Breaking up because of external circumstances and getting back together

Mya

Member
Have you ever broken up with someone because of external reasons that have nothing to do with your feelings, connection or compatibility? For example not having enough time for the relationship, moving to another city, having a baby etc. Or have you been left for those kinds of reasons?

I think these kinds of break-ups are fairly common. But what I'd like to know is this: Have you ever gotten back together with someone after the circumstances that caused the break-up changed again?

I have never ended a relationship purely because of circumstances (although once it was partly that, partly other reasons), but that has been done to me twice. The first time was because of something that will never change, so maybe "circumstances" is a wrong word, it was more like an external factor. In any case, it was something that had nothing to do with how well we worked as a couple. The second time happened yesterday. A person I had been dating for a few months said that he is really struggling to find time or energy for seeing me in his current situation. This is a situation that can change, and most likely will, in the future. We said we would keep the door open for potentially continuing dating once he is in a better place. I'm just wondering how likely that is. I don't personally know anyone who got back together with someone after this kind of a break-up. Does anyone have stories to share?
 

MightyMax

Banned
When I met my long-term/primary/spouse-like partner, I was in another serious relationship which seemed to be progressing to something primary-shaped. My partner and I hit it off in a big way and it eventually caused conflict because she wanted something that I wanted to give her, but couldn't because it would mean losing what I already had.

Despite us both identifying as poly, she knew that the way her life was going, she wouldn't have the resources to sustain a primary and secondary relationship (I'm just using these terms for ease) and made it clear that she would make space for someone who was available for that if they came along. So it wasn't exactly an ultimatum, we would still be able to see each other, but not have the secondary commitment that I wanted, something more tertiary. However, the feelings involved at that stage meant that neither of us could be okay with being so casual. We'd go through times when I'd feel really hurt by it all, and she'd go through the same. So we stopped seeing each other.

Roll on a year or so, and I had an amicable break up and was out with friends at a queer event, and she was there! We moved in together a week or so later.
 

Bluebird

Well-known member
I had been talking to WarMan for a bit on OKCupid back in February, but my father passed away. So I shut down my account and handled arrangements for months. When I came back online, he contacted me again and asked me for a first date. Been together since. He said he had been hesitant to message me, because "my dad died" sounds like a lame fake excuse, but he figured it was worth a shot. Since I was telling the truth, it was. :) So that was definitely an external event that had nothing to do with my (potential) partner.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi Mya,

I only had one instance where I broke up with someone due to external reasons, and that was in 7th grade, and the girl unexpectedly moved (quite a way to the south). Unfortunately that change was rather permanent, and I never got back together with her.

Wistfully,
Kevin T.
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
I broke up with someone I dated in junior high school for external reasons (he wanted sex, I did not want sex with men), with a 'let's just be friends' kind of ending. We remained friends, and I dated him a second time around after I graduated college, when I realized that my sexual orientation isn't strictly toward women. It was very fun, but I broke up with him for completely different reasons that time. We're still friends.

I think people can totally break up with someone because of circumstances and then date someone them again a second time around. But if the circumstance that broke you up the first time haven't changed, it might not be a good idea.
 
But if the circumstance that broke you up the first time haven't changed, it might not be a good idea.

I think this completely nails it. I broke up from someone because he was more interested in his own stuff than our relationship. We then got back together which was great at the start, but then of course nothing had changed, so it was back to Splitsville for us.

I'm much older and uglier now, so wouldn't make that mistake again:)
 

Nadya

Member
This might be slightly off-topic, but I want to share it since you asked these questions, Mya.

In addition to my more entwined relationships (look at my signature) I have one relationship that is less committed and less entwined - mostly because of circumstances. It would probably best be described as a FWB relationship - even though we have not really given it any sort of label. It is long-distance (to me, about 3 hours drive) and we see each other very seldom mostly because I do not have time and opportunities to travel.

Now, there is some kind of a connection between me and my FWB. Definitely friendship, but also a strong sexual chemistry. They have several times wondered how it would be like and what shape our relationship would take if I lived closer and had more time for them.

Anyway, our connection and relationship works because there is no expectation that I should make room in my life for them. They are okay with what I have to offer - and I am okay with what they have to offer. There have been total silences of several months, very frequent chatting and kinda frequent dates (once a month or so, at best).

Wonder if this kind of a relationship would be an option for you guys? That there would not be an expectation and pressure for him to find time for you now as he is otherwise busy. That you could down-grade the relationship to more realistic level instead of a total break-up?

Of course, the break-up has already happened, so maybe this is not an option. Just... this is what I was thinking when I read about the break-up in your blog.
 

vinsanity0

Active member
I have had this happen. Both times with this person I was separated from my wife. That part had nothing to do with it. We were seeing each other for quite awhile and then she had to move to another state to take care of her aging father. She wanted me to come with her, but I refused because I had children and I wanted to be near them. We broke up amicably enough. Fast forward to ten years later. My wife and I had eventually gotten back together, but separated yet again. My former GF had found me on FB. Now I was in a position to be in another state. I went to see her and eventually moved in. Unfortunately, there were some problems and we broke up. My guess is those problems would have eventually manifested themselves whether we originally broke up or not.

We didn't break up with the intention of getting back together in the future. It just sort of happened. Same with Mary, who is in my sig. We were together in high school. After that she moved. We tried long distance, but it was not practical so we broke up. Thirty something years later we ran into each other.
 

Norwegianpoly

New member
I think quite the opposite. Me and husband would have had plenty reasons to break up that were "external": my sickness, his transexual process, my mum getting really sick, his parents fighting with his brother, problems at our jobs...But working through those things together is just called LIFE. That is what couples do. If somebody left me over something "external", I would never take them back - they had then proven they were not material fit to be with me. My ex left me when she got her depression/urge to change everything in her life, which felt utterly meaningless, but perhaps we should not have gotten together in the first place. Me and my boyfriend are international long distance and staying in touch is tiresome and expensive, but that is our way of being together until we can close the distance. Right now I am helping my boyfriend through his depressive episode, I know a lot of people would have just left but I love him and I was raised to be a stayer.
 
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Mya

Member
Thank you so much for your stories and points of view, everyone! I really appreciate them. These replies give me some hope. I'm trying not to expect anything, but it's good to know that starting dating again isn't impossible. :)

Nadya, thanks for your suggestion as well. I kinda suggested something like that to him when we first talked about scaling back to friendship, but I got the impression that he wouldn't want that, at least with me. So I don't know if that would work on his end.

Norwegianpoly, I understand what you mean. But I'm not sure if that's how I want to approach this. I kinda have the same urge than you, to just say no even if he would like to start dating again later. But me and him didn't really get that far yet. We didn't make any commitments or promises to each other, so I kinda see this one as an attempt to start something, but the timing is just not right, and maybe we can try to start it again some other time.
 

Norwegianpoly

New member
Norwegianpoly, I understand what you mean. But I'm not sure if that's how I want to approach this. I kinda have the same urge than you, to just say no even if he would like to start dating again later. But me and him didn't really get that far yet. We didn't make any commitments or promises to each other, so I kinda see this one as an attempt to start something, but the timing is just not right, and maybe we can try to start it again some other time.
Yea, we did not make any commitments either before we seperated, we could easily had been just another holiday affair. I guess we just realized from how miserable we felt being apart that we had dipped our toes into something big. And if you don't feel this way, the hassle is not worth it.
 
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