When you see one of those seemingly perfect, happy couples break up, don't you feel like you should get some kind of refund? Like, maybe rent for all the space in your heart occupied by fairy tale endings? It just shakes your belief in romance. Like, is true love even real?
Unfortunately, one of the downsides of adulting is that sometimes you have to make unglamorous decisions regarding your future. And sometimes those decisions include ending a perfectly good love story. Not because one of you betrayed the other, and not because the love isn't there. But just because, of, well, life. Things happen.
In my time talking to couples, both as a Domestic Violence Victim Advocate, and a Planned Parenthood-Certified Responsibly Sexuality Educator, I've heard a lot of guilt and shame regarding letting go. A lot of people feel selfish choosing their own desires over that of their couple goals. Others are just too worried about breaking a heart. And others are just too gun shy to pull the trigger.
If you find yourself in any of these situations, don't feel guilty. It's OK to put your needs first. And remember, you're not responsible for anyone's happiness but your own.
Maybe when you got together, you both laughed in the face of your parents when they asked about grandchildren. Fast forward to now and suddenly one of you has a ticking biological clock and the other wants to step on it. If you can't come to an agreement about your future family, it could be reason enough to call it quits.
Some coupes rock long-distance relationships. I mean, it takes a great deal of communication and commitment to make that work. But other couples, no matter how well-suited for each other, just can't bridge that gap.
3. Career Changes
What do you do if you get offered your dream job in California, but your love already has a dream job in New York? You both really (really) want to pursue those paths, but they're long paths. What can you do? Sometimes you have to do you.
4. Personality Changes
Personality changes are a huge factor in the break up of otherwise happy couples. Usually both couples start off on the same page, and then a few years later one partner is getting a promotion and going to bed early, and the other is still going out all the time. People change and grow apart and that's not always avoidable. It's also not always a bad thing.
When I say "unhappiness" I don't mean actual, real misery. I just mean that nagging feeling that something isn't right in an otherwise good relationship. That undercurrent of malaise that you can't put your finger on. That gut feeling that you should move on, even though maybe you don't have a real, concrete reason.
6. Someone New
Oh, the fates are cruel. You have one perfectly great partner, who you love so much. And then the universe puts someone else in your life that you also fall for. What to do? Sometimes you honor your commitment and sometimes the right thing to do is to take the chance and move on. It's tough but it's life.
Now that you know these six common reasons that happy couples break up, you can do what you need to do without guilt or shame. Heartbreak is an inevitable part of life. Sometimes your heart breaks, but sometimes you have to be the one to dish it out.