Relationship Cut-off: The Worst Kind of Break-Up

 By Nina Atwood

Dear Singlescoach: 

I’ve been seeing this guy for about a month and a half. I was staying at his house knowing he wanted some space. He says he has his own issues to work out. He was single for six years before we got together and I walked away from a ten year relationship I wasn’t happy in because this guy made me happy and made me feel “alive” again. He hasn’t called or talked to me in about four days and packed up items I left at his house and dropped them off at our friends house including a card and candy I left as a present in his work vehicle!! That broke my heart! What could he possibly be thinking about and why did he just walk away with no explanation to me as to what was going on? I’m very confused about the situation!! Please help!!- Melissa

Dear Melissa,

Being pushed away by someone you love hurts – it hurts very much. So the first think you must do is simply acknowledge that you are in pain and grieving the loss of someone you love. Not only is this a break-up, it is the worst kind of break-up; it is a relationship cut-off, meaning that you weren’t given the dignity of an explanation and time to say good-bye. A relationship cut-off triggers more than pain and loss; it triggers suffering because you have such an overpowering sense of incompletion – so many unanswered questions.

Suffering is a signal that it’s time to take a giant step back and focus on self-care. Over his thoughts, feelings, behavior and choices you have absolutely no control. That is the painful reality that you must come to terms with. Pursuing him for answers will only create more suffering for you. When someone does a cut-off, they grab all the control and tell you, in essence, STAY AWAY. The only way back to a sense of control is for you to step back and re-direct your energy toward your own healing.

The answers to why he did this may never come, or they will come via your own insight. You cannot count on him giving you the answers because he may not even know them. Often these cut-offs come from a person with little self-insight or desire to understand the whirlwind of their own emotions. They simply react, with no thought about the damage that is inflicted.

As you step back and focus on self-care, I encourage you to look at these questions:

  1. How did you get so far down the road emotionally in an out-of-balance relationship? When two people are equally invested and committed, cut-offs do not happen. They happen when the relationship is way out of balance – i.e., one person is far more invested than the other, far more committed, and far more needy. This is something you must work on for self-healing – to not allow yourself to invest so heavily with a man who isn’t equally invested.
  2. How can I take better care of myself in the future? I’m picking up on a lack of boundaries in this relationship – living with him when he’s voiced the need for space; giving to him when he’s not giving back; committed to him when he’s clearly not committed to you. As a woman, you must have emotional boundaries with men – you keep one step behind his emotional lead so that you are never ahead of him, wanting more than he’s ready to give.
  3. What can I focus on in my life so that I’m not all about the guy in my life? I’m also picking up on too much focus on this relationship, not enough focus on other areas of life. Put your energy over the next weeks and months on re-creating yourself – taking excellent care of yourself physically and mentally; nurturing new friendships; re-energizing in career or philanthrophy.

Make sure you are on my email list so that you can get one of the first copies of Temptations of the Single Girl: The Ten Dating Traps You Must Avoid. I promise you it will completely change how you go about relationships in the future so that this never, ever happens to you again.

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