Break-ups: Fight It Or Accept It?

I’ve long been fascinated by the subject of ‘the break-up’, probably because I was such a rubbish boyfriend when I was younger that every girl would break up with me (it’s okay to laugh). But yes, my article from some time ago Dumped? The Fast track guide to getting over it is to this day one of my all-time favourite posts. Why? Because it’s advice that I wish I’d taken – but who ever takes their own advice! What interests me most, however, is our reactions to a break-up and with that in mind one particular question, do we fight for the relationship or do we accept the break-up?

Almost every girl who has ever broken up with me has asked me the same question – why are you so okay with it? But the truth is I wasn’t okay with it. I’ve always been too easy-going for my own good. I very much go with the flow, what will be will be and all that and more often than not that transpires (negatively) into my relationships. The problem I have is that people mistaking this outlook this for not caring. You see, I believe that to break up with someone is such a horrible thing to have to do that they wouldn’t do it unless they absolutely wanted to and so more often than not I have chosen to accept and respect the break-up. So when all I hear is “PAUL, why won’t you fight for me?!” I have to wonder what the hell I’m doing wrong, haha. I don’t like the idea that anyone, man or woman, would say it’s over” as a game or some sort of test, but when they’re encouraging you to try and change their mind in spite of what they’ve said, you do wonder what on earth is going on.

I really do understand where people are coming from when they say “fight for me” but is it wrong to be of the opinion that you shouldn’t really have to? It’s apparent you don’t make them happy and as soon as you have to fight for someone it’s almost like you’re in their debt, the relationship becomes tilted and it’s very difficult to get back to that happy medium. It’s like one person all of a sudden calls the shots but in the unhealthiest of ways. There’s nothing worse than feeling like the lesser half of a relationship. So what’s the alternative?

Well over time I decided that it was best just to accept it, not because I didn’t care but because I honestly thought I was doing them a favour. I didn’t always have such calm reactions though. When my first love broke up with me at  18 I reacted horribly. I verbally abused her (on MSN) for days and to her credit she felt so bad for ending it that she kind of just took it. Very immature and a huge learning curve for me and of course a reaction I never wanted to have again. A few years later, I was with this girl for around eighteen months and she’d gotten a job at a certain Japanese chain restaurant. One night she threw a party and her head chef came along. I vividly remember him sitting miserably all night on the stairway, moaning about how much he wanted a girlfriend. MY girlfriend then decided to take it upon herself to set him up with someone. It wasn’t working at all and eventually she set him up with…herself! It sounds horrible but I’m honestly laughing as I write this. When it all happened I was devastated but learning from past experiences I stayed calm, I left them to it and I sulked privately for a couple of weeks. Funnily enough he dumped her rather quickly and she came running back to me, but I took no pleasure in that – okay I did a little bit. I decided however that it wasn’t a good idea to get back together, I had chosen to accept her decision and although I hadn’t fully moved on there was no absolutely way I was going to re-open that story when I’d worked so hard to respect her decision.

When it comes to relationships and break-ups in particular, we all seem to lose our marbles a little bit. All common sense, dignity and self-respect go out the window and for at least that first couple of weeks we live our lives like we can’t go on without them. But let me ask you this, have you ever desperately hated a job you were in but as soon as you leave you all of a sudden convince yourself that it was the best job ever and that you’re making a huge mistake in leaving? Well relationships can be like that too, we desperately want what we no longer have. Personally I’m a big believer in ‘paths’ and if a relationship comes to an end then I like to believe that it’s just the next natural step on our path. There isn’t a single ex-girlfriend I wish I was still with, no matter how much I loved them, why? Because I’m confident that we’re all on the right path, even the ones I really miss as people I know they’re really happy and if they’re happy, I couldn’t be happier for them – irrespective of how we ended.

So for me I think I’ll stick to accepting a break-up, I mean hopefully there won’t be too many more but for me, it’s what works. When you calmly accept it, it’s like you’re soul and your character remain that little bit more in-tact. That sounds mega deep for me but I really do believe that. Importantly, acceptance allows you to give your partner or ex-partner space and one thing I do know from experience is that the last thing you should ever do is pester someone who has asked for space, you will only drive them further and further away at a time when you want them to miss you. So as difficult as it may be, stay calm people.

For the love of God though, stay away from Chefs.

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