Can You Actually Breakup With Someone When You’re Not In A Relationship?

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I always found this funny… when you date a girl, never actually get in a titled relationship, stop talking to one another and then she says how hard your break up has been on her. As a guy, insensitive or not, we’re just like… “WE WERE NOT IN A RELATIONSHIP. YOU CANNOT BREAK UP WITH SOMEONE YOU’RE NOT IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH.” My experiences have been all over the place. I’ve been totally confused as to why someone was struggling to get over something that never was and I’ve also been dumped and didn’t even know I was in a relationship. That’s another story for another day. What I can say is that this article below sheds some light on what women can do to get past this situation. I’m not sure men will ever figure out how to get past it especially when they never realize they were in it.

Technically, we weren’t a couple. Our relationship largely took place in the evening hours, but we still communicated and planned like we were together.

When people asked though, I said I wasn’t seeing anyone because I wasn’t really. A missed night out didn’t require an explanation on either of our parts, but we invariably always ended up together anyway.

We never mentioned being exclusive, so why did I feel like I was owed a “there’s someone else” phone call when I found out who she was? And worse, why did I feel bad about our barely-there breakup?

I felt stupid for feeling sad about a pseudo-relationship that now seemed more serious post-breakup than when we were actually sleeping together.

It was harder to move on from a guy I wasn’t exclusive with than it was from a long-term boyfriend. It might seem like the latter is more excruciating (He was your best friend!), but I’d argue that the former takes much longer and requires more effort.

Think about it: After dating someone for an extended period of time, the return to singledom is fresh and exciting. The romantic world holds possibilities, potential bachelors abound and new freedoms.

After you break up with someone you never had, your life returns to almost exactly the same it’s been the whole time — which makes it even more difficult to get over.

The solution? Finding someone else to fill the shallow gap. It’s not necessarily challenging and since you never really got to know your former flame anyway (save for a few hours of pillow talk and shared meals), you’re less likely to miss his personality and more likely to miss his physical presence.

It’s a surface-level replacement system that perpetuates our singledom by preventing us from getting deeper with any one person.

You can check out the rest of article on Elite Daily.

Let me follow this up by saying, I don’t agree with that solution. I don’t know the writer so I cannot associate an opinion with her but what I will say is that when you are faced with a difficult relationship to get over, get over it by falling in love with yourself. Many people who have told me about how hard a break up was on them talk more about the feeling of failure or losing hope that things will ever work out than actually missing the person.

What have your experiences been? Have you ever gone through a “breakup” with someone you weren’t in a relationship with? How did you manage to get over it? Do you understand or sympathize with the hopelessly romantics or do you think they should just get over themselves?

Dr. J via SBM Staff

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From Our Partners

  • Kema

    Feelings are not title dependent.

    • JT

      Kema, you’re absolutely right ;-)

  • Jas T B

    I don’t get how one could call sex without a title or fwb situations not a relationship. True, ur not together, but ur being intimate and in a bunch of instances playing roles that you aren’t with basic strangers off the street. Feelings and attractions form and more than likely there’s some form of consistent communucation. All of that describes relationships! Whether or not the feelings and intentions are equal, once you’ve bonded in that way with someone it’s not as simple to pretend like they don’t matter or never existed. Idk at least imo… But I’m also of the camp of folks not putting themselves in positions they can’t handle and playing roles of someone they’re not.

    • http://singleblackmale.org October’s First

      But then if you have sex without a title or a FWB situation, can you actually breakup with them at some point? Or do you just stop sleeping together and that be that?

      • Jas T B

        Of course u could just go ninja and fall off the radar. Happens often and seems to be more likely than not nowadays. But it’s def the immature way to handle any relationship, titled or not . I think it’s more considerate to let someone know what’s going on, call it a breakup or whatever, just don’t keep em guessing.

    • omphile direro

      OMG…i totally agree with you!!

  • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com/ Tristan

    A few times. Recently, even. Relationships dictate expectations, not feelings. If I break up with someone she is no longer expected to commit to me and do girlfriend actions. If i fall out with someone doesn’t mean poof we no longer have feelings for eachother.

    The signals get crossed when one breeds expectations from feelings.

  • ThoughtCriminal

    Can’t break up with someone you were never in a relationship with. Some people have the tendency to create boundaries and expectations in their head and never tell the other person. Feelings are feelings and no one can tell you you’re wrong for feeling that way but their your responsibility alone if you never communicate to the other party and say “I want to take this further.” If they do, great. If they don’t, move on.

  • Sunshine

    I think it’s a matter of acknowledging the reality of your situation-ship. Most people KNOW whether they are just casually hooking up with someone or if it’s more than that. Very few people have the courage to actually ask, “Hey, what’s going on between us?” I think that if you’re in that type of ambiguous situation – and you can’t be brave enough to ask and put your feelings and needs out there – then you can’t really complain or be bitter after being ‘broken up with’ in your ‘not-really-a-relationship’ relationship.

  • JT

    I think its safe to say that even an UNDEFINED relationship is still…. a relationship and while we may think we are no more than______in actuality we are in fact, SOMETHING….just what that is…is really open to a lot of speculating guessing and in the case of some folks, just nothing at all that requires explanation or apologies….nor the dreaded “Its not you its me” or “lets just be friends” or “hey we’re just kickin it” lines.
    just saying

  • http://www.BlackLatinaFabulous.com/ Maris

    Sure, you TECHNICALLY can’t “breakup” if there wasn’t a relationship to begin with…..BUT I find that phrase is usually most used by the party who ended whatever the coupling was the shadiest and wants to relieve themselves of guilt, and the term “breakup” is most used by the party who feels the most empty-handed at the end. Both people need to make themselves feel better, so let them call it whatever they have to in order to move forward. Nobody wants to be the bad guy, and no one wants to feel like their time was wasted.

    • JT

      TRUE DAT!

  • Gray

    Although at first thoughts the concept seems ridiculous it’s not completely far fetched. Although the relationship may have never been defined it doesn’t negate it being an actual relationship. People try to put their spins on relationships to benefit their needs, which is just selfish and inconsiderate. (but do you really not know who you’re dealing with?) It is also unfair to assume your having feelings is relevant to withstanding the un-relationship.

    I believe in defining things. I don’t deal with individuals whom I have no respect for and vice-versa. It just makes it easier, imo.

    • JT

      Indeed ;-)

  • laddibugg

    I think a lot of people.. Men and women… Build up relationships in their head as more than they are in actuality. That’s why ‘the talk’ is necessary 99.99% of the time. It can seem unromantic and might be hurtful if things don’t go the way you want but you need to do it. I promise it will hurt less than if you wait.

    That being said you can terminate your side of the situation. That doesn’t require the other parties participation at all… But the term breaking up implies there was a mutual, equal level of participation and that’s not fair if if it was never really discussed.

    I hate those pseudo deep ‘memes’ but I saw one that was applicable to this situation : “a man can be deep inside you and still not feel you “. It’s true. Just because y’all are fucking, going out, what have you, it doesn’t mean anything if the feelings aren’t mutual.

    • Gray

      “But the term breaking up implies there was a mutual, equal level of participation and that’s not fair if if it was never really discussed.”

      Huh? Individuals aren’t interacting with themselves. Participating isn’t the problem. Failing to define what you’re doing is. I agree people create things but it comes from a genuine place for most. If they weren’t dating, sexing, cooking, hanging out, etc… like they’re in a relationship the confusion wouldn’t occur. This is the epitome of blurred lines.

      A relationship not being discussed has nothing to do with there being mutually equal levels of participation.

  • amanada23

    I never thought, in my whole life, that I would be writing to thank someone for casting a love spell on my marriage, but that day has arrived! It’s true that I didn’t believe in this kind of thing at all, but now i do since i had my husband back to my life last month after all i have been through as a single mother but now i can give thanks to Dr. Ekaka email: [email protected] for the love spell he had on my husband and now we are living as a happy family again. It was truly a one-of-a-kind experience,