What Happens When You Break Up On Good Terms

It’s painful, it’s exhausting and it’s so incredibly difficult. Going through heartbreak can be absolutely miserable. You hate the person but you still love the person. And then you end up hating yourself for loving them, which eventually leads to you hating them even more for making you still love them. It’s draining, really.

But what happens when the breakup is quiet? What happens when there’s no big, dramatic event that ruins the relationship? What happens when you end things on good terms?

Sometimes there’s no hostility. In these kinds of breakups, no one fights. You don’t fight with each other or fight for each other. There’s no screaming, insulting, or drunken breakdowns in the middle of the night.

There are no angry texts, letters, or not-so-cryptic tweeting of song lyrics. This breakup occurs not always mutually but with dignity on both sides. No one loses respect for the other person throughout the experience. The heartbroken party is not sobbing on their ex’s door at 3 in the morning begging for them back.

Friends don’t get involved. People are usually shocked when they find out about the breakup because they were under the safe assumption that nothing was ever wrong. And that’s the thing; there wasn’t anything that really went wrong.

In this kind of breakup, there are hurt feelings but they are completely overshadowed by the love that you once had for each other. There is pain but it is outweighed by all of the wonderful memories that you have together.

In a good-term breakup, things just end without the unnecessary drama.

You respect each other too much to engage in any silly, immature bullshit. Don’t get me wrong: one of you may be devastated about the separation but you try to look past it because you really, really loved each other. They say that when you really love someone, you want the best for them no matter what and that’s exactly what you want for them, whether that includes being heavily involved in each other’s lives or not.

So while this may be the most heartbreaking thing that’s ever happened in your world, you put on a smile for them because you don’t want to see them hurting because you’re hurting. In this kind of breakup, you were both the bigger person and you have no reason to hate each other.

This kind of breakup is so tough because the lingering feelings don’t vanish right away and they may not ever go away completely. No one did anything catastrophic for it to end. There was no cheating or cruel words said.

It ended not with a bang but with a whisper.

I believe that these kinds of breakups can be the hardest to get over because the door is never closed; everything is still unresolved so there’s no way to really end your chapter forever.

You didn’t just stop having feelings for each other and you didn’t stop being in love with each other. Someone just had a lot of doubt and it ended. It hurt but someone felt that it was a choice that had to be made. However, that doesn’t mean that it was easy for either of you.

You still really want each other in your lives, just for whatever reason you don’t want to be romantically involved anymore. It seems simple enough to try and keep a friendship but then there’s the seeing them with other people and watching someone else’s arms around them. Even though you have sworn to this friendship that you will be okay with whatever happens, it is so tough to watch the person you once loved fall in love with somebody else.

Breaking up on good terms is rough because you both really care about each other but you’re not together anymore. There’s this inevitable magnetic pull to each other, which includes still wondering how their family is doing, and still being concerned about their overall wellbeing.

Everybody gets hurt in a breakup whether you’re the one breaking a heart or the person getting heartbroken. And the process of a heart breaking continues long after the breakup. Being involved in each other’s lives as friends can contribute to it.

It’s nearly impossible to look at this person platonically without thinking of all of your extremely intimate moments or secrets that you have only shared with this person. How do you look into their eyes and not see their soul like you used to?

It’s like pretending that this beautiful masterpiece just didn’t exist between the two of you and now all you have is this dinky friendship that doesn’t do your connection a shred of justice. You two were so much more than that at one point. How does it go from a work of art to a pile of ash?

There still an undeniable attraction between the two of you and for that matter there’s still an indisputable amount of sexual chemistry there. It’s hard to pretend that it doesn’t exist at all. That’s what this kind of break up consists of: a lot of pretending.

So is there such a thing as ending on good terms or is it just dangerous?  Everyone says that breaking up in a subtle, friendly way is the best possible scenario because you still get to have that person in your life, but at same time it makes it harder to get over the person being that they are a presence that you keep around.

Right when you think you’ve totally forgotten about them, their name lights up on the screen of your phone. The name that used to make you flutter with joy is now making you feel sick to your stomach and you go back on the merry-go-round of feelings all over again.

When you’re together, talking, reminiscing about the great times that you’ve had together in the past and essentially seeing everything that you loved about them, it doesn’t help the process of moving on. These conversations help remind you of why you fell in love with them in the first place.

I truly believe that even though it’s harder to try and remain friends, it’s entirely worth it. Cutting each other out of your lives may be the easy way out but it is also a complete waste of a really powerful connection. You were in love with this person, which means you enjoyed their personality a lot. They were able to make you laugh and smile. You don’t have to throw that all away.

So while it is extremely difficult to keep each other around, I encourage you to do so. It really is the mature thing to do. You owe it to the time you spent together to salvage a friendship out of the relationship. A broken heart doesn’t always have to mean a broken bond. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

featured image – M Yashna

About the author

Katie Wilhelm

Trying to find out what I’m even doing here

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