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After dating someone for a year – where we discussed marriage, buying a house together, and moving across country as a couple – my boyfriend broke up with me by email. He probably is somewhere on the autism spectrum and has a lot of difficulty dealing with conflict. He also says I’m quick-witted and hard to argue with, and felt he wouldn’t be able to discuss it in person with me.
I admit that things were not perfect between us, but we had some truly wonderful and magical moments together. I was, of course, angry about how this happened. I called him a coward and said many mean things in the return email. Did I deserve an in-person meeting? At least a phone call? An email to end something so meaningful seems to be insufficient and callous.
Yes to callous – especially if there was no warning. After a year of quality time, an email breakup is bad. You have every reason to be disappointed, angry, sad, and confused.
A call would have been nice. An in-person goodbye would have been respectful. Let’s remember, though, that the end result was going to be the same, no matter what. He decided he wanted out. There was no room for negotiation.
Maybe a lesson here is that it takes most people more than a year to figure out if their significant other is a forever kind of partner. Yes, we’ve all met people who “just knew” they found their soulmate after a few months of dating, but they’re the outliers. The first 12 months can be a warmup. Maybe it was too soon to talk about future plans.
Honestly, you’re probably a better negotiator/lobbyist than he is, and that could be why he wanted to avoid a real conversation. He didn’t want to second-guess himself or be convinced to stick around. It doesn’t excuse the behavior, but it’s a reason – one without malice.
You won’t get the closure you want, but at least you can move on from this knowing you got out before he was part of any big changes. You’re better off making plans on your own – or with friends.
Life involves conflict, no matter who you’re with. It’s best to find someone who can be honest with you – a person who can join you in having difficult conversations. Your ex showed you he’s not the one.
Your anger is understandable, but try to find some gratitude for the timing here. He decided to leave you alone before you gave more.
Readers? Would an in-person talk made this better? When is an email breakup appropriate? This LW has reason to be hurt – to miss her ex. Any advice for that? Is it time to block the ex’s email?
Have advice for today’s letter writer? Be helpful. Be clever. Get your comment featured here.Meredith
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