Should We Break Up? A Look Back On My Relationship

I’ve learned that sometimes a fresh perspective is what I need to make a decision. Having someone who bears no emotional responsibility for me and feels no bias towards me or my partner has no reason to not speak their mind.

So, what I’m asking of you is to examine my relationship with me from beginning to end, then help me decide. Is it worth staying for, or should we break up?

We Met On Tinder

Hand Holding Tinder App in close up
Photo Credit: Mika Baumeister / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Mika Baumeister / Unsplash

I had promised myself that I wanted to meet someone the old-fashioned, even as dating apps were becoming normalized. Then I broke my own promise when I realized I had graduated and was working a full-time job, which meant I was seeing the same 10 men every day including the bus driver on my commute.

So I caved. I thought I was one of the lucky ones where, on my first date, I instantly connected with a man.

We Decided To Be Friends First

Group Of Friends Laugh while  hiking a cliff
Photo Credit: Felix Rostig / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Felix Rostig / Unsplash

Although our first date was one to remember and we didn’t want to leave each other’s side, a couple of dates later made us realize that we had a lot of work to do on ourselves before being in a healthy relationship.

This actually worked for us as we built a solid platonic foundation and quickly became best friends without the pressure of dating.

We Dated Without Any Commitment To The Future

two hands of people on a coffee date
Photo Credit: Jonathan J Castellon / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Jonathan J Castellon / Unsplash

Naturally, because we were attracted to each other, our feelings also developed deeper. At some point, we decided to cave in to them and just give a relationship a try.

We thought that we could help each other through our issues and grow together. However, because we both still were unsure of our journeys, we were unable to make promises and commitments to a future with each other.

I Was Always Scared To Ask For More

woman looking upset standing in a field with big curly hair
Photo Credit: Caique Silva / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Caique Silva / Unsplash

What I didn’t tell him was that I already had an idea of what I envisioned for us. I was just scared to ask for it. I convinced myself that if I asked for more than I had initially thought was okay, I would scare him off.

Whenever I felt like I needed more affection, more effort, and more talk of the future, I would just hold it in.

We Broke Up

paper robot with paper broken heart and tear
Photo Credit: Burak Kostak / Pexels
Photo Credit: Burak Kostak / Pexels

After dating for a couple of months, the unknown future started to loom over us, and it made us resent each other. What was the point of devoting ourselves to someone when we didn’t even know if they would end up giving us what we needed?

We decided there was no point in a relationship if we couldn’t decide where it was going and went our separate ways.

His Mother Got Involved

old lady looks angry under her straw hat
Photo Credit: Alex Harvey / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Alex Harvey / Unsplash

They say a breakup brings out someone’s true colors, but I refused to believe that. I thought that the way he would text me paragraphs about how he never wanted to speak to me again was just a sign of his pain.

He even got his mom to act as the messenger and be the one to collect his stuff on his behalf. An act I later realized was cowardly and immature.

We Got Back Together

couple kiss in front of light as silhouettes
Photo Credit: Alejandra Quiroz / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Alejandra Quiroz / Unsplash

Yes, I was one of those women who gets all her friends to wipe her tears and hate on her ex only to then turn around and get back with him. Except I didn’t do this the next day. I took my time. I found myself. I finally figured out what I wanted for my own future so that it didn’t depend on his.

This gave him the time to also learn from his mistakes. I felt confident our growth in our time apart would make the second time different.

I’m Scared Of Change

woman thinking with her eyes closed and holding her hands up to her face
Photo Credit: Ben White / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Ben White / Unsplash

We have been together one year since getting back together. We’re at the stage where we’ve built an interconnected routine and once again feel comfortable.

Not much has changed. We have fallen back to our old ways. I can’t decide if this is a result of our fear of change, which can be worked on, or our incompatibility.

We Speak Different Love Languages

couple out for a stroll talking and holding coffees
Photo Credit: Katerina Holmes / Pexels
Photo Credit: Katerina Holmes / Pexels

My love language is words affirmation, while his is acts of service. You could probably guess where this would lead. I do a lot for him just to hear back those positive words of appreciation.

However, this created an unbalanced dynamic. I end up giving a lot more than I take, and the words start feeling weightless.

I’m The One With The Giving Nature

woman smiling and giving a gift
Photo Credit: Rodnae Productions / Pexels
Photo Credit: Rodnae Productions / Pexels

I know that toxic relationships often consist of someone who takes and someone who gives, and that makes me fear that we have become that couple. He often gets sick and has much worse luck in his circumstances.

This makes me feel like only I have the ability to provide that kind of care, so even when I need it, I hide it.

Only One of Us Still Has Dreams

woman laying in the grass and holding herself
Photo Credit: Diego Rezende / Pexels
Photo Credit: Diego Rezende / Pexels

He has accepted his position and has made enough peace with it that he’s no longer trying to change and improve on it. He has given up on his dreams and is making the best of what he has.

There’s nothing wrong with that, but I, on the other hand, am full of ambition. I want to travel the world and try new careers. I’m afraid he would hold me back.

I Would Feel Guilty Leaving Him

rainbow line over sad eye closeup
Photo Credit: Wings Of Freedom / Pexels
Photo Credit: Wings Of Freedom / Pexels

At this point, we have so much history and care for each other so much that I know I would deeply scar him if I were to leave him. I have spent so much time taking care of him that I feel responsible for him.

I worry about how he would get by without me.

He Doesn’t Want A Big Wedding, But I Do

wedding couple in lighting
Photo Credit: Nathan Dumlao / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Nathan Dumlao / Unsplash

I grew up watching Say Yes to The Dress and waiting for the day I could say yes to mine. I come from a big family and love big parties with a lot of noise.

He’s a small-town boy with a small family who would be content signing papers at a courthouse to save the wedding budget for something he deems more important.

I Make Most Of The Compromises

man kisses woman's forehead in a field
Photo Credit: Allef Vinicius / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Allef Vinicius / Unsplash

He may be willing to move with me wherever I want to go, but that’s only because he doesn’t feel tied or have any ambition to go elsewhere. That makes it not much of a compromise.

When it comes to the little things, like what we eat for dinner or what we watch, the choice is often his because one of us has to be the easygoing one.

His Best Is Always At The Beginning

couple sitting in a tent on a date with romantic lighting and with picnic
Photo Credit: Jonathan Borba / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Jonathan Borba / Unsplash

I feel as though he reeled me in by being super charming at the beginning. He showered me with affection, attention, and gifts. Once I was already in love with him, he got lazy and closed off.

I keep living for the moments in between where I can still see glimpses of his old self.

He’s Hot And He’s Cold

ma looking down in jean jacket leaning against a van
Photo Credit: Sorin Sirbu / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Sorin Sirbu / Unsplash

Although no one’s perfect, my boyfriend is very moody and has a temper. He has difficulty navigating his emotions when he’s upset. Although he never physically hurts me, sometimes he swears or calls me names during arguments.

He says this is something he’s aware of and working on, but is hard for him to control in the moment. We try to take space during arguments instead.

I Wonder If The Grass Is Greener On The Other Side

man kissing woman's forehead as she leans against him while they lay on the grass
Photo Credit: Olya Kobruseva / Pexels
Photo Credit: Olya Kobruseva / Pexels

When my friends get in new relationships, sometimes I wonder if I’m not missing out on new connections. I miss the butterflies and excitement of new relationships, but I know it never lasts forever.

I wonder if there is someone out there who might be a better match for me, or if this idea is just a result of our modern dating culture.

We Tend To Keep Score

hand holding a pen and writing in a journal
Photo Credit: Neonbrand / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Neonbrand / Unsplash

While we do nice things for each other often enough, we often use them against each other. Whenever we ask for favors, we tend to remind each other of how many other ones we’ve already done and use that as an out so that we don’t have to do what is asked.

Then when we get into arguments, we subconsciously compare who’s done more for the other.

Sometimes, I Snoop His Phone When He’s Not Looking

couple looking at their phones while hugging in the sunset
Photo Credit: Roman Odintsov / Pexels
Photo Credit: Roman Odintsov / Pexels

When he’s not looking, I sometimes check to make sure that he’s not texting other girls. This is rooted in my own issues because of my exes’ behavior.

I know that I’m projecting my baggage and trust issues, but I feel like I can’t help. Everyone has their own vices, right?

The Highs Are High, But The Lows Are Low

woman holds man closer to kiss him
Photo Credit: Henri Meilhac / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Henri Meilhac / Unsplash

If I were to summarize my relationship in one sentence, that would be it. When we’re good, we are all over each other and treat each other like gold. When things get rough and we’re fighting, we bring out the worst in each other and we both suffer.

Do you think we can work through our issues if we love each other, or should we break up?