and not wanting to be committed. Totally out of the blue.


I was in a bad place for a while, but eventually got over it. Started dating again, and met a girl that I really liked. Really liked. She gave every indication that she felt the same. We talked for about a month, and only had 1 actual in person date, but even that went extremely well. Chemistry, sparks, whatever else you want to use to describe it. We just both felt really comfortable around each other, and it definitely seemed like it was going somewhere. But the only problem was this girl went to high school with the most recent ex. They weren't good friends or anything, and I'd never met her, but she expressed concerns about dating me because of that. And it ultimately led to her ending things. Which kind of sucked. I definitely let myself get too invested too fast, but still. Wasn't fun.


Fast forward a week, and I get a call from the ex. We'd been total NC since the breakup. Like I said, I was over her. Wasn't upset about it anymore. Wasn't thinking about her constantly. And I didn't have to call her back. But I did. We talked, things were cleared up, and we decided to get back together.


It hasn't been smooth sailing, though. I'm still a little resentful about what happened, and we've been fighting a lot about a lot of things. Some major, some not so much. She's aware that she has a lot of personal issues to work on.


But here's the thing. I've almost ended it twice since we've gotten back together. She thought it was coming a few times, and reacted in a way that kind of scared me. She's mentioned that she knows she doesn't want to be with anyone else, and breaking up with her now would destroy her. When she thought I was going to one time, she was hysterical telling me repeatedly "You can't do this to me". Didn't really know how to take that.


Then last week the other girl (the one I dated right before I got back together with my ex) reaches out to me. We send a few emails back and forth, and she basically indicates she made a mistake, and has been thinking about me a lot, and how things could have been. Since then, I've been thinking about her a lot. I mean, I know ending my current relationship for her is a stupid, stupid idea. Not saying I want to do that, or I'd end it specifically for that, but I'm just really confused I guess.


I've never ended a relationship. I've never gotten to the point where I knew it was definitely over. I've obviously been thinking about ending the current one, but I want to know for sure that it's the best decision. I don't want to do something I'm going to regret. How do you know when it's over?


Sorry if this doesn't make a lot of sense. My mind's kind of racing right now, and I'm not sure what to do.

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I get that. It's just, I'm basically in the same situation she was in when she ended us. Confused, unsure if she's making the best decision or with the right person. And I've seen how it's affected her making the wrong choice. She was (or at least told me she was) a total mess over the summer. That decision and how we both reacted to it are basically why I'm in the place I am now. And I just don't want to do that, and regret it a week/month/whatever later. The possibility of regret is there both ways. I want to know I'm making the right decision.

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This is why the Healing after Break up, and Getting back together threads offer a wealth of experiences people have posted on.


By and large (and yes I know every case is different) most relationships end for a reason. And if both parties involved never find out those reasons and work on those issues themselves, an attempt to reconnect usually doesn't work.


A lot of people have a hard time truly forgiving. I feel words like; thank you, I love you, and I forgive you, are tossed around too easily. Because of that, I feel a lot of people have lost the meaning of those words, and the actions behind them.


You're both walking on eggshells, and that is very difficult for a healthy relationship to grow out of.


I'm unsure how many life experiences both of you have had, but it sounds like there is room for growth on both of your parts.


Sometimes people need to be alone when they are confused, while others may adopt the 'do nothing' approach. How have you handled confusing, complicated issues like this in the past?

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These are questions you need to ask yourself then.


If you do nothing, can you live with the anxiety and uncertainty it sounds like you are experiencing? If you can, how long? If you break up, can you truly break up with her (as in cut her out), staying in contact will only delay the healing and growth relationships promote. Yes even relationships that end.


If you don't feel taking a break is not productive, you've already determined that is not a course of action, so follow through with other potential courses of action.

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