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Sunday, August 2, 2015

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Rules of Engagement

Breaking Down a Breakup

By Kellie Rowe          Posted: 09/17/12 5:52pm         

Have you ever looked back on a breakup and thought, in retrospect, you should’ve seen it coming?

Before every major ending, there are little signs and signals that might not be as clear during the relationship as they are after it’s over.

There are the obvious causes of breakups — cheating, fighting, etc. — but there also are some less obvious signs of an unhappy relationship and causes for breakups.

1. Incompatibility.

A. Interests.

This is a huge one for most people. At this age, we’re starting to hit our peaks of attractiveness. No more awkward pubescent body parts (hopefully), we’re done with that. So, in many cases, we can be fooled into thinking we really like someone because we’re physically attracted to them. But you have to look at the facts — are you compatible? Do you share some of the same interests? Do you have the same sense of humor and make each other laugh?

If you don’t share interests, can you learn to appreciate your boyfriend or girlfriend’s hobbies and activities? If the answer is no, you’re probably incompatible and don’t have a whole lot in common. Without anything to share with each other, there isn’t much to a relationship.

B. Beliefs/Opinions.

There are some who might argue a difference in beliefs and opinions are a deal breaker, but I disagree. We were all raised differently and come with our own packaged set of experiences. That’s what makes relationships beautiful ­— the ability to share those with each other and learn from your boyfriend or girlfriend.

You don’t have to agree on everything. Chances are, you probably won’t end up marrying someone you meet between 18-22 (I’m jealous of those of you who do!) So, what’s the big deal if you hold different opinions? You’re entitled to them, but you have to respect your sweetheart’s as well, or it’s not going to work. Regardless of my opinion on opinions, this can be a cause of tension in many relationships.

2. Insecurity.

Sometimes when someone is insecure with themselves, it reflects on their relationships. I’ve been involved with someone who didn’t get along with his family, didn’t like his job, didn’t like what he was studying and didn’t know where he was going with his life. I, on the other hand, am obsessed with my family, in love with my job, adore journalism and I’ll be Oprah someday. His insecurities caused resentment as I sat around mapping out my future and my step-by-step plans for reaching for my goals. He also mentioned he felt dumb around me many times, partly due to my vocabulary … Hello, I’m a writer?

I digress. Moral of the story: If you don’t love yourself and what you’re doing with your life, it’s hard to love someone else.

3. Selfishness.

When you become involved with another person, you become involved with another person. This means the “me, me, me” behavior you’re probably used to might have to adjust a little bit. I know I love someone who is caring, considerate and thoughtful — who wouldn’t? When I’m having a rough day because a source isn’t calling back, I melt when my sweetheart asks what he can do to help my day go a little bit smoother. But when I’m with someone who never really cares to ask, I start to wonder if he cares about my life at all. Ask me what I’m doing, ask me how I’m feeling, ask me how my family is — ask me anything, just ask!

In conclusion, these are all reasons for breakups, but I beg you to follow a piece of advice. If you find someone intelligent, caring, supportive, kind, funny, affectionate and goal-driven that isn’t too bad on the eyes, think about what you have in front of you and really weigh what matters in a relationship.

Differing opinions on world events or public issues shouldn’t outweigh the good memories, the laughs and the fun you had with someone. If you’re insecure, work on it, and appreciate your sweetheart for who they are.

And one final note, while I’m on the subject of breakups, I realize that we’re in a new generation of technology, but never end things with someone via text. It shows a clear lack of respect for the person you’ve been seeing for however long, usually between months and years, and you’re better than that. It’s selfish because you’re thinking about what’s easiest for you.

Show heart and compassionate and have the dignity to part ways in a civil manner. Not a through a text.

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