No great romance ever included the phrase, “Hey babe, let’s revisit this when we’ve both exhausted other options.”
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Dear Miss Information,
My (now ex) girlfriend and I recently ended our open relationship. For my part, I still really enjoyed our time together, found the sex amazing, and still loved her very much–but found I wasn't interested in relationships any more. However, for her part, she wanted to end things with me to be with someone else she had been dating. I found this revelation very hurtful.
I keep on thinking that this phase of not wanting a relationship will probably end someday. And if it does, I think I will want her back–this relationship really was the best I've ever had. I don't know how to convince her that she should give me another chance should that happen, and I also don't know how to let go of my resentment that she chose someone else over me. Help?
—Open and Shut Case
Dear Open and Shut Case:
Unfortunately, there is no way to bookmark a relationship and pick it back up later. I’m pretty sure no great romance ever included the phrase, “Hey babe, let’s revisit this when we’ve both exhausted other options.”
Patchouli though it may sound, “not being into relationships” is part of your process right now, and you should follow that thread wherever it takes you. Maybe you’ll be single for a week, or maybe for a year, but either way it will be part of an evolution for you. Give both yourself and your ex space to grow—you can’t control whether your romantic paths will cross again.
That being said, you can keep your options open by handling the break-up gracefully. Often, the end of a relationship can result in really unflattering behavior; break-ups turn even the most level-headed among us into sniveling messes. Who here has not blacked out and come to with thirty-five outgoing calls, fifty unrequited texts, and an imprint on your face from the sidewalk outside her house where you fell asleep while sobbing?
…Right, guys? Anyone?
Misguided romantic gestures or “trying to win them back” is the fastest way to kill any warm relationship memories (and to turn yourself into a dating-nightmares punch line she tells her friends over beers.) So give the break-up, and yourselves, space. As long as you handle yourself with maturity and dignity, you will be able to keep the good feelings intact—which will pay off in a friendly acquaintance at worst, and a “who-knows?” At best.