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Author Topic: Is there ever a good time to break up?
Magdalene
Happy Holly Days


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Or would it really not matter?

I posted a few letters to the "Letters You Wish You Could Send" thread of a friend whose relationship with his gf of one year had gone sour about six months ago. Attempts to fix the problems were made, it still wasn't working. He quietly told a couple of us yesterday to send out good vibes today--he's going to meet with his gf and break up with her. (He's anticipating a lot of drama.)

So most of us wished him luck, but one said, "Two weeks before the holidays--that's too mean. You should wait until afterwards to do it." I was floored--the person who said this was one of the more outspoken ones about how our friend needed to end the relationship, and now they're saying, "Not yet, too mean"?

So this did sort of trigger the "Pick a better time/There is no good time"....discussion (for lack of a better word--we were trying not to make it a fight for our friend's sake.) Most of us were in the "There's never an ideal time to do it" camp, the friend who argued for waiting actually said, "Yeah, but now neither one of them will have a date for Christmas parties or New Year's parties...." (Why would either of them want to go with somebody they're not happy with?)

So I'm curious--how many here think "There's never a good time, do it anyway" and how many think, "You should pick a certain time and avoid others" when it comes to breakups? In my experience, all breakups suck anyway, so I'm not sure if I'd notice that if it happened to happen right at a major holiday or something....

Magdalene

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"Don't mess with me. I dance with swords."

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Mickey is a Hanukkah Bush
O Come Let Us Adore Sales


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I agree with the "never a good time to do it" thing, but I have to say that doing it around the holidays would suck. Massively.

What if she's already gone out and gotten him a nice gift, anticipated on going to a nice party, so she's bought a nice dress, is anticipating spending new years eve with him?

I tend to think that holiday season, around the dumpee's birthday, and on anniversaries are the worst times of a relationship to break up. Oh, and around Valentine's Day.

But regardless, there's never a good time to break up. Let him do what he wants.

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SiKboy
Deck the Malls


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I dont know. Part of me says "If you are avoiding breaking up with someone because of the time of year/day/date, its false and you* are kind of stringing them along. Its going to hurt more when you break up with them and they realise that you have been planning this for a while.", but then I go on to think "Yeah, but what about christmas day or new years eve or something? Being dumped just before the bells has to suck hard..."

So I guess it depends how long you are talking about holding off for. Until "After the holidays", strikes me as too long. Especially as its still near the start of december. But deciding to break up with someone on Xmas day, but holding off actually doing it until boxing day, I can see that. I wouldnt condemn anyone for deciding to break up their relationship on christmas day and following through with it that day, but I can see the arguement for holding off a day or two.

And of course, this all is without considering the whole "If you have family over for the holidays" issue. In which case I can see holding off until after they have gone, just to avoid airing dirty laundry in public. And all of the above is really talking about the situations where one person is dissatisfied with the relationship, and the other doesnt realise it. Its more complicated again if you take into account those breakups where you talk about the problems that you have and try to stay together and fix them but end up failing.

I guess its just difficult trying to set up hard and fast rules for human relationships, one persons honest and practical is another persons cold and heartless.

*Just to be clear, this is a general "you", not refering to anyone in particular. Thought I would head that one off at the pass... [Smile]

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Midgard_Dragon
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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There's never a good time. However, the holidays are the worst times. Basically, November, December, and February are the worst times to do it. I also agree with Mickey that around anniversaries are an awful time to do it.

That being said, there are things that make this point null. Such as if one of them were cheating, if someone was beating the other one up, and so on and so forth. But if it's just a case of "it's not working out anymore" then I think that I, personally, would wait. I think your friend should make his own decision, though, regardless of what his friends say.

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Sharpened Steel
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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I think the problem with "waiting for a good time" is that throughout the year, there can be many things that happen that will make everytime a bad time. First there's the holidays (and there are a lot of those). Then there's birthdays and anniversaries, which take out another chunk if they aren't in the same time span as the holidays. Then there's all the other things that happen in life: a death in the family, a death of a friend, somebody's wedding, someone loses a job, etc.

Basically, I think if things have been bad as long as they have, it's better to pull out immediately and not try to wait for the "right time". Staying together just to have a date is a godawful reason to stay together. That comes way too close to saying one should stay in an abusive relationship because you *need* to have a date for New Year's.

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trollface
The Bills of St. Mary's


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I don't think that you can wait. If you wait until after Christmas, you have to wait until after New Year's. Then you have to wait, so that you're not dumping them because the holidays have just finished. But then it's just coming up to Valentine's day, and you can't do that. And then you can't dump them because it's just after Valentine's, and you don't want to dump them just after. And then it's 3 months later, and you've still been telling them that you love them, and sleeping with them, and so on.

And who knows what will happen after that? Maybe they'll be having a hard time at work. Maybe their parents will be going through a rocky patch. Maybe one of their friends will suffer from ill health. Maybe their pet will die...

No, the best thing to do is just be honest. That way, you'll both be able to start getting over each other, and whatever else they think of you, they'll not be able to say that you lied to them.

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1958Fury
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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There's never a good time for a bad thing. It's like asking when's the best time for an earthquake. Personally, I think that once you know it's inevitable, then the sooner the better. But, I really don't have any experience in the area, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

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Mickey is a Hanukkah Bush
O Come Let Us Adore Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by Midgard_Dragon:
I also agree with Mickey that around anniversaries are an awful time to do it.

Voice of experience talking about that one. Cokehead Alcoholic dumped me ON our one year anniversary, after I'd driven 250 miles through hurricane Ivan to surprise him as my anniversary gift to him.

And now I'm not upset that he did. I've had a good relationship since then, and it's his own damn fault that he couldn't deal with not having sex.

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Purple Iguana
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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There's never a good time, but there are decidedly HORRIBLE times:

1) STBE's birthday.
2) On or near Valentine's Day.
3) On or near any major, family-oriented holiday, such as Thanksgiving or Christmas.
4) On or near the anniversary of the relationship.
5) During a time of personal tragedy (loss of a job, death of a family member, etc.)
6) Right after some big couples to-do, like that trip to Hawaii or cruise in the Caribbean.
7) In the middle of making plans for a big couples to-do.


And yes, I will echo what others have said... the sooner, the better. Just as parents shouldn't stay together ONLY for the children, an unhappy person shouldn't remain in an unhappy relationship ONLY because s/he is waiting for just the right time.

(In the interests of clarity, I do not view any time in the month of December as "before Christmas." IMO, I would probably say the 4 or 5 days before Christmas would be considered too close to the holiday. Right now would be prime time for getting out while the getting's good.)

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Menolly
We Three Blings


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There's never a bonafide good time to break up. But if the relationship's not working, the entire time your friend's still in it is a horrible time for him (her?).

I agree with thinking the Christmas season is only a couple of days. Better to let go now.

/slight hijack/I called it quits with an abusive BF in October one year--many, Many years ago. He refused to let go. Even got me a Christmas present; gave it to me in front of my co-workers. I gave it back in front of his co-workers. He was so livid he threatened me. Man, it's great to be out of a bad relationship and in a happy, healthy one!/end of hijack/

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CannonFodder Global Trotter
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There is only one good time to break up with someone, and that's sooner rather than later. Putting it off for any reason is just flatly dishonest.

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"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die."

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LittleDuck
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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B est to get it over with. If there were gifts/dresses bought in anticipation, they can still be returned by the purchaser. If the person already knows that the relationship is over, it is wrong to let it drag for any reason whatsoever. It will only make things worse down the road when the inevitable happens (more often than not) and, as will happen, the one doing the breaking says, "I wanted to do this a while ago," or "I waited until after [event of choice] passed to say this..."

The only reason I could see to wait would be if the breaker were still unsure.

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Morrigan
Happy Holly Days


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I broke up with my ex on November 5th. Right before Thanksgiving. I don't regret it all.

Morrigan

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"The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep." Robert Frost, Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening

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Beckalina
I Am Curious, Yellowtail


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quote:
Originally posted by Mickey is a Hanukkah Bush:
I tend to think that holiday season, around the dumpee's birthday, and on anniversaries are the worst times of a relationship to break up. Oh, and around Valentine's Day.

My birthday is on the 21st of this month. It's almost Christmas. My boyfriend and I celebrated our two year anniversary on November 18th. And last night, around midnight while we were watching SNL, he broke up with me. NFBSKing trifecta.

Did I mention that we live together? ldfkgjasdfk!!!!!!one!

I recognize that it's never a good time to break up with someone, and that if he had waited I would have even less than three weeks to find somewhere to live (we rent and his landlord told him he had to buy or move, and he chose move, and apparently decided it was the perfect opportunity to end things) . . . But God, this NFBSKing sucks.

Apologies for the hijack.

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CitizenAim
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by Purple Iguana:
There's never a good time, but there are decidedly HORRIBLE times:

6) Right after some big couples to-do, like that trip to Hawaii or cruise in the Caribbean.

I'm glad someone mentioned that one.

Around Christmas time 3 years ago, a guy I was dating and I went on a trip to a city we both wanted to move to together sometime in the future. Shortly after that trip, he broke up with me. I spent two years trying to figure out if part of his reasoning for breaking up with me was because of his dissatisfaction with the trip. I finally gave up when I realized that knowing wasn't going to help me, but it still ate away at my soul for a LONG time. Although the rational person in me says it had nothing to do with the trip... the little girl in me says it did. Definitely not a good time to break up, but yeah... there never is.

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Ramblin' Dave, quietly making noise
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Morrigan:
I broke up with my ex on November 5th. Right before Thanksgiving. I don't regret it all.

Morrigan

My ex dumped me on November 4th. I don't regret it either.
Oh, of course it hurt at the time, for reasons that have been covered here by others. I was away at school, and I couldn't wait to drive back to where we had lived together (and where she still lived) for the holiday and a grand reunion after three months apart. Before the inevitable phone call came on the 4th, I kept envisioning a grand embrace at the door of our old apartment, lacking only the violins. And she knew I was thinking that way, or at least I had told her I was.
Yes, of course I was disappointed. But I would have been disappointed to lose her at any time of the year. Thinking about it now, I imagine going through the joyous reunion I had envisioned and then finding out after the fact that she had only gone through with the whole thing to spare my feelings. It would have hurt ten times more, knowing that she felt none of the joy I felt at seeing each other and that she was only going through the motions out of pity. It would have been humiliating in retrospect, and a lot more hurtful in the long run than spending a holiday on one's own is. Trust me on that!

I don't know the details of your friends and why their relationship isn't working. But if he has good reasons to break up with her, I don't think he should put it off just because of what time of year it is.

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Another lifetime I'd have fallen in love with you
Swept away by my feelings, ashamed and confused
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Let the mystery play as it will! -Lui Collins

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LeaflessMapleTree
The twelve shopping days 'til Christmas


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Definitely agree with Dave. On of my exes broke up with me on New Years' Eve 2004 at HER party that she had invited me to, about an hour before midnight. She was very forthright about it...just told me she didn't feel the same way anymore. I was really upset, and yeah, it ruined New Years' (I left the party and midnight hit while I was on the subway back home), but at least it was overwith and I had time to recover so I could enjoy my birthday (Feb. 1).

Don't wait.

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Fun with a 9mm
Deck the Malls


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My most recent ex walked out on Nov 1 (several years ago). We had been having problems for months and I had decided that I was going to leave "after the holidays". In my effort to be kind, I became the dumpee, rather than the dumper. He became the bad guy (in the eyes of our friends)from that moment on.

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Neffti Noel
We Three Blings


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I left my ex on New Year's Eve. I had to. He'd been away to his home town for Christmas (whoops to him, but that's another story), and came back on New Year's Eve. I phoned him over Christmas once I'd made the decision, and said, "Look, when you come back, I need to have a serious talk with you, and it's not going to be good. So you might want to stay there for New Year." He didn't, even though he realised what I meant - he came back on New Year's Eve and as soon as he walked in I said, "This isn't your fault, but I'm going. I've got my case packed. I can go now, or I can stay and see the New Year in with you." He said, "This isn't going to work out, is it?" and I was relieved to hear that he felt the same way. We saw the year in together and I left the next morning. It was very tough, I would rather have just gone, but I wanted to give him the chance to talk it over with me, which he took. I then moved in with my brother and paid for me and my ex's flat for 3 months so that he wasn't stranded.

It wasn't ideal, but I didn't want to lie to him just because it was New Year. He deserved better than that. 8 years later I often think of him and hope he's doing alright.

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Mistletoey Chloe
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I'll add "right before final year exams" as a bad time. Looking back, I helped compromise people's finals in consecutive years, and neatly, had my own compromised too.

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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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Does December 10th really count as "right before Christmas"? Using that logic there aren't a lot of months where you can break up with someone without it being close to some significant event or another. If he drags on for another week or so without doing anything, then, *that's* too close and maybe it would be kinder to wait. Of course then he'd need to wait until after New Year's but not too close to groundhog day.

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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Purple Iguana
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Christie:
Does December 10th really count as "right before Christmas"? Using that logic there aren't a lot of months where you can break up with someone without it being close to some significant event or another. If he drags on for another week or so without doing anything, then, *that's* too close and maybe it would be kinder to wait. Of course then he'd need to wait until after New Year's but not too close to groundhog day.

Quoted from the very end of my post:

quote:
(In the interests of clarity, I do not view any time in the month of December as "before Christmas." IMO, I would probably say the 4 or 5 days before Christmas would be considered too close to the holiday. Right now would be prime time for getting out while the getting's good.)
I also wouldn't think of November 5 as "right before Thanksgiving," but then maybe that's just me.

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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by Purple Iguana:
I also wouldn't think of November 5 as "right before Thanksgiving," but then maybe that's just me.

I agree with you. My only caveat would be if you've known for 6 months that the relationship is over it does seem cruel to wait (however unintentionally) until the holiday season to break up with someone. I guess anytime immediately before Thanksgiving up until New Years does count as the holiday season in the US. I didn't think of that when I first posted. With Canadian thanksgiving being in October we (Canadians I mean) don't think of "the holidays" in the same way I think.

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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NewZer0
Happy Holly Days


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I once spent basicaly an extra year ith someone becaus I kept waiting. First, there was school (didn't want to break up during finals!), then birthdays, then this then that. . .

We still kept having nice times, too, so then I'd rethink my decision, dragging it out even longer.

When I finally broke up with him, it was very painful -- for both of us -- and full of drama. I can't say if the drama could have been avoided, but who knows.

If he breaks up with her today or tomorrow or the day after, I couldn't count it right before Christmas. Better now than to break up in January and have the other person think, "But we just spent a nice Christmas together! How could we be breaking up?" And as others said, presents and dresses and such can still be returned.

And -- this may sound silly -- there is a lot of stuff goingo n this time of year. Don't want to be alone? There are holiday themed events going on all the time.

Ah, not sure if I was helpful there.

--NewZer0

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I study medieval literature because that's where the money is.

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I'm Dreaming of a White Canvas
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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There's no good time to break up, and there's always some guilty feelings involved. Your friend might want to consider which would feel worse, the guilt of breaking up, or the guilt of continuing what he knows is a doomed relationship.

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ChickyBee
Deck the Malls


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My ex broke up with me on Valentine's Day. Which is also eight days after my birthday.

I guess it says a lot about me that after the initial shock and pain, I could see the funny side of being dumped on Valentine's Day. I still can actually, and tease aforementioned ex about it at every chance.

Personally speaking, it seriously doesn't bother me that he did it on Valentine's Day - he made the decision that it wasn't working (and he was right, I just didn't want to see it) and promptly acted on that decision, instread of stringing me along until a 'safe' time to break up.

However it also bear noting that we'd only been together for 8 months and the relationship was more casual than serious. Had it been longer and more serious, then I bet probably would have had a big problem with it.


ETA: My point is that it can also depend on the type of relationship as to how unacceptable a holiday break up can be. IMHO it may be unfair for one party to be broken up with during a holiday/special occasion period, but it's also not fair for the other party to be unhappy and just going through the motions during that time.

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So many people are hung up on achievements. What did you do today? What are you planning? Sometimes, just getting through the day is an achievement in itself.

Posts: 256 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Lydia Oh Lydia
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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There's never a good time to break up but unless there are extenuating circumstances, the person who wants to break up shouldn't lead the other person on. That being said, I think that even the person who wants the break up should avoid certain days (anniversaries, birthdays, etc.).

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"My name is the symbol for my identity and must not be lost." Motto of the Lucy Stone League.

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Doug4.7
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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My last girlfriend broke up with me by sending me a restraining order.... [Wink] (Just kidding...)

In reality, she broke up with me in a letter (she told me she found someone else). THEN she had to meet me at the airport to “show me around” where she was working that summer (it was in a city far from where we both lived and we had already made $$$ arrangements for her to tour me around). It was a bit awkward...

As for a good time to breakup, just get it over with. And don't make $$$ plans just beforehand.

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And now for something completely different...

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I'mNotDedalus
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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I’ve heard that Santa Claus has Mrs. Claus trapped in an airtight prenup. Apparently, because every day is Christmas for the old man, she’s never allowed to leave him. Something about being placed on a permanent Naughty List, should she ever transgress. What a rotten rat bastard, right? Diabolically genius, though.

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The salty fragrance of L’Eau D’I’mNotDedalus - made entirely of and entirely for sea turtles.

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gnome
Deck the Malls


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Agree with Doug4.7 about not making money plans beforehand.

I can see the question of timing being a tricky one--after all, sometimes the decision to break up with someone isn't a lightswitch. If you're mulling it over and haven't made up your mind, the right thing to do is to make up your mind before one of the "bad times". Especially before you or your partner spend a lot of money on something, or buy each other gifts, or arrange any other commitment that would be awkward if you had split.

The only exception I can think of, where one would deliberately wait after having made the decision, is a case where in the immediate short term there is a life-changing event for the other person that would be disrupted badly with such news--the final exams are a good example. I'd say with those if they're even a few days off, go ahead and let them know. A few days isn't enough to heal, but it's enough to get ready for something important, as I see it. But if you figure it out the night before, it might make sense to wait. Shouldn't be too hard to avoid the confrontation for the few days necessary.

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Sara at home
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I vote for doing it NOW. She can return any presents she may have bought and get her money back, before everything goes on sale and she only gets the sale price. The holidays are a great time for socializing; maybe she can meet someone new. What he's doing is "dragging it out", "string her on", etc.

I agree that just before finals is a bad time as are holidays themselves or the day someone dies, things like that. But unless there is a special reason for that day there's no time like NOW.

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

Posts: 8317 | From: Reading, PA | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
HelloLlama
Jingle Bell Hock


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I had a boyfriend that wanted to dump me right before Christmas but decided to wait.

I had no idea he didn't want to be with me anymore.

We spent Christmas back home with our own families, but he took me out for a nice dinner on my birthday (Dec 28th). There was clearly something strange going on with him that day. He was very distant and when we met up with someone he knew he introduced me as a "friend". I cried the whole hour long ride home while he ignored me. And still he didn't break up with me. He just made it extremely hard for me to get a hold of him.

When I finally did get a hold of him a few days after New Year's, he officially dumped me over the phone.

I know that he was holding out breaking up with me because of my birthday, but I wish he hadn't done it. He probably thought he would be viewed as the bad guy if he broke up with me right before the holidays, but I think the what he actually did was far worse and, in a way, cowardly. I look back at that Christmas and, even though I enjoyed it at the time, all I feel now is embarrassment at my ignorance of the situation because, in retrospect, the signs were obvious that he didn't want to be with me anymore.

He should have broken up with me before Christmas. Yes, I would have been hurt and probably depressed, but at least I still would have had some dignity left.

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Malruhn
The "Was on Sale" Song


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Considering that this is just a "Me one hundred", there isn't a good time...

But later is worse than now, EVERY time.

It doesn't matter if it is their birthday, their mommy died this morning or they just got fired this afternoon... now is better than tomorrow.

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Opinions aren't excuses to remain ignorant about subjects, nor are they excuses to never examine one's beliefs & prejudices...

Babies are like tattoos. You see other peoples' & they're cool, but yours is never as good & you can't get rid of it.

Posts: 5622 | From: Jax, Florida | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Salamander
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Also, going along with the whole dishonesty thing, unless they've agreed not to buy each other presents it's pretty bad to know that you don't want to be with someone any more but wait until after they've given you a gift to break up.

And it is just me, or does the friend in the OP saying they shouldn't break up sound like the sort of person who thinks being single is worse than being in an abusive relationship? You know... kinda like "Well sure he burnt me with his cigarettes, broke my arm and held a knife at my throat and said he wanted to kill me... but at least I had a date for the office christmas party!"

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"victory thru self-deception"

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Nonny Mouse, on Santa's laptop
Once in Royal Circuit City


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Well, I was going to say that your friend was right to want to wait, but after reading the other posts on this thread from folks who've been there I've changed my mind.

Nonny "so what was the point of this post again?" Mouse

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When there isn't anything else worth analyzing, we examine our collective navel. I found thirty-six cents in change in mine the other day. Let no one say that there is no profit in philosophy. -- Silas Sparkhammer

Posts: 10141 | From: Toronto, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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