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Question

(inspired by a comment I made in jodawi's journal)

When you break up with someone, do you feel stupid?

As in "I should have known this would happen, why did I bother getting involved," or "I should have prevented what led to this breakup"?

(This is not about anything currently happening in my life.)

Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
lysana
Jul. 7th, 2003 02:59 pm (UTC)
Yes and no. With the breakups I've had to date, I can look back on the entire situation and see every last warning sign which hindsight insists I should've seen and acted on. I've never been wholly surprised at the end of a relationship aside from method of learning about it, though. I do wish my intuition yelled a bit louder sometimes. My messiest dissolution to date would've ben a lot more painless for all parties if I'd spoken up about six weeks sooner.
mittelbar
Jul. 7th, 2003 03:00 pm (UTC)
I never break up. *That* sometimes makes me feel stupid.

I think if I do feel stupid, other emotions are more louder, so I don't identify it that way. But I suppose if I wasn't hysterical, I might get the droopy stupids instead.

Do you feel like you should be able to anticipate and influence every aspect of a relationship?
firecat
Jul. 7th, 2003 05:05 pm (UTC)
Not every aspect, no.
the_siobhan
Jul. 7th, 2003 03:10 pm (UTC)
danger signs
Depends.

If I think I made wise choices given what I knew at the time, I don't. I always try to work things out to the best of my ability, and I never regret doing that.

In the case of the last big nasty one, I did and I still do. There were warning signs pasted all the hell over that one in big glowing neon letters that I actively chose to ignore. I don't do that very often and I still can't figure out what the hell was going on in my head.
nolly
Jul. 7th, 2003 03:14 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't decribe the feeling as "stupid" but I sometimes feel that way about breakups. Rather, I feel a way that makes me ask/tell myself similar things, but more in a "Maybe next time I'll remember to look out for these issues sooner rather than later" way than an "I'm such an idiot; I know better than that" way.
griffen
Jul. 7th, 2003 03:32 pm (UTC)
Yes, actually. I feel very stupid, and whenever I go through a breakup, I always feel like it's my fault for not being far-sighted enough.
circumspectly
Jul. 7th, 2003 03:40 pm (UTC)
hmmm...
depends on the relationship. yeah, my last one before this one that i'm in now, the warning signs were HUGELY flashing in brilliantine colors by the third date, but i thought i could suck it up and deal. when it all fell apart, not only did i feel stupid, but i also felt some way-worse less-than-nice stuff, too.

what i hate even worse than feeling stupid after a breakup though, is when i'm in the middle of a relationship thinking, "god, am i stupid for staying in this relationship, or what?" this is usually *very* bad.

and no...i'm not feeling like this in my current relationship, but i have felt like that before.
kightp
Jul. 7th, 2003 04:25 pm (UTC)
Historically, I've had more problems with the kind of thinking that could be described as "I always fuck up relationships, I know I'm going to fuck this one up, too, so I might as well get it over with and fuck it up now." Talk about your self-fulfilling prophecies.

When that's your relationship model, the "I should have known ... " part, when it finally arrives, is almost redundant.

I've been working on outgrowing this particular habit for a good long while now, though, to the point where I hardly ever get caught up in fabulating How It Will All End...
dancing_star
Jul. 7th, 2003 04:37 pm (UTC)
When you break up with someone, do you feel stupid?

Not always, but with one relationship, not only did I feel very stupid, I had known from the first not to let it happen, but I did anyways. My guts keep telling me to run, keep the person at arms lengh but for one reason or another I didn't.. That one, yes I felt very stupid for.

Others, No, I feel that in general things happen for a reason. Normaly I feel sad that it didn't work, and go on with my life hopefully as friends with the person(s) involved.
red_frog
Jul. 7th, 2003 05:43 pm (UTC)
Not really.

I mean, I've been in a couple of relationships that I knew were ill-advised and one that I even TOLD the other person involved was ill-advised, but I didn't feel stupid, exactly, because I knew what was likely to happen. Just sorry that it did.

What's made me feel stupid was going BACK.
elynne
Jul. 7th, 2003 06:26 pm (UTC)
Depends on the relationship. Most of them... not really, although afterwards I did sometimes feel a bit foolish for having professed affection too much and too early - having figured out the "three month crush" guiderule has done a lot to alleviate that problem. In several of the "three month crush" relationships, I did later wonder what the hell I'd been thinking... but I didn't feel stupid, exactly - perhaps overly enthusiastic. *ahem*

There have been a couple relationships where, looking back afterwards, I thought "Duh, how could I have missed that?" Only a few, though. Honestly, I don't feel that any of the breakups were things that I could have prevented if I'd tried - either I did try, and it didn't prevent the breakup; or I was doing the best I could with what I knew at the time, and in the same situation, with the same information I had, I'd do the same thing... even if it later turned out to be wrong.

Actually, pretty much the only relationship where I look back and think "Damn, that was stupid, I knew what I was getting into, and I should have gotten out much earlier" was with the Psycho Hose Beast. Juries don't tend to buy "It seemed like a good idea at the time" as a defence. ;]
martyhaven
Jul. 7th, 2003 07:29 pm (UTC)
Is it ok if I take some validation for what you said about the three-month crush guideline? In this past relationship, that just ended, there were warning signs, but I'd have to say I'm happy for actually ending it at around the three-month point instead of continuing to look the other way. -That- would have made me feel stupid.
elynne
Jul. 7th, 2003 10:08 pm (UTC)
Well, sure. I don't have a patent on the three-month crush, or anything. ;) I didn't learn the pattern until I got married, and was monogamous for a while. Then, I noticed that most of the time, when I got a crush on somebody, three months later I'd be left wondering what the hell I ever saw in them. The ones where the crush didn't go away after three months were the potential keepers - more there than just a hormonal percolation, you know?
abostick59
Jul. 7th, 2003 11:53 pm (UTC)
Malcolm Gladwell, writing in his book The Tipping Point has a different take on why people feel stupid after a breakup. (He's actually talking about divorce, where two people have been married and living together for some time before splitting up.)

He calls it "transactional memory": the two people unconsciously divvy up the memory tasks between them; e.g. Person A remembers birthdays, social engagements, and what time their favorite TV shows come on, while Person B tracks the bills that need paying, what's running low in the kitchen, and city bus schedules. After the breakup, both of them, who used to be completely competent at running their own lives when they were each single, now are making a muddle of things. Person A misses credit card payments and can't catch a bus to save her life, while Person B's social life goes down the tubes and she spends her time watching Friends reruns and ESPN SportsCenter (but has completely lost track of the story arc of Six Feet Under).

But that's not what you mean by feeling stupid after a breakup, is it?
firecat
Jul. 8th, 2003 09:01 am (UTC)
Hee! No, but that does happen to me when the OH goes out of town.
leandra333
Jul. 8th, 2003 09:55 am (UTC)
No. I have felt stupid for staying with someone who I should break up with though. The breakup itself relieves a lot of those feelings, thank goodness.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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