Why DID We Break Up?

Wanted to let you know that I am a huge fan of your books. I didn’t read the Alice books in order, but I’ve read them all up to date and can’t wait for the next! Anyways I just recently reread “Alice Alone”, because I can relate to it for sure. My boyfriend and I broke up recently, and he said that the reason he broke up with me was because I lived too far away (we live a half hour apart). Now, he’s dating a girl who lives in the same area as me. It’s hurts really badly to see them walking around town together because I still love him, and he dumped me right after I’d driven 30 minutes out of my way to go see his band’s show. He told me a bunch of times that he still loved me but that the distance made it too hard to maintain a relationship, but his new girlfriend goes to my school and lives a few blocks away from me. Now he’s saying that he “never broke up with me because of the distance”, so I asked him, “Well if it wasn’t the distance, then why DID we break up?” and he snapped, “I don’t wanna talk about it. Use your imagination”. It just hurts for him to talk to me like that after I was always there for him and I was the one who ALWAYS went to his band’s shows.  I guess I wasn’t really writing to you for advice, but just someone to talk to. Thanks for listening Phyllis, and I hope one day I can be as talented as you.


Phyllis replied:


Yes, it hurts.  There’s no way a break-up doesn’t hurt unless the two people in a relationship decide at the exact same time that it’s over and that there is something or somebody else waiting just around the corner.  I know that it’s natural to want to know “why,” but when someone breaks up with you, it’s rare that you know the whole reason.  He was obviously trying to make it easier on you by saying it was the “distance,” and he “still loved you” and whatever else he could come up with.  Chances are he was simply attracted to someone else, or wanted the freedom to go out with other girls, and he figured that eventually you’d get the point and that would be that.  He was irritated that you didn’t accept the break-up and kept pushing him into telling you he liked someone else better.  So now you know, and you can quit asking him, and you can also realize that some day the shoe will be on the other foot.  You’ll be going out with someone for a while who likes you a lot, and gradually you’ll realize he likes you more than you like him, and that you want to go out with other guys.  And you’ll agonize how best to tell him, and you probably won’t tell him the whole truth.  Almost everyone is going to experience the agony of being rejected in one way or the other.  It’s part of life.  Pick yourself up and get interested in the whole rest of your life.

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