Unlike Hollywood movies, there is no good ending to a relationship. You might feel relieved, sometimes, but it never feels good. You basically had hope while facing one direction and now you need to turn around towards a new, unknown direction, and look for new hope.

There are many different ways to break up but simply put, all kinds of break ups fall into one of two categories: responsible and irresponsible.

Granted, the responsible breakup can mainly only happen if there was some attempt at proper communication during the relationship. This breakup includes the two sides looking each other in the eyes, one or both sides saying it’s over, one or both sides possibly crying and then one or both sides getting up and walking away.

The irresponsible kind varies a lot more. It can include writing things in text messages that should never be said in text (let alone messages), one side avoiding the other. It could include suddenly lashing out about all the things that really were bothering you the whole time. It includes no longer being considerate of the other person (I guess if you aren’t going to be getting anything from them anymore, there’s no need to be nice, right?). It includes suddenly talking about the other person as though they are a monster when supposedly you used to love them.

Recently someone broke up with me via WhatsApp. This breakup message was the most refreshingly honest (and difficult) he’d ever been with me regarding what was bothering him. I asked him later (he wrote the message thinking he’d never ever talk to me again) why he waited for the breakup to be so open with me. He didn’t really answer but I know the answer.

Fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of being ridiculed. Fear of rocking the boat.

So instead of rocking the boat, you pretend everything is OK which basically creates an eerie quiet before an unbelievable storm.

I ended up replying to his message in an email. I figured, he wanted to write? I could write. I went point by point and either apologized, explained and/or asked questions on each point. Admittedly, this ended up being a slightly lengthy email. But at least I got what I needed – a proper meeting, a proper discussion and a properly thought out decision based on more understanding and openness.

The decision? The decision – his decision – was to break up. But at least this time it was with an, “I think you understand,” and a kiss on the cheek from his side and a nod and half a smile on mine.

And it’s true. I do understand, at least to a certain extent, because we talked about it and I can understand why he doesn’t want to be with me.

But after this experience, I am wondering if I’m a lone rider in my need to have proper closure and to end things as peacefully as possible. But doesn’t it make sense to end things well(ish)? Just because the person isn’t going to be in my life in the future (or so I think), that doesn’t mean the past doesn’t matter. It doesn’t mean that peace between us doesn’t matter. There is absolutely no reason I can think of that it’s good to stop being considerate towards someone just because you aren’t going to be getting anything from them anymore.

Not to mention that if you break up relatively peacefully, then you get to remember the good times without them being too tarnished. And why should we blow all the good stuff to hell through a lazy breakup?

So no, there is no good ending. It feels like crap. There is an emptiness, a fear, a hurt, a loneliness. But at least with a responsible breakup there is relative internal peace and peace between you and there is plenty more clarity; all this helps it sting a bit less.