Extend It or End It – One Man’s Decision

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Over the past 30 years, I’ve stood witness to both the most logical and asinine reasons behind couples breaking up; from cheating and loss of attraction to stank breath and height deprivation.

Just a few weeks ago, a friend of mine broke up with his girlfriend of two years.  From the outside looking in, you would think that he was the one who had been dumped. He can’t stop thinking about her, can’t stop talking about her, but most surprisingly – can’t stop asking people if he made a mistake by leaving her.

At first I didn’t understand why he broke up with this amazing girl.  Or how he could be so torn about a decision that he chose to make.  So when I learned of the reason that drove him to his decision, my first though was… “that’s it?”

The two of them had such a calm and honest relationship; one that was built on a solid friendship.  His girlfriend had proven herself to be loyal and we all know how hard loyalty is to come by.  But after giving his reason a little more thought (and giving him the benefit of the doubt), I started to understand my friend’s perspective.

He broke up with his girlfriend because their values and priorities didn’t align.  He wants a family one day and she’s not sure if she wants the same.  He’s taking leaps toward being financially stable and she hasn’t even taken a step.  He’s tired of waiting for her to reach her full potential and can therefore no longer see their long-term potential.  At this point in their relationship, he wants her to contribute to his personal growth as much as he contributes to hers.

there are “plenty of fish out in the sea…but…how many of those are a good catch?

There’s no negating the validity behind his concerns.  But in this day and age, a relationship inclusive of great communication, chemistry, friendship, trust and loyalty isn’t easy to come by.  For this reason alone, I don’t know if I can view his decision as a smart one.  And apparently he can’t either.

We hear all of the time that there are plenty of fish out in the sea and not to settle.  But how many of those fish are a good catch? And how many if those fish will land on your hook?  And most importantly, when is it settling vs. compromising?

I’m sure that my friend could find a different woman who wants kids the same as he does.  But will he enjoy raising them with her?  He can find another woman who is financially stable.  But will she even want to spend her money the same way he does?  He can find a woman who is sprinting to reach her full potential.  But how will she feel about the speed of his own race?  And yes, he can find a woman who contributes to his personal growth.  But will he enjoy her presence enough to celebrate his successes with her?  Now that he’s pulled the plug on his relationship, he’s starting to consider these things.

I would have given the relationship and my partner more time before calling it quits.  What my friend’s girlfriend was missing, I feel could have been developed and inspired over time.  But what she did offer was priceless and much harder to find.

Would you have extended it or ended it?

Sources and other media:  eH avice


About nosy josie (88 Articles)
Josie is an aspiring writer living in Chicago Illinois, inspiring self-love through her own tragicomic life journey. Follow Josie as she details her collection of dating fails, life lessons and heart-to-heart confessions with her nosy readers.

34 Comments on Extend It or End It – One Man’s Decision

  1. I think it depends on how much time you feel you have. Values are a huge part of a relationship and typically why most of them end. I think it was good that he saw it now, rather than 2 years turning into 5 or a marriage or children. While in relationships we make excuses because we get comfortable with having someone and the companionship but a lot of time we know that this person is not “the one” early on. Although he may be questioning his decision. I think he knows that he made the right one deep down. He may just be lonely or not fully over her at this moment. I don’t think it is fair for him to wait around until she comes of around or hope that she may come around.

    When I meet people I question their values immediately. I would rather not waste my time with the in between. I would like to pursue someone that I feel could one day be my husband. Now I am single haha. And it is definitely hard to find that person, but I think it worth it. Fingers crossed he comes soon. :)

    Liked by 2 people

    • ZeroToStars // April 14, 2015 at 10:40 am // Reply

      Yeah, I think that values are key. Sharing values is the difference between a boyfriend and a husband.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes indeed! The thing that makes it so hard though is that people change – and with that, so do their values. Mine have changed a bit just in the past few years. I can totally not want something now – and then years later develop an appreciation for it. You know? I can go from “wife material” to “girlfriend material” just like that.

        Liked by 1 person

    • lol *all fingers crossed*. I agree that values are a huge part of a relationship and you bring up a valid point – is it really wise to wait and see if someone changes their values to match your own or do you leave yourself available for someone who already has those similar values? I think he is suffering from what you said, in addition to knowing the reality of his options based on prior experiences. When we get out there and date, we see how unattractive many of our options are. He found an attractive option in her and now he is wondering if he will realistically find another one. I can totally understand his fear and concern because it took him so long to find THAT one. Think about your own situation as a single woman…if you finally found a man that you could vibe with for 2 years, someone that was so awesome and presented no major kickback in your life…would you let him go for those reasons that my friend let his girl go? Thanks for sharing and can’t wait to hear back from you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well if the reason was values then I would because it would come up again in the relationship. I think if you are a strong unit you will have to find some type of agreement in how you will grow together. I am assuming they had some sort of conversation in regards to this and he saw that they were not on the same page. I don’t know which value he was concerned about but if you do not view someone as long term then what are they. Why date someone that does not fulfill what you are seeking. Yes the pros may outweigh the cons but I think you would undoubtedly be thinking what if… for the rest of your life.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ZeroToStars // April 14, 2015 at 11:05 am // Reply

        I see your point. I’ve been there. I know all about the fear of losing a great person. But yeah, I would cut it off for all of those reasons except the first. They are very real harbingers of the future chaos. The money thing bothers me especially. THAT is really important. I might wait more time for the not being ready to get married thing, because I’m young. I don’t see the rush. Unless, you can tell the person is lying to themselves and really just doesn’t want that sort of commitment. Nothing wrong with not wanting to get married, as long as you are honest with your partner and they accept it. I swear, acceptance is the key to everything. Anyway, I need to stop writing comments and get a life right about now. Good discussion, though.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It sounds like he gave up to easily to me, or he himself isn’t ready for a long term commitment and what it takes to build a strong relationship.

    Liked by 1 person

    • One thing I’ve noticed about our generation Gary is that we are impatient. My dad was talking to me about this yesterday. He said this to me after I mentioned to him that it was easier for me to just walk away from this problem I was having, instead of just working through it. Our generation feels as if we have so many other options out there, that we would rather explore those than put effort into making our current one work. Its sad, but true. For many of us, we haven’t seen what commitment looks like…or what effort looks like. You know what else I think has to do with it, fear. People are terrified that their decisions today will be the end of them tomorrow. But life is about growing and learning. You can’t do that if you just shake and bake and start over everytime something presents a kickback. I’m clearly still learning how to apply this, but I’m happy that I at least know what to work on. You know?

      Liked by 1 person

      • ZeroToStars // April 14, 2015 at 10:53 am // Reply

        I agree we live in a culture of instant gratification, but two years is a long time…when do you throw in the towel? I’ve faced this decision over and over. And beat myself up unnecessarily about not working with them. But are they working with you too? Are they respecting that you need more effort? In a way, I think you are doing them a favor by walking away…instead of criticizing…people grow when they grow. Maybe they don’t care about the stuff you value. That’s okay; you just can’t be together. Sometimes, real love let’s people who they are and lets go as an act of acceptance.

        Ultimately, I just decided that I am young and I have a lot of growing to do. One day, I want to have children and instill certain values. Will this person be able to do that? Two years is a good trial run. Sometimes, people take a break, get their individual stuff together and come back together. I had that fantasy about a boyfriend. Three years later, he’s pretty much the same guy. I love him as a person and think he’s a good guy, but not for me. It was a good, but hard decision to leave. I don’t want to hurt someone by telling them all the time they are not meeting my expectations…I showed him acceptance by letting him go to be loved by someone who treasured the things I had a problem with.

        Liked by 2 people

        • This is what I was just telling Gary – I sometimes wonder if I gave up too soon on people. Two years definitely feels like a long time…but is it really? You’re still learning yourself as well as someone else within those years.

          Taking a break while you both grow, honestly sounds like a great idea. The fear though sits in that the person may not be available or around anymore after the break. So do you keep strings attached to avoid losing them altogether? And can you actually figure things out while those strings are still attached?

          Your boyfriend of three years reminds me of a phrase I used to say: “never fall in love with someone’s potential…they may never reach it.”

          I cringe at the idea of losing a great guy that’s just not “my” great guy. The thought just breaks my heart because good guys are soooo hard to come by. But I understand everything you’re saying.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Oh! I forgot to ask you Gary – with your personal experiences in love and marriage – how do you feel about what Kayelle said above? I also agree with a lot of what she said (I will reply soon) and I think she raises a good point. When we are not on the same page with our values, is it better to stick around to see if things change or find someone else?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I honestly couldn’t give you an honest answer right now. I’m still fresh off of divorce from November. I can say going forward for me personally I’m not “settling” or “overlooking” personality flaws or misguided values if I don’t agree with them.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I hear you loud and clear. I think I’m still at a place where I’m trying to decipher between settling and compromising. I feel like I’ve lost a lot of good people in my life by cutting the strings too soon. Sometimes I question my judgement from past decisions.


  3. ZeroToStars // April 14, 2015 at 10:39 am // Reply

    Haha…I have been in your friend’s position countless times. I have broken up with all the guys I’ve dated at some point. Even though you want to be with the person, deep down you know something is off. You want to tell yourself they will improve, but, as they say, you are just dating potential. And potential don’t bring home the bacon. I look at people in middle age and they are still nowhere near getting it together. And I’m saying this about some people who I LOVE. However, I know people in relationships with these loved ones are heading towards a dead end.

    I always feel like I miss the person I was in a relationship with at first, but when I emerge from the fog of the breakup, I’m like “Thank God I let them go!” They were holding me back. My “best” boyfriend was a good person, had a good job, and treated me well…but I needed someone with different values. I truly believe that you can have different interests, but your top values have to mesh.

    Money is a TOP reason people divorce. I dumped another guy (partly) for having tons of debt and not making strides toward correcting it. He was living with a relative and always in some sort of financial mess. I have pretty good credit. I make sacrifices to keep it there. If you value shopping more than building a future for yourself…I don’t want you, even if I love you. You’re going to bring me down. I can’t trust you with my financial future. Besides, what are you running from with all that shopping? Oh, he was running from so many things.

    I’ve also talked to a lot of guys who were emotionally stunted. They didn’t understand themselves on the inside and were afraid to or didn’t want to be bothered. Again, that’s a problem, because I want to be my best self. The only way I can do that is to tackle my emotional baggage. I want someone who pushes me to be my best, because I will push you! Honestly, I would dump someone for all of the reasons you stated. They are all legit. Some things you can sacrifice or compromise on, but NEVER your top values. They make you who you are.

    The sad part is when you stay with someone, because you want to help them better themselves but they don’t try. Then you feel even more frustrated and alone. Been there, done that. You can’t change people.

    Sad truth: Love isn’t enough to make relationships work.

    Anyway, can I have your friend’s number? Because I kind of like him ;) Just joking. Good post! It made me think and reaffirm what I believe about what I want in a relationship!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. What a great post…. How long did he go back and forth with his decision to pull the plug? Did he try to help her realize that it was time to get it in gear? I have so many questions for your co worker LoL! Nevertheless whatever decision he makes/ made he has to deal with it. I hope he made he made the right one! Good luck to him :)

    Liked by 2 people

  5. ENDED IT! How can two people with different beliefs waste their time together? Sex… That is the only good reason I can think of. Two years later I think you got the best out of that person lol You have to move on…life is too short to argue about your core beliefs or feel unsupported regularly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yes, 2 years is definitely a long time lol. Let me ask you this though. Are mutual values more important than anything else that’s right in a relationship? What about the trust, the friendship, the love, the conversation, the intellectual stimulation, the sacrafice, etc? How likely is it that you could ever find the perfect woman anyway? Is the fact that she doesn’t care about her career goals, when you do, enough to lose all of that?


  6. Mr Brandon // April 22, 2015 at 6:19 pm // Reply

    Stay…sometimes your values change and your ideals about many things take on a different viewpoint than they were before.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I keep saying that this is a good point, because it really is. Think about how much you change each year. Think about how many things that were once important to you, no longer hold value. Maybe you used to want a big family, and now you just want one kid. Maybe you wanted to be a corporate man and now entrepreneurship trumps everything to you. Maybe you were hell bent on a woman who could cook but now you cook so much that you don’t even care if she doesn’t. People change. But is that worth waiting for? And if so, for how long?


  7. Good post! I found myself in a similar situation. The relationship ended but has naturally rexonnected and extended on its own…perhaps it should have remained closed as not much has changed…. I’ll be back for more.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. meghanworld23 // April 30, 2015 at 12:24 pm // Reply

    I think he should have given things a little more time. I think communicating about those issues with his girlfriend could have helped resolve them. How are you going to fix something when you don’t know there is something wrong? But on another note, if you cant see future growth with someone it may be best to end it oppose from wasting your time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • isn’t that such a catch 22? I think he could have communicated better, like you said. You think that’s a sign that he was already over the relationship?


  9. I would have ended it too. I actually just ended a relationship because of similar reasons. Did it hurt? Like hell. Am I over him? Absolutely not. Am I willing to move on? Of course yes. There’s a lot that goes into relationship other than love or chemistry. If we have contrasting ideals, values and aspirations, there’s no way things can work out. Sooner or later, things will fall apart. Except someone is willing to give up who they are/what they want just for the sake of love and I’m not sure how long that can work either. So it’s better to end it now, deal with the emotions that come with it and move on rather than investing time and effort into something that wouldn’t go far in the long run.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This is quite relevant to a lot of relationships. He should not have ended it, we don’t have reach destinations at the same pace and if you find a person that has at least the desire to do better; you can work with that. People act as though they’re afraid to build people up. What ended up happening?

    Liked by 1 person

    • We definitely don’t stick around for the long haul anymore – which is (I think) one of the most crucial elements to attribute successful relationships to. We want everything ready-made…I can’t tell if its due to a lack of patience or our ego. What do you think? As for what ended up happening…he ended it :(


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