My boss recently went through a huge breakup. Things were said between them that there is just no coming back from. He told me some stories that I had to honestly say ‘as a girl, I still don’t understand why she said those things to you’. I don’t usually like pulling the ‘girl’ card, but sometimes I’ve talked to a guy friend and he’s said ‘can you believe that?’ and I’ve had to respond ‘actually yes, that totally makes sense to me’. In this case, I couldn’t see how he could be so much in the wrong to deserve what she said to him.
They were both at fault. There was no doubt that the relationship needed to end for sure. It was toxic.
Fast forward to now. They’ve been apart about a month. On thursday he called me into his office and closed the door. He was super uncomfortable and showed me his phone. She’d texted ‘can we go for a drink?’. He hadn’t really spoken to her since they’d broken up and he was flustered. I asked him why he was nervous, and he admitted that he’d been having these fantasies of hugging her. Not anything else, just hugging her. It was his minds way of longing for the connection they’d had. I asked him if he wanted to go for a drink and he said he honestly didn’t know.
In the end, he went. I could tell at once things were better the next day. He was relieved they’d been able to get together and talk. No pressure, just friends. He didn’t say it out loud, but he missed her like crazy.
After the weekend he comes into the office and we sit down, and he starts talking about how great it was to see her again. Now that they don’t live together and are not co-parenting her six year old son, all of the drama was just gone. He had fun with the kid and they reconnected in a way they hadn’t been able to in months. Today he started talking about ‘if I get back together with her, how am I ever going to tell everyone?’
This stopped me in my tracks. I never want anyone to be unable to tell me that they really love someone. If you get back together with her and you’re happy, then I’m happy for you, end of story.
I worry about him a little. The relationship ended in a spectacular way. But the two of them are very slowly feelings things out and understanding what went wrong the first time. It sounds to me like they’re smart and they knew that if things ever got that bad again it would be over.
This happened to me once before. My best friend dated a guy on and off for a few years. I loathed him. He didn’t treat her right, he didn’t care about her enough, and once he was even slightly violent. When she told me they were officially broken up I was so relieved that I blurted it out. ‘I’m so glad you’re not with him anymore, he’s horrible!’ I went on and on. At the time she was comforted because she needed validation for her decisions. But later on when she was getting back together with him, she was afraid to tell me. She invited me out to dinner and it seemed really stilted. She was obviously skirting around an issue. When she finally blurted it out I felt awful. I told her straight out that no matter what she did, even if I thought she was an idiot, I would always be there for her and support her. She couldn’t do anything that would make me judge her.
It taught me to never judge anyone, even if I feel they’ve done something wrong. My best friend didn’t need me to go off and hate the guy after she broke up with him, she needed me to tell her she made the right decisions and then help her be the best version of herself going forward.
Today with my boss, I was quick to say ‘it doesn’t matter what we think, if you’re happy then we don’t care’. Will it be weird? yes. Are we worried about it? Yes. But go ahead, prove as wrong. Show us that the first time didn’t work but the second time will. Show us to never say never. I let him know that if it happens, I will be the first to admit that maybe I’ve been wrong about her and biased because he’s my boss and I didn’t like how being with her was making him come into the office all cranky.
In the end if you can look at the person you’re with and feel lucky and loved, and love them in return, then you’re going to be happy. If you’re happy, then what does it matter what others think?