There’s a fairly small number of reasons that relationships end. Well, there seem to be a lot of different ways to end relationships, but they all boil down to three things in my mind:
- There’s someone else. Whether that means someone actually cheated or not is irrelevant; interest in someone else usually leads to the end of a relationship sooner or later.
- Big argument. He left the toilet seat up one too many times. She doesn’t like his friends. The number of arguments we have in relationships is infinite, but it just takes one big one to throw the relationship away.
- Going separate directions. This is also sometimes called “outgrowing” your partner (to be polite, of course). It really means that you both dont want the same thing anymore, whether that be in your career or relationship.
Perhaps the most heartbreaking is number three because it seems like there’s nothing “wrong” with the relationship. The problem is that it’s not exactly “right” either. That’s usually when the talk happens.
The talk is a completely heartfelt admission by one of you that things can’t stay the way they are. It can center around any number of topics but the end result is the same. Sometimes this takes one of you by surprise while others know that the relationship is building to the talk.
Why is it called the talk? Because it’s usually initiated by saying, “we need to talk,” or “can we talk?” When you hear either of these, you know that your relationship is going to take a sudden turn. And frequently, you will have no choice in the matter. Your partner has already made up his or her mind, and things are about to change.
Most of my relationships have ended with the talk. That doesn’t necessarily reflect anything about my dating style, just about my choice in women. I tend to pick partners that I respect and admire, and I hope that they feel the same way about me. Thus I’ve only ever been cheated on once and only ever had a big argument end a relationship once. The rest all centered around the talk. And in some ways, that has been more difficult.
Ending a relationship with the talk always leaves the door open. You don’t hate each other, there’s nothing concrete to point to as a dealbreaker. It’s kind of exciting thinking that you could run into that person in another place and time and things might actually work out. But in the short term, there are more questions than answers.
This doesn’t mean you should pick a fight or cheat to avoid the complexities of the talk, just that you should be prepared.