The 6 species of breakups

Which species have you encountered?

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  • "We broke up."

  • These three simple words have been known to hold some of the most intense emotion known to mankind. You can expect them to be followed by awkward silence, an explosion of tears or a 15-minute rant. However, these same three words can hold drastically different meanings — it all depends on which kind of breakup is being spoken of.

  • Breakups are beasts — they claw at your heart and tear apart your world with one blow. Therefore, I have decided to refer to the different kinds as species.

  • Here are the six most common "species" of breakups:

  • 1. The "I need a break"

  • This species of breakup is usually found amongst confused couples. Maybe the girl's heart is torn between two guys, or maybe the guy is feeling too smothered or is having a hard time committing himself to the relationship. Whatever the reason, the couple decides they need space from one another so they can sort through their problems on their own. This can be hard if one of the members of the relationship does not understand the reason for the other's confusion.

  • 2. The "Let's be friends"

  • In other words, "the spark is gone." This species of breakup can be either bittersweet or acute torture.

  • Bittersweet

  • The romance that once thrived has withered. Both members of the relationship have decided that it is time to face the fact that things are just not working out romantically. It is hard to admit it and move on after such a sweet experience, but they know it is what they have to do. Oftentimes the couples that go through these bittersweet breakups are actually able to maintain their relationship as friends afterward.

  • Acute torture

  • One of the members of the relationship just isn't feeling it anymore. However, the other is still desperately in love. They might try to stay good friends for a while. The heartbroken member of the now buddy/buddy relationship will typically slap on a smile and endure the pain of unreciprocated love while trying to act unaffected, but eventually will start pulling away when the heartache becomes too great to bear.

  • 3. The Slap-and-Go

  • This beast is typically found in the relationships that suffered from infidelity. For example, when a girl finds out that her man has been going behind her back and cheating on her for months, it usually does not end well. The cheater should expect to be given "exactly what he deserves," whether that be a slap in the face or carefully planned revenge. These types of breakups also can involve quite a bit of yelling and/or crying.

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  • 4. The "I never want to see you again"

  • This can be seen as a less dramatic version of the "slap-and-go." This breakup is the result of a nasty fight and hurt feelings. However, this species handles the tension in a more civil way than our earlier mentioned "slap-and-go." Words are exchanged, a clean cut is made and they go their separate ways without looking back. If they do happen to run into each other again, a painfully awkward situation is almost guaranteed to ensue.

  • 5. The Punishment

  • This is the couple that breaks up every other week — the couples that dramatize every argument and treat breakups like a kind of punishment when one of the members of the relationship does something wrong. These breakups can be a result of anything from someone not answering a text fast enough to failing to show a desired amount of affection.

  • 6. The Romeo and Juliet

  • These are the star-crossed lovers. For some reason, life has decided to separate two people deeply in love. Perhaps the distance between them is too great and is tearing them apart or maybe they suffer from disapproving family. Whatever the cause, these breakups are heart-wrenching, and often make it difficult to move on.

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Emily is a member of the FamilyShare.com content team. She is a huge advocate for family, laughter and all things happy.

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