We should break up… now

Unsure if the moon is participating in this recent weird vibe around me, I just keep witnessing some relationship failure lately. Or is it pure coincidence? Two of my friends are sweeping what is left of a partnership they were hoping to invest in: they will both miss the payoff. And we all thought it had started well: going by the book, the foundations looked reliable, like the Bayern Munich’s odds against Chelsea. The cards were promising, and then… not so much. Performance faux pas, and it is irreversible.

The first one took a chance on an online dating site and got seduced at the recruiting stage: words got him in a zone convincing enough to suggest and engage into a face-to-face meeting. Aesthetically, and it is basic and purely judgmental, the first look got crushed with a mismatch in style, in spite of the agreement the lady and he had made before their encounter. Then it was about their styles, and the fact that they were clashing more than anything. The overconfidence of one made the other a bit defensive, and they carried on a conversation to look and hope for the better. The wine gradually got sour and bitter thoughts got the best of him: it was time to migrate to better skies.

On the same topic, a similar situation of “partnership” got the best, and maybe the worst, of another friend of mine. The partner she got assigned to work with sounded like he was coming straight from another planet: mismatched qualifications and experience have stretched her patience very thin. Their mission is to get on with a project, not for her to teach him the computer basics 101. She played the game, she assisted him with step-by-step process flows to create, send and reply to an email (yes, that far). This just added to the ambient stress level of digesting the mountains of information to know and get ready for their project. So she shared her concern with their direct hierarchy to find a solution and build a successful event.

What now? Is it worth splitting at this stage, or is it simply too obvious that a breakup could be a solution to her commitment (to the event, that is)? These two different styles, two worlds of knowledge, on the paper, appeared to be complementary: that might have been the first error of judgment. At this point, it does not matter much why and how the decision to partner was made, let alone by whom. What matters is the honesty of sharing our doubts and other discordant feelings with the so-called partner: that actually saves time, energy and unnecessary grief. It sounds simple, it looks simple, and it IS simple.

Breaking up in such situations proves to be healthy in the long run. Forget the shootouts and bad manners: a strong message can be delivered without bitterness. If it does not click after efforts to make it work, break up, move on and rebuild elsewhere. It is never too late.

Photo credit © Alexander Sotronov