Guest columnists and contributors are generously sharing their talents and insights while I’m taking some time to care for my new baby. Today’s letter is answered by prolific DW commenter and social media consultant, Sarah Huffman.
Unless you traveled back in time to your high school prom six months ago, I’m going to assume you’re freeeesh out of high school and in your first semester of college. The thing about being freeeesh out of high school is that everything still feels like high school. You still have the same perspective of relationships that you did then. So let me clear a few things up for you, being someone who is 2,4,6,7, I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT years from high school:
1. It is not wrong to want to break up with somebody because you want to experience dating other people. In fact, realizing you maybe want more experience and having the courage to break up with him and not lead him on is the mature and kind way to go about it.
2. Never, and I mean, never, do the “We’re on a break, not officially a break up” thing. All it does is convey to your partner that you expect him to wait until you’ve had some experience with other people and you might come back to him again afterwards so he should be ready in case. That wouldn’t feel very nice, would it?
If you really and truly told your boyfriend six months ago that you were taking a break to see other people, then you have no reason to feel guilty. The question is, did you honestly tell him you were ending the relationship and planning to see other men? Or did you conceal it and throw out something like “I love you and we’re totally gonna be together forever, I just need some space”? The reason that I’m suspicious this might be the case is your statement, “He was so pissed about it, I really thought we were done for sure.” Um….weren’t you done for sure…..because….you just broke up with him? If you didn’t make it clear that things were done and you were looking around, whether permanently or temporarily, then you may need to own up to that if you feel it’s damaging your relationship.
Now, if you did make it clear that you wanted to date other people, then you didn’t cheat on him, so don’t act like you did. Lying about it or concealing it is just making you feel guilty for something that you made it clear you were planning to do. Hiding stuff because he’s not adult enough to handle it is going to get old, and it looks like it’s starting to already. If you see a future with him and it’s making you feel awful that you haven’t told him everything, plan to be honest with him, whether it comes up naturally later or you feel the need to tell him now. But be ready to accept that he is probably not going to like what he hears.
* Sarah Huffman is a social media consultant who is freelancing art and photography along the way. She lives in Hollywood with her boyfriend, David, and their two cats, Mia and Daphne. She likes spending her free time spying on the neighbors through her window and ruining her boyfriend’s Netflix recommendations by watching bad reality wedding shows and movies starring Sarah Jessica Parker.