all writing is a sociology paper in one way or another

Well, yes, in a case study sense perhaps. But I don’t really need to worry about my sample size being W.E.I.R.D. or any of that stuff.

a fight requires intimacy

That’s an interesting way of approaching it. Yes, a fight needs something along those lines, I am just not sure if intimacy is what it is, or if my understanding of intimacy is similar to yours. The definition of intimacy is “a close familiarity”. It reads to me in your way of thinking the accent is on “familiarity”. A couple is certainly familiar with each other and as such they know exactly how to land the low blows. In that sense a fight certainly needs intimacy.

When I was writing this, my accent was on “close”. When you are fighting all the time, you’re no longer close. At least, I didn’t allow myself to remain vulnerable to those low blows that come with prolonged fighting. Defenses go up to keep the other out. I avoided sharing the things I felt good about lest they were torn down. I avoided sharing the things I felt bad about, lest they got salt rubbed in. And after a while the intimacy was just not there anymore.

they might both simply be better off in a relationship with someone else rather than not in a relationship at all

Yup. Okay, poor choice of words on my part.
But I do stand by my opinion that someone who has just ended a relationship should not jump right into another one without taking time to figure themselves out now that part of who they thought they were got ripped out.

Have you considered the psychology of people who aren’t good and/or loyal?

Oh yes, and perhaps a little too much. But I set out to think about relationships between people who are not in desperate need of a shrink/psychiatrist/nice long stay in a mental ward/half a pharmacy worth of medication. I might be a little optimistic, but I like to think that’s still the largest population group.

simply the realisation on the part of one of them that they no longer want the relationship

That is a very logical sentence. As such, it is almost irrelevant to relationships which I have always experienced as frustratingly devoid of logic. I know it sounds like I’m contradicting my previous point, but I am convinced people who are otherwise mentally sound and have healthy attachments, are still capable of acting without logic in relationships.

But you are, here, making my own point (above) that it needn’t be a betrayal, or because the person breaking up isn’t good and/or loyal.

A good and/or loyal person, even one that doesn’t want to be in the relationship anymore, will not enjoy seeing other human beings in pain, will not want to be the cause of said pain, and will give in at least a couple of times when the tearful promises of change. The sort of change required to make the relationship work between two people who are simply not compatible, is very unlikely to happen (because you can’t change the core personality). At which point the person who begged and promised the change will have broken their promise. Broken promises are experienced as betrayal.

That’s one example. I wasn’t just talking about infidelity. Breaches of privacy, lies, failure to back you partner up (in-laws issues), disregard for their needs, there are lots of ways betrayal shows up. I have yet to hear any breakup story that does not feature betrayal in some form.

There’s healing and there’s healing — we may recover the use of our legs with time and physiotherapy, but we might need a walking stick for the rest of our life.

This has put some really interesting images in my head of Hugh Laurie as Dr House with long braids and a very ugly croptop. Thank you for that.

I didn’t want to suggest healing means there’s no lasting scars. I was talking about the acute pain, the going through hell part, that will eventually end. The misery will be over and people will be able to, you know, be okay.

when I did, all I got by way of reply was a perfunctory acknowledgment of the fact that I had contacted her.

Ouch. That sounds shitty.
But that sounds like the silent treatment/stonewalling thing narcissist do, which isn’t meant to be a break up, it’s meant to be a punishment.

Unless of course, you were that person begging and promising change because there wasn’t a good enough reason to break up. The “good enough” reason you wanted was her spelling it out and she wasn’t able or wasn’t willing to do that, hoping you’d get the hint. This scenario doesn’t sound like you…the you now anyway…but I don’t know how young and clueless you were in this story.

In either case, from my understanding of ghosting, you can reach out to the person ghosting you, only to find out you have been blocked from contacting them, or your messages would go completely ignored — “Left on read” as the kids say — while at the same time knowing they have been active on whatever social media they prefer.

you are invested in that relationship because, otherwise, it would never have been a part of the story at all and you’d be telling a different story.

I can’t disagree with your closing argument aside from the conclusion that because it is important I must be invested.
I know we’re arguing semantics now. And if “invested” to you means “find it important” then yes, I am invested. But I just don’t feel comfortable using the word “invested” in any other way than “to have hopes, to be willing to put in work to reach a desired result, to root for” …which I just didn’t have for those flash-fiction relationships I created for the sole purpose of breaking up. My investment was in the break up, not in the relationship.

Writer of fiction, blogs and erotica. Frequency in that order. Popularity in reverse.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store